Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Valentine's Day in Houseboat : at Alleppey

This year's Valentines day was a quite different day for me. This time I and my hubby spent the entire day together at a houseboat in Alleppey's back water. As it was the month of February and Alleppey was at sea level, so we could feel the heat ( be careful about the heat waves of Alleppey, it is better to carry lots of sun protective cream with you and keep yourself hydrated). Till the time we reached our pre-booked houseboat ( try to book the houseboat at least a fortnight ago so that you can get a better one), I felt as if I had been grilled in a microwave!! But Kerala being God's own country, saved us miraculously from the heat as soon as we entered our houseboat, Kingfisher II. It was a thatched boat with two private rooms, one common dinning space with TV set and music system ( you can bring your own CDs/DVDs) . Though it was a non-ac boat, it was cool enough inside. We were happy with the cleanliness of it.
The houseboat
After getting refreshed we were served our lunch as it was almost afternoon time. The menu had a nice combination of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods, which included rice, sambar, few vegetable side dishes and fried fish. The food was tasty and specially the fish, as it was a fresh one. After finishing our lunch our boat started its journey. As it sailed trough the narrow canal we could see at least 20 houseboats, some were much bigger than ours, floating all around. Our boat moved along the banks of the back water first and then in deep water. People in the passer by boats were  waving at us and we reciprocated to them in the same manner and it felt like a big family was sailing in different boats.
After an hour we stopped at a local market where our caretaker bought few things for the dinner and mineral water bottles. We also got down from the boat and roamed around the market which hardly consisted of 10 shops. After half an hour we left the place and moved towards a small island where we halted for the rest of the night. There were 4 more boats which halted along the same island. Few local villagers were calling the passengers for a ride in their small boats which could accommodate only two people.
In the evening there were only sounds of water and the TV. The only thing I hated about the boat was the mosquitoes :( .There was no mosquito repellent !! While listening to the music we kept on talking about the whole day's experience. And when dinner was served on the table we realized how much hungry we were feeling. The menu was more or less same, only fish was replaced by chicken. After dinner we had a night walk and then we went to sleep. The next day we woke up early at 5:00 a.m. as we wanted to capture the sunrise moment and what we saw was a delight to watch...the golden rays of the sun were mingling with the water. After 7:00 a.m we sailed again towards our destination. We crossed several houses, small boats carrying school-going children, markets, some beautiful resorts etc etc. I saw many small kids learning how to swim with a rubber tube. As we came close to the bank from where we started our voyage, we had our breakfast with Idly, sambar and banana. Then we packed our bags and bid adieu to our houseboat. When we were walking towards our car we could see that new passengers were getting into the houseboat just like we did a day before. We felt something which was very close to our heart and which was ours few hours ago was going into someone else's hand (yes we got so attached with the houseboat). But this is the truth of  life---the show must go on.

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