Keralafornia

When I first came to Bangalore to stay, about two years ago, I had several travel “goals”. One of the top goal was still un-achieved – backwaters of Kerala. As a self respecting traveler, I had to do this before I left South India. The planning started during the Chikmaglur trip. 11th and 12th August 2007 were Saturday and Sunday. 15th August, Wednesday was a holiday. So, leaves on 13th and 14th would mean 5 consecutive days off and a near ideal holiday time window. To top it, 11th August, 2007 was the day when the most famous snake boat race of the year happens. So, a houseboat was booked in advance; train tickets were quickly booked, and itineraries finalized.

The ten of us left Bangalore on 10th August night by the Kanyakumari Express. This train, popularly known as the Island Express reached Ernakulam Town (aka Kochi or Cochin) the next morning at around 10. As per our deal with the houseboat owners, a car came to pick us up from the train station to take us to the houseboat at Alleppey (aka Allapuzha). An hour and a half later, we reached our houseboat. As it was the raceday, we didn’t waste any time and was immediately on our way to view the races. Lunch happened while we were cruising through the channels to reach our view point.

There are various races that happened, including small boats, rowing boats, women’s team special etc, but the biggest attraction of the day was the snake boat race. More than the race itself, the frenzy surrounding the event (read drunken frenzy) was quite an experience. Even the boat crews were all drunk, and it quite nearly marred our first day there. Soon, there was nothing else to do, so we started a singing session. Soon, a boat crew, Sabu joined us in singing and entertained us with his singing and mimicry. A light dinner and a heavy layer of odomos, and we all slept like logs.

The next day, we started for Kumarakom. This was a slow ride, made slower by the fact that we took turns to steer the boat, so a lot of zig zag patterns were created on the hyacinth infested waters. However that gave us enough time to get ready, have breakfast, and then a lot of ideal-Sunday-lazing around. We reached the coconut tree lined, small water channels of Kumarakom at around noon. We waited patiently for a bus to Kochi, but didn’t see one in one hour. Finally we hired a taxi (Qualis) that took us to Kochi. After a late lunch, we split in two groups of five each. One group left for the station to catch the train to Bangalore, since they had to rejoin office on Monday.

The other group (including me) checked in two rooms at YMCA and then took off to do a bit of sight seeing in Kochi. We ended up at the famous Chinese nets and saw the sun set from there.

On our way back to YMCA, we lounged at a happening place called “Loungevity”. Satisfied with our two days in coastal Kerala, we slept, in anticipation of the next three days, which would take us to the hills of Kerala.


8 comments:

Bhaw said...

makes me wanna dance on lajavatiye !!!! :D Sooper write up as always !!!

Rohit Talwar said...

I love the pictures, and your write up makes me want to go there. So your travel goals have been achieved and you can happily explore more. You didn't write in detail about the food? Usually you do! :P

The pictures look soooo fresh. Ah.

~ | | OM | | ~ said...

bas kya re subbu...

so gaya likhte likhte !!!

aur dikha south india !!!

Subhadip said...

@Bhaw
Wait till I learn "Jothe yelli" properly... you will dance to that!

@RT
Food in this part was nothing to write about. Food details galore in the Munnar leg of the trip.

@Om
Nehi re... the next part is already up :) Aur nehi likh sakta!

Aarbee said...

Aha...somebody's got a new template! And it's similar to whose?? :P

Waise, the comment is belated thanks to the bugger server that blogger has. I had to say that I absolutely love the title of the post, that the pictures look even better with the descriptions, and that as always I wish I could also go on some nice trip soon.

Rest in leg 2.

Subhadip said...

@RB
Whose?
The title is inspired by a spoof song ... in the Hotel California tune.

Butterfly said...

Lovely post and lovlier pictures:-)
Specially the Chinese nets one.

Subhadip said...

@Butterfly
Thanks. Glad you like it.