When does the rain stop in Kerala

South India - Kerala October 2015

Travel time: September / October 2015 | by max kistler

The Backwaters Canoe Tour

In the morning at 7:00 am Suraj, the tour operator, picks us up from the bungalow complex and takes us to the public ferry bus, which - like the vaporetti in Venice - makes public transport in Alleppey. People on their way to work and students on their way to class take these boats on the canals through the city. We get off at a pier and wait with the boatmen for the promised canoes. In the meantime, we watch the column of houseboats that take tourists out of town and onto the lake. Unimpressed by this daily routine, the old woman cleans a few fish and the cat waits patiently for the remains.

on the way to school

and then it starts: we climb our canoe. A somewhat wobbly but solid thing, massive wooden planks and a thatched roof above that protects us from the drizzling rain that sets in. Our skipper sings quietly to himself, his umbrella hat protects him from the rain that will be with us for the next hour. We lie more than we sit, after the first uncertainty everything is very comfortable and relaxing. Together with two other canoes we set off.

Small canoe next to the large, tourist houseboats

It's a bit of colonial luxury and it looks silly.

We are lucky. For breakfast we stop at a small restaurant on the banks of the river. We are sitting on the terrace when it starts to pour, as if the world should be drowned. We clear the places by the river and take refuge under the awning of the little restaurant.

tropical rain

and more rain

After half an hour and a cup of tea with biscuits, the rain stops as quickly as it started. The restaurant owner uses the time and shows us his tame eagle. Apparently he likes to pose with tourists and everyone is enthusiastic about taking photos. So do we, until I see that one of the eagle's wings has been chopped off and reattached with parcel rubber. We leave quickly.

Every restaurant on the river has its vandalized eagle

We turn off the big canal into small side canals, at the edge of which are the houses of the rice farmers. Children play and women do the laundry. It all looks very idyllic and we enjoy the peace and quiet and the drive without engine noise. We are more in our canoe than sitting and the banks slowly slide past us. Every now and then a bridge spans the canal, which prevents the larger boats from passing through and so we have the canal to ourselves. At noon we stop at such a bridge and walk along the canal bank for a while.
One of the boat drivers speaks some English and explains to us that the farmers work the huge rice fields between the canals together. After the planting time, the field is flooded with water from the canal and the water level always follows the growth of the plants. The fields have a slight but even gradient and from the lowest point the water is pumped back into the canals with large electric pumps at harvest time.
We have lunch with a peasant family, there is rice and curry on the banana leaf and the six tourists from the three canoes try very hard to eat properly with our fingers.

Canal with water lilies

Channel with washing up

Canal with large laundry

Canal with idyll

the banana leaf saves washing up

The afternoon passes leisurely, we row almost silently across the canals and can't get enough of the scenery that slowly glides past us.
The fact that some residents are annoyed by the gawking and sometimes noisy tourists can be seen from the privacy tarpaulins. We have a hard time keeping awake. The quiet of the surroundings is too relaxing and the soft pillows do the rest. But the beauty of the shore landscape and our curiosity keep us awake.
The following pictures speak for themselves.

The weekly shopping is also transported home by canoe

A tropical idyll

The tour offers a nice insight into village life

We pass small and large boats

and some are a little cluttered.

A rickshaw brings us back to our bungalow. New neighbors, vacationers from TamilNadu, greet us there and invite us to a cup of chai. We learn that the extended family has arrived with a complete set of kitchen equipment. This is necessary so that the tourists from the neighboring Indian state do not have to do without the local dishes. For Tamils, Kerala is an exotic foreign country and it is better to take precautions.
We'll have dinner again in the Thaff restaurant and tomorrow we will go to the beach.

nice visit from the neighbors

the Indian extended family from TamilNadu on vacation in Kerala

What's the matter?:
small tour through "gods own country", as the residents proudly call their Indian state.
Duration:14 days
Destinations: India