India 3. Cruising the Keralan backwaters

We’d heard talk of Keralan Riceboats and the Keralan backwaters but hadn’t appreciated what a lovely experience this would turn out to be.

Sorry to go on about it but I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it, Everyone on the road seems to be relying on quick reactions, their horns – but above all on luck, as they weave in and out of seemingly impossible spaces, women nearly always bareheaded sitting side-saddle writing on their phones, two sitting side-saddle on the same rather small pillion. A man reading a book while driving his scooter.

The loveliness is enhanced by the very unloveliness of the journey here…

This all contrasts so strongly with the gentleness and courtesy we have met on the ground, presumably many of these are actually also drivers. It also contrasts strikingly with the slow pace and calm of the backwaters and the skill of our navigator.

The greeny brown water flows peacefully. All along the banks are houses, some quite big, many quite small and all prone to flooding. Children walk to and from school in neat uniforms, people swim and wash in the water, and do their laundry, slapping the garments loudly against a convenient rock or stone slab.

While we glide along almost silently, revelling in sights and sounds and the most attentive service and truly delicious meals cooked by Philip, our chef.

No photos I’m afraid, and we have hundreds. I have totally failed to upload any to this post, so I am sorry.

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Marion Fuller-Sessions

Retired and downsized, and sadly now widowed, but keeping in touch with family and friends and friends far and wide via my blog