Backwaters of Kerala


Spending some time plying the backwaters of Kerala is high on most tourist's agenda.  The backwaters are huge system of lakes and rivers, connected by canals

I came to Alleppey from Fort Cochin, got a guest house for a couple of nights, then inquired about my options for seeing the backwaters



For many people, the most romantic option is to do an overnight stay on a houseboat, lazing along



Or a smaller houseboat




And there are other options, mostly quite comfortable

I chose the people's method--riding the public ferry

My guest house host recommended I take the ferry as far as Kainakary, hop off and explore a bit, then catch a ferry back



So off we go, stopping along the way at docks like this, for more passengers



We went along broad canals like this...



...passing numerous other boats with varying cargo...



...as well as the more open waters of a large lake




with houses having the most  picturesque settings





After a couple hours we reached Kainakary




where I had to leave my handsome companion, Jithin



Kainakary, with its tranquil waterfront commercial strip



No, I beg your pardon--here's the real shopping center




So I sauntered a bit along the waterfront trail, greeting a few people



But then I hit a  bump



All along the route I had seen women washing clothes at these little indentations in the concrete wall





Now I had the chance to photograph one up close

I did, but when I showed her the photo, she swung at the camera

Turns out she was actually bathing (though fully clothed) and I hadn't perceived that



By this time I was hungry, so I stopped by a little stand where a guy was preparing stuff for the locals



It wasn't clear what it was, but I ordered one


So he starts with a large betel leaf


adds a few choice ingredients



wraps it up, hands it to me, and I take one bite

At that point I lost my nerve and re-gained by sense

I decided that a venture into the unknown had better be done in less remote surroundings

So, my walk at at end, back at the ferry dock, I waited for the next ferry to Alleppey, ending a delightful ride

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