It almost didn’t happen… I was ready to give up. We had gone from gray sky beach hopping to Kollam one of the oldest ports in the Arabian Sea so we could try and find a houseboat to spend 2 days on exploring the backwaters of Kerala. When we arrived the only accommodation we could find was a dungy very dirty hotel. We hardly wanted to spend anytime in it so once we arrived we had lunch and then got our search on for a houseboat. We must have visited about a million different people and each one was not budging on the price and some of the details they were telling us were not what we were looking for. We also wanted to make sure we saw the houseboat first before agreeing to anything. We were all getting frustrated. It had never taken any of us this long anywhere to book any type of vacation tours. At the end we ended up agreeing with one guy that we would come back at 9am the next day to see the houseboat and book just one day/night cruise with him. That night it ended up raining non-stop. It was like monsoon rain… hard, strong & scary. The next morning it was cloudy and still semi-raining so we agreed to forget about renting a houseboat from Kollam and head up to Alleppey and try our luck there.
We got there and once again were having a hard time finding concrete information and a houseboat to rent. We were about to give up when finally it clicked we will just have to wake up early the day we want the boat and go see them and book it straight there. First we started with a houseboat our hotel owner said he could get us for a reasonable price. We saw it and were not happy; it wasn’t what we wanted. I was heartbroken again, but then everything changed. We went to where all the houseboats were and a guy that had seen us the day before called us over to show us a houseboat. It was just what we were looking for a two bedroom, two baths with a nice living area on the deck and a terrace with lounging chairs on the top deck. It would include all 3 meals, a welcome drink 2 days/night of exploring the backwaters of Kerala. We asked the price and it was out of our range, but then our bargaining skills kicked in and we basically pleaded with him to give it to us at a price we could all afford. He gave in and we all felt relieved… I was excited all over again and so happy I hadn’t given up. We had about an hour before it was time to check in so made sure we got everything we needed that would not be included like sodas, chips and junk food and then made our way to the beautiful boat and started one of the most amazing experiences our lives.
Oh yes that above is our boat… we arrived settled in and had our welcome drinks. We were all excited that after 2 days of searching we were going to enjoy 2 peaceful days/nights unplugged and enjoying life how it’s meant to be enjoyed relaxing. We spent the next two days reading, chatting, drinking, eating some awesome food, but most of all we spent most of our time just observing. We starred out with a gaze from the upper deck of our boat at life in the backwaters of Kerala. We watched palm tree after palm tree pass us by, we watched people use the river as their shower, washing machine, pool, source of food and everything in between. We watched people carry things on small boats I didn’t even know was possible, like bikes and bricks. We watched nature at it’s best, beautiful birds flying around, cows roaming the narrow strips of land that made bases for homes along the palm trees. We watched literally about a million ducks floating along in a single file through an alley of the backwaters (must have been a migration), we heard all types of animals on and off. When we would occasionally bump into another boat, that wasn’t tourist, but Indian family they would wave at us and we would wave back. It was bliss… we couldn’t get over how amazing, beautiful, relaxing and peaceful this was.
We were living the life, waking up early to have an amazing breakfast, relaxing for a few hours then lunch do more relaxing have a nice cup of tea and snack, then be called for dinner. Oh and the food, man oh man the food was some of the best I have had in India. The truth is, it was a routine we loved and not once did any of us ever get bored… you just couldn’t. Your options were to read, chat or just stare out let your thoughts run through your mind and watch life pass you by. Many times we would just sit there not say a word to each other, but know we all felt the same; awe struck at the experience we were having. We loved it so much we extended it for another day and night. Yup so in the end we did 3 days and 3 nights. Oh it was worth it… and during those 3 days/nights I took over 400 photos, it was just too damn beautiful and well now I’d like to share just a few of my favorite photos with you. I hope this gives you an idea of how it was.
I know right beautiful??? If I could describe this experience in one word it would be BLISSFUL. I don’t even know if that is a word, but it was. Okay I just looked it up and yes it is a word. Anywho it was blissful… it was an experience I honestly think everyone should experience at least once in his or her life. I am also happy that I had the chance to do this with friends, not just people I met a day or two before. Not that their is anything wrong with that, but it just made it more special. I am glad I was able to do it with Val, Jessica & Dani.
On my trip around the world I have done and seen many amazing things. I have had more amazing experience then I think any human should be allowed to have in their life, but the only other time I felt this way about an experience I have had on the road is when I went on a Sahara Desert Expedition in Morocco. I just feel that some experiences are experiences everyone should have. I know my time in India has been tough with many ups and downs, but aside from volunteering for two weeks in Setrawa with some of the most beautiful kids in the world this is going to go down as one of the best moments in India and of my whole trip around the world.