Kerala (Southwestern India)
I took a respite from the big city and ventured to the southern tip of India for relaxation in Kerala. What a fabulous and amazing place this is - tropical in setting with palm trees and peaceful ways in the backwaters. The people here are of such friendly and good natured character. I enjoyed a different aspect of India here. The houseboats are like floating hotels, complete with a staff that takes care of all your needs and serves the meals too, excellently prepared in the kitchen onboard the boat. The journey begins in the late morning, floating gently out of the dock and into the backwaters. The pace is slow and easy to enjoy the scenery. The boat stops after a couple hours in some reeds by the riverside for lunch that is well prepared.
The crew really seem to enjoy pleasing their passengers. After lunch the boat takes off again and you just relax and take in the scenery, even have a nap in your cabin if desired. In the early evening the boat docks and there is free time for a walkabout to see some of the countryside and mingle with local people. Dinner is served onboard and there is time to enjoy the sunset. There is some biomass burning here and there on shore, but it's the local way. An overnight stay on the boat is quite comfortable - the rooms have a small AC unit if you need it. In the morning there is a light breakfast and off again for the morning trip back. It is amazing to see the houseboats heading back in numbers. Its is so very picturesque with the blue waters and morning light. It is a journey well worth taking and I highly recommend it. If you have a chance to get to Kerala you will see and experience a different perspective of India in culture, people, food and demeanor. A definite part of any itinerary to southern India. It remains one of my most memorable travel experiences for rest and relaxation.