Cruising the Kerala backwaters in a houseboat is a classic travel experience. At least that is what Rand tells me. He has been dreaming about doing this since he starting planning an around the world trip for us 20 years ago.
Finally his dream came true. We showed up at the house boat dock the morning before to choose and book a houseboat. The rickshaw driver dropped us off at the small motorboat dock, but with the help of goggle maps we walked to the right houseboat dock. Tip: Tell the driver to take you to the Ramada, so you don’t get dropped off in the wrong place.
Dozens of boats were lined up at the dock. As we walked along we were invited aboard to look at a boat. The boat seemed nice enough and was in our price range, but we decided to look around some more.
A young guy led us around to several boats, but none of them were quite what we were looking for (no upper deck, insufficient seating, too expensive).
We went back to the first boat and booked two nights on the two bedroom houseboat with meals included and A/C in the rooms at night for 22,000 rupees (330 USD). The rooms were a bit run down and the showers were cold, but the upper and lower decks each had a couch and cushioned seating around edges. It would be a great place to chill out for a couple of days.
For two days we lounged on the deck, reading and watching the scenery go by.
We cruised through the small canals in a traffic jam of houseboats. Then floated in a lake so big we couldn’t see the other side. The water and sky blended into one making the other houseboats look like sky boats as we looked towards the horizon.
We saw colorful houses along the shore and women washing their laundry on the stone ghats.
We docked for the night near a small village and wandered out to the rice fields to watch the sunset.
The next morning we had the backwaters to ourselves (since most people only book one night).
Another relaxing day with homecooked Indian food, surrounded by sparkling water and palm trees, then the next morning it was time to return to reality.