Monday 2nd October (Day 5)
So we are currently in Alleppey (Allapuzha) and got here on the 30th September. The taxi took two hours due to traffic and awful roads but was 1600 Rupees (£17). He got a bit lost but we got there in the end. Riverland hotel AKA lotus apartments is fine. Proper budget. No hot water. 2 single beds. Ripped sheets. No glass in the windows. But the receptionist, Azzi, is lovely again.
The first day was spent wandering and we got a tuk tuk to Alleppey beach. I proper haggled from 100 Rupees to 60 Rupees and Nick reminded me that equated to 70pence so I gave the driver 70 Rupees in the end as I felt bad! Alleppey beach is odd. Very wide and empty. Hardly any shops aound and they are currently building a highway directly next to it. We walked to the shore and there were crowds of people. A few of them were slowly getting in the water… fully clothed. Men in shirts and long skirts. There were no women swimming. Water was grim. So we left and wandered some more.
We walked quite a bit, and when we got back, we booked the backwater boat ride for the next day. 900 Rupees each for breakfast, ferry, canoe journey, lunch and guides. An all day trip! It was absolutely stunning and we were served breakfast and lunch from a locals house in the backwaters on a banana leaf. We ate with our hands. When in India…!
Rice, pickled mango and lemon, cous cous, salad and backwater fish. We waved at all the children and they shouted “pen!”. After the confusion of what they were shouting, we threw a couple of pens out to children and they were so excited! The joy was indescribable. We decided we needed to buy more pens!
We met some fellow backpackers but two were interns from Germany and Canada and others were either here for work or just spending a month in India like us. We learnt that many parts of southern India are ‘communist’ and proudly show the flag everywhere. The canoe driver was singing behind us and telling us what all the buildings were.
The small canals were 3m deep but the large canals were 25m deep. He showed us the school his children attended and it was Sunday so we could see everyone making their way to Church. We saw people washing their clothes in the canals, taking baths, preparing their meals and washing their dishes. The water is their livelihood.
We were knackered by the end and I had gotten NO sleep the night before due to my stupid brain imagining Leopards outside?! I KNOW! I shot up when I heard a noise outside and a ginger stray cat was eyeballing me. Not quite a leopard
Anyway, I slept the next night so much better. David gray full blast in my headphones. Gone.
Today we got breakfast at a local coffee shop and wandered some more. We came back and played rummy and I sketched a little. I researched Hindu face markings. The ‘Bindi’ which is the red spot on the forehead means that the person is married. Other markings such as horizontal white lines, show the god/goddess that they follow or surrender to. There are so many markings that I couldn’t research into them all!
We then washed our clothes in a bucket with a bar of soap. #indianstyle
5 DAYS AND NO DELHI BELLY!
Oh, and I learnt the Greek alphabet!