Kerala Journals

A River Cruise

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A November 2005 trip to Kerala by MichaelJM

The Kerala Backwaters Photo, Kerala, India More Photos
Quote: A backwater cruise is a must when you visit southern Kerala. We enjoyed every second.

The Kerala Backwaters

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Attraction | "Cruising the Backwaters"

The Kerala Backwaters Photo, Kerala, India
Quote:
Everyone raves about the experience of renting a houseboat and it really seems quite expensive (in terms of expenditure in India). Our holiday rep quoted £90 a person, which for a 24 hour excursion did sound a bit steep, but we decided the experience must be tried. A few discreet enquiries and we found that locals could arrange the trip for half the price – now that was a better deal! Having read about unscrupulous operators we negotiated to pay 50% before the trip and the balance on our return – this gave us a sense of security and the local middleman did not seem too disconcerted with the arrangement. Indeed he went on to say that if we didn’t like the boat then he didn’t expect us to pay the outsta...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 27, 2005

The Kerala Backwaters
Malabar Coast
Kerala, India

Kollam Fishing

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Attraction | "Kollam"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
We weren’t surprised to see that fishing on the river is the major industry, but I guess what did surprise us was the range of fishing activity. The most prolific are the “big boys” and the Chinese fishing nets that, on some stretches of the river stood proud like a phalanx of sentries on river patrol. This ancient method of fishing was introduced to India by traders from the court of the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan in the early 13th Century and Fort Cochin is the only place in India that you’ll be able to see them. I guess the locals think if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The nets are mainly worked at high tide and it seems quite a feat for the fishermen to operate the complicated counter-weigh...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 27, 2005

Kollam Fishing
Throughout Kerala
Kerala, India

Driving from Kovalam to Kollam

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Attraction | "A road trip - Kovalam to Kollam"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Our driver arrived bright and early to take us to the river - he would collect us 24 hours later at the end of our river cruise. This was to be our first touring experience in India and over the next couple of hours we experienced a cacophony of sound, bright blazes of colour and constant hustle of human activity.What surprised us greatly was the fact that even though we often seemed to be miles away from any village there were always people walking alongside the road. Children seemed to walk miles to the nearest school and despite the heat they looked cool in their immaculate uniforms. Adults walked barefoot on the verges carrying heavy loads balanced on their heads whereas the more affluent...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 28, 2005

Driving from Kovalam to Kollam
Throughout Southern Kerala
Kerala, India

The Kerala Backwaters

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Attraction | "Daytime on the river"

The Kerala Backwaters Photo, Kerala, India
Quote:
Life on the river was absolutely fascinating and as our boat sailed down the river and carefully picked its way down the narrow canals we were faced with a whole range of new visual experiences.It’s a superb way to spot the birds of Kerala and although I’m not great at naming birds even I could not fail to recognise the bright flash of turquoise of the Kingfisher, the Great Egret, Little Heron, Bittern, Cormorants, Eagles, Hawks, Snipes, Plovers and Storks. There were a range of seabirds and at a couple of places we saw huge groups of ducks. It turned out that duck farming is quite an industry on the river and “the duck shepherd” was seen ushering the ducks out of the river by encircling them...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2005

The Kerala Backwaters
Malabar Coast
Kerala, India

River Cruise

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Attraction | "Dusk & Beyond"

River Cruise Photo, Kerala, India
Quote:
After our early evening snack of coffee and finger chips we noted a distinct change in activity on the river. Now there was a proliferation of small commuter canoes being paddled gently across the river. Several canoes were carrying bicycles – a comical vision – to make the homeward journey even quicker. Farm labourers sat in deep discussion at the side of the rice fields, presumably resting after their long day’s toil. There was great activity in small villages as the women folk seemed to be frantically sweeping out their dusty homes and smoke from fires began to dominate the evening sky. The bird life was less frantic with Bitterns casually walking along the riverbank and Egrets descending ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 1, 2006

River Cruise
Kerala
Kerala