Sunday, November 11, 2012


After two nights among the spice-filled hills, we crossed back over the Western Ghats and headed towards the backwaters of Kerala. The backwaters refer to a huge network of lakes, canals and rivers that border the Arabian sea. In total, there are 900km of waterways, including India's longest lake, Vembanad lake. Towns and villages line the waterways along with rice paddies and other farm land. There is even a system of transport--boat buses. The houseboats with their thatched roofs, called kettuvallam, were originally used to transport agricultural products. But, overtime, were used as living quarters then eventually for tourists. They seem to come in all sizes--ours was a modest one-bedroom but had an upper mezzanine and came with a captain, a cook and a waiter. We arrived at noon and were served a fantastic lunch of fresh local fish. We spent one night, which was perfectly enough with our two boys. It was a relaxing tour of the waterways and the boys absolutely loved being on the boat.

Passing another houseboat:

The view from above:

Small river:


 School kids walking home:

Brightly-colored church:
 And house:

Rice paddies:

Heading back to land:

Along the way, we saw fishing boats, bus boats and birds. We listened to the croaking of frogs as we dined, then looked at the stars from the top of our boat.

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