Houseboat in Alleppey

Weekend with Tracy’s parents: 26 July – 30 July 2012

On Sunday, Bevin arranged for Tracy, her parents and I to go to Alleppey (a town about an hour and a half south of Kochi) known for its canals and houseboats. Bevin said it was sort of like Venice only less clean – funny because it really was nothing like Venice. We went there for a houseboat ‘ride’ on the lake (actually the bay adjacent to the Arabian Sea) and through some of the canals. We were on the houseboat for about 5 hours and ate a wonderful lunch that was cooked and served onboard. We were stopped alongside the canal at the time and there were some goats tied to trees by our landing site, including a really cute baby, whose mama kept a close eye on her from across a small path! The trip was really amazing and the houseboats are very unique.

Houseboat at Alleppey

Houseboat at Alleppey

Bevin said the people living on the canals are disconnected from the world as there are very few roads in and out of this area. It seems to truly be life on the water. We saw many people washing their clothes, transporting goods (mostly fruit – mangoes, bananas) and fishing.

River life

River life

We also saw a Snake Boat in training. These are long, narrow boats that seat 100 people, two abreast with some people standing in the middle and on the end to guide it. The 100 people are all rowing together and chanting to the beat of a drum. During the races, each boat has a specific drum rhythm and individualized chant. It was way cool! It reminded me somewhat of the Chinese Dragon Boats.

Snake boat in training

Snake boat in training

Snake boat in training

Snake boat

The day was pretty remarkable.

Tracy’s parents left on Monday evening after we had a wonderful dinner with them at Lagoon, a seafood restaurant in our hotel (Le Meridien, Kochi). It was great to meet them and they have invited me to come to Singapore whenever I feel a need to get away. They’ve also said to contact them if I need anything and they will mail it to me (because they are so much closer than Tracy!). They are great and I really enjoyed getting to know them!!

That’s it for now. I know I said I’d provide an update on the driving and you shall have it, I promise.

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