The main attraction in Kerala is the backwaters of Alleppeywhere our driver is from, we pulled up at a dock that is full of cars and minivans dropping off tourists and embarked on to a thirty metre boat decorated with bamboo and reeds. We were the only guests with three "sailors" a cook, a deckhand and a captain but we were left alone to enjoy the laid back life of river cruising while sipping the milk of a coconut with straws. There were plenty of other boats around when we departed but just a few kilometres up river we entered a lake so big that we couldn't see a shoreline and we found a side river to ourselves. For lunch we were served six different dishes that could have fed us for an entire week, we then parked up and purchased some freshly caught king prawns for our dinner. We cruised up a tributary for a couple of hours passing small villages on the shores and friendly locals going about their daily routines of fishing, washing and praying. Every twenty minutes or so we would pass a small temple with colourful flags hanging outside with loud traditional music playing.
In the afternoon heat we took a small kayak out for a tour with an elderly gentleman as our guide up a small stream that took us deeper in to the local communities, he immediately passed me an oar and I was the engine for the next hour. He didn't speak a word of English but would occasionally point out anything he thought we would like, without the engine of the bigger boat we saw plenty more animals including river snakes and kingfishers. Women were washing pots and clothes in the surprisingly clean looking water while their children played and swam.
Evening entertainment was non-existent so after a dinner far too large for just the two of us we played the few card games we knew. The moon was so full and bright that it lit up the small village we had moored beside but as soon as the mosquitos got too much for us and the resident geckos we made for the sanctuary of our bedroom with its mosquito net at the late hour of 9pm.