We spent two nights in the Kerala Backwaters with our Road Scholar group. When that tour ended we met friends from Australia for another four nights on a high end houseboat operated by the Oberoi Hotels.
There were 8 cabins and after the first day the only guests were the five of us! In the morning the chef would ask us what we would like for our dinner.
This was a real treat! The rooms were lovely and the food was gourmet.
Our tours were just the five of us too. Here we are in the day boat that took us in to the smaller village docks.
On both houseboat trips we visited the village of Champakulam. This is the church of St Mary’s which is believed to have been established in 427AD!
On our second visit to this church a youth choir was practicing. This cutie sang a solo for us.
Just past the church was a primary school. The teachers were generous to let us interrupt their lessons. Notice the slate they use instead of paper.
On the Road Scholar tour we visited a boat yard where they build and refurbish houseboats. The bridge we had to cross could have used some work too!
The boats come in all sizes, from day boats to house boats that sleep 20.
Roofs are designed for natural cooling.
The ferries were large canoes and long boats.
We were treated to traditional Kerala entertainment. Koodiyattan is a form of Sanskrit theater. It is usually performed in Hindu temples and is believed to be 2,000 years old. The actors,all men playing men’s and women’s parts, spend hours preparing for the performance.
This particular show is a really big deal in Kerala but I’m afraid we experienced a cultural disconnect. It was too long and the music was repetitive. Though an explanation of the story was given at the beginning of the program, we were soon lost!
We enjoyed the musicians and dancers more.
On the Oberoi boat a traditional meal was served on a banana leaf.
The best part of a backwaters trip is the view it affords of village life along the banks.
It looked like there were a thousand ducks at this duck farm!
Everywhere we saw a cow, there was “his” bird close by!
The Backwaters of Kerala were a wonderful way to finish our travels in Incredible India.