Alleppy: The Backwaters

It took us very little convincing to join Dan and Mads on their trip to the Backwaters. Although we were only on the boat for two days, it was more than enough time to get a glimpse of a unique way of coexisting with the natural environment. Narrow strips of land provide enough ground for single family homes, bicycle paths, chicken pens. Further beyond, the strip of land sinks down into wet rice fields. The water’s edge is never more than a few steps away and for that reason it is also the site of many daily activities that would otherwise happen indoors, such as bathing, washing clothes, neighborly conversations. Around the less populated shores, where the vegetation takes to its natural order, palm trees lean out into the canals in acrobatic forms to soak in as much sun as possible, their fronds home to a combination of pariah kites, egrets, and kingfishers that would occasionally grace us with flight across the bow. From our perch on the boat, complete with a couch and an opulent bowl of fruit, we watched these threads of land slowly pass us by. And from time to time we would turn away and sink our heads in our books or listen to music.  In short, it was a perfectly slow Keralan experience.

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our captain

pure relaxation

house boat dining….

….included tiger prawns

give her a wide berth

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only smaller canoes can get through the dense vegetation…

…but that way you also get to see a more intimate relationship to the water’s edge.

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a red dusk

feeling fresh the next morning

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fresh water has to arrive by boat to many parts of the backwaters

ducks are reintroduced to the environment in large numbers

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on the way to Kollam

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