From Kovalam, I went straight to Alleppey (aka Alapphuza), the main hub for cruising the Backwaters. Backwaters are one of the main reasons for visiting Kerala, and they are a network of hundreds of waterways, in a uncontaminated natural landscape. Here life is all along the waterways.
The houseboats, called Kettuvalloms, are made by wood and palm leaves, but they include any amenities!
I was so excited by the chance of spending two days in a silent, quiet place.
As you know, reality is always better and better than fantasy.
I experienced the slow flowing along the waterways, discovering small villages, fishermen, rice fields, unknown churches and temples, children. In one word: life. Life in a place without time.
At the sunset, I left my houseboat, and sailed on a canoe with a local fisherman. I saw a small temple in the middle of a rice field: I was astonished by the candles’ light contrasting with the sunset’s colours. A unique atmosphere of serenity.
The day after, early in the morning, I witnessed the awakening: just the normal life in an unusual (to me) context…
From sea to mountain: Munnar.
If you visit Kerala, you can’t miss tea plantations and the beautiful landscapes of Munnar area.
Munnar is set at an altitude of 6000 ft (1600 mt), and it is a mix of valleys, mountains, forests, tea and spices plantations.
The small town is full of spices and tea shops, and vegetable markets.
Moreover, Munnar is surprisingly characterized by many icons of Communist Party. On the other hand, all tea plantations have been taken over by the Tata Tea Company (the same owner as car company!)
As for other places, also in Munnar there are many contradictions. Behind this peaceful place, there is the hard life of tea pickers.
Most of them are women and they earn around 110 rupees per day (less than 2 euros!) if they harvest 20 kilos of tea leaves. Look at a tea leaf and try to imagine 20 kilos of tea …
However, hiking through tea plantations is a great experience for eyes and feelings!
And after a pleasant walk, is there anything better than … a cup of tea?
Next stop … Kochi! Stay tuned!