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Kerala Backwater Ferry

Alleppy, Kerala, India – We got up early this morning and boarded the boat for an our all day journey to Quillon via the delta backwaters. Our boat pulled away and Rich and I grabbed prime seats in the sun on the roof to take in the sites. The backwaters consist of series of canals, which create long strips of land where the people live with water on either side. The palm trees all lean out over the water and the narrower channels making a very pleasant green canopy for us to cruise under.

We marveled at the fact that these people had built full houses complete with large families. In addition to having cows, goats, all animals on a strip of land somewhere between 25 to 20 yards across, it was amazing. We passed full cities constructed along the water complete with bus “boat” stops to shuttle the hoards of school kids to school. I have so many photos of this trip mainly because we were so impressed with what we had seen. A

fter a few hours, Rich made a comment that it was sort of like visiting the zoo because we the sahibs were in our boat protected by water between us and the animals, the locals out on shore.   We saw tons of locals both men and women up to their shoulders in the water picking clams up off the bottom of the canal. Men diving down and coming up and putting huge chunks of mud into their boats was another common site. We figured they would use it for building materials.

Due to the fact that we were on a government-sponsored tourist boat, we had to see the stupider, lesser known sites like the largest snake racing boat in India along with the coir coconut fiber factory, where they make door mats and garbage like that. After our lunch stop, we met Reuben, who is an Australian and Nikki, a German up on the roof deck. Both were great fun to talk to and it helped pass the time when the novelty of the backwater life had worn off. Reuben is the ex-marketing manager for Polygram records, Australia. He had met tons of people and had a real career before he quit to go travelling just like the rest of us. He did tell us about his escapades with heavy metal band, Metallica, New York. Nikki is a travel agent from Germany and when we found that out, I pulled out our plane tickets to see if we could cash them in for we had heard about cheaper flights to the places where we are headed and we were looking at travelling for longer than the tickets are valid for.

We arrived in Quillon shortly after dark and ended up going out to dinner with Nikki and Reuben after checking into a rather hot grotty hotel. Quillon is no where near as impressive as Alleppey, so after wandering around the city after dinner, we figured we had seen enough.

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