Vaikom, Kerala, India
1 day - November 2018
Nobody can visit Kerala without visiting the Backwaters.
Backwaters are a network of canals both man made and natural, fed by lakes and rivers. It is usually compared to the American bayou but there is no crocodile here (we did ask if any were present and looked for it but no sign at all of crocodiles...)
It makes the perfect landscape to just unwind and enjoy life !
Most people usually spend one night on a boat and depart from Allepey.
We decided to skip Allepey -a most touristy place and booked a cruise from Vaikom instead.
What a good idea: the only living people we met were local fishermen, birds (hello beautiful kingfisher!) and local women using coconuts shell to build strings (and been paid less than 2 euros a day ... but that’s another story) . The vegetation is lush, we are surrounded by many palms, we got an introduction of what’s like to live in a small village/island, it’s quiet: we spent a moment out of time in busy India!
The backwaters are for locals the place to cook, to fish, to wash clothes, to swim, to take a shower and also a big bin...Indeed as everywhere in India there is waste everywhere...
The region suffered big floods in August 2018 but seemed to have quickly recovered and its has to do with the big help from the Communist Government! What a surprise to see communist flags everywhere in this region. They developed cooperative for women to work (for 2 euros a day still...), a system of boat public transport to help locals get to the main village to work and also an amazing bus network (buses with no windows but amazingly punctual and not crowded for 30cts an hour!) We can’t complain !
We loved this moment out of time !
Some recommandations :
# we paid 650 rupies for a 4 hours cruise with transport from Fort Cochin.
# Backwaters can be cruised in Kerala from many villages. We skipped Allepey as much more touristy and expensive and did a cruise from Vaikom instead.