The past two nights we spent floating around the Keralan backwaters in a houseboat, and frankly, it was a disappointment. We were hoping for a serene couple of days spent seeking out birds and other wildlife, and relaxing under the stars. But actually it was like being on a highway, with ridiculous numbers of boats charging up and down the same long straight (dull) stretch of canal. The two days were far from relaxing with nonstop irritations and other issues too tedious to mention.
Strange to think that this time last year we were also on a houseboat but in freezing conditions along the Oxfordshire canals in England. And with our lovely friends!
The temperature and company are not the only differences between the waterways there and here: rubbish and pollution threaten the backwaters in Kerala, as does the over-abundance of water-hyacinths. The pretty purple-flowering plants are clogging up the smaller canals completely, which local people use for their livelihoods. Although interestingly some have put it to good hydroponic use and are growing crops on the floating plants.
So we’re back in Trivandrum – back to the screaming horns, the pollution and the hassle. Hoping to see Slumdog at the flicks tonight though.