We were most excited to visit Kerala because of the opportunity to take a houseboat along the backwaters found in this region. This network of backwaters extends half the length of the Kerala state and plays an important part of the region’s culture and history. However, what makes the houseboat tours so special is that along the backwaters there are many little towns and villages and being on a boat allows you an inside peak into the many activities happening on the banks of the backwaters. And lucky for us, Shirley and John (aka The Shirl and JoJo) gave us a three-day, two night stay aboard one of Kerala’s most luxurious houseboats as a Christmas present. It was an incredible way to splurge for a few days after months of budget travel.
We arrived on the first day and were greeted by our private boat’s attentive and friendly staff of three – who invited us aboard with the fresh coconut water (a coconut with the top chopped off and a straw stuck inside). We spent the afternoon relaxing, reading, and watching the incredible scenery go by and were cooked a delicious lunch of Keralan specialties served on a banana leaf. That afternoon we saw everything from a boat-turned-school-bus transporting twenty school girls home, children bathing in the river, and fisherman hard at work setting their nets for the night.
The next day – after an incredible breakfast – we were able to take a tour of a local village where we even got to see an Indian wedding take place inside the village church. After our visit to the village, the crew asked us if we wanted to go swimming in a swimming pool nearby however, after seeing so many people having a blast swimming in the backwaters we decided we wanted to give it a go which was the best decision of the day! We also had the opportunity to take a canoe trip through the smaller canals of the backwaters, which was a fun opportunity to see the backwaters up close. After our activity-filled day, we were fed the most delicious meal of fresh fish curry and fresh water prawns and went to bed very full but very happy!
After breakfast, we headed back to the port where our trip concluded. Although it was only a few days, we were so relaxed we felt like we had been on the boat for a week. It was such a wonderful trip and one of the best Christmas presents. Thanks again Mom & Dad!