Thursday, 30 October 2008

Alleppey, Back Waters

We spend some more time in Kerala, Alleppey with its back waters and Cochin.
Again another place and it feels like we are in another world... and we only traveled 60 km south of Cochin.

The trip through the back waters of Kerala felt like it was some kind of hallucination. We knew that we rented a cabin on the boat, but we didn't realize that we will have the complete "small floating house" to ourselves with a crew of three dedicated to us. It was a really nice surprise and we relaxed in the silence as we were getting lost in the back waters.
The back waters of Kerala consist of about 1000km of water canals fed by rivers, lakes and sea waters. The water has formed a maze of islands and canals. We traveled with the house boat around them, occasionally stopping and taking walks or smaller boat through a narrow canal, as we observed the daily life in this area: families taking a bath in the evenings in front of their house in the waters of the canals, women washing clothing or washing dishes, man catching fish, lobsters and selling them from their canoe... children waiting for the boat, on the boat stop to take them to school across the canal on the next island... man and women working on the rice fields... It was amazing to feel like we can be part of this lifestyle even if for short time... lifestyle so relaxed, so simple where man and nature have found perfect balance, where canoeing & kayaking are the way of life.

We also saw a Kathakaly - one of the ancient forms of dance and theater, done through lots of mimic and strong emotions expressed by exaggerated face movements, body language and colorful costumes. It is a type of art protected by UNESCO, and it is one of the many forms of art that impressed us in Kerala. Kerala has preserved so many art forms in their originality that one could devote a trip just to learn about them.

Kerala really overwhelmed us with its rich culture and natural beauties. Between the art, music, plantations of tea, coffee, spices, wild life sanctuaries, beaches, Ayurveda health and spa centers we are sure we could come back here again to discover some more... but didn't we say that for every place we went to? :-)

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