The Final Stopover in India
Our final stay in India (after six weeks) was the beautiful waterways of the Kerala Backwaters. This area, shaped by man for over a 1000 years contain some 900 kilometers of waterways and produce many different crops - but particularly rice for which they have two harvests a year. The waterways are full of homestay boats which were constantly passing by our homestay during daylight hours - they moor alongside the waterways in the evening. Many of the boats were quite substantial and fully equipped for their guests.
We stayed between two lovely homes known as Green Palms where a family and some neighbours provide a homestay experience.
There was a 300 year old boat which had belonged to the family for generations which was freshly soaked with fish oil awaiting its launch. The boat was quite substantial and beautifully built - really wonderful to see something with such obvious heritage still in use and in very good shape.
After a beautiful lunch, Thomas, the senior member of the family who farms the property at which we we had the homestay took us for a long walk around the island they live on and through some rice paddys, explaining the way in which the rice is harvested. It was a lovely introduction to the area.
We returned to the homestay by canoe and arrived back after dark.
The following morning a number of our group had a walk around the village to have another opportunity to see around the local village on the island and to look for birdlife.
In the afternoon, the group boarded three boats for a look around the backwaters which was very beautiful. The late afternoon light was robbed by an approaching front and we experienced thunder and lightening and rain at the conclusion of the trip.
All in all, the Kerala Backwaters served as a wonderful final stop on our Indian trip.
The following morning, after our farewells, we drove by bus to Kochi where we had a harbour cruise before departing for the airport and our flight to Sri Lanka.
Charles our guide had a cunning plan and our boat pulled up to a harbourside pub to stock us with a final beer - top skills Charles...!!
India provided some wonderful experiences and priceless memories during our lengthy tour and we trust Sri Lanka is as gracious as our final leg of the journey.