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Backwaters, the Venice of India

Sep 21, 2018 comment(s)

Driving a Royal Enfield in India was a dream for Édouard. And our amazing friends from Australia knew it and offered us a week rental before we left. We made sure we booked the biggest one, a 500cc.

We picked it up in Fort Kochi on Thursday afternoon. It is big and heavy but I have to say it is pretty and I like the colour!
After having issue to start it, we were ready to explore Kerala. The passenger seat is quite big but there is nothing to hold our luggage so it is not very comfortable but we don’t care, we are in a motorbike road trip in India!!!!!

Our objective was to reach Alleppey the first day. On the way, we stopped many times to look at the beautiful view on the beach (and stretch my legs too!). We stopped at Marari Beach where we had lunch. Fishers are not far and we could see lots of very colourful boats. Unfortunately, it was cloudy so we didn’t stay much.

At 4pm, we arrived in Alleppey, the backwaters. They call it the Venice of India as there are a lot of canals where people live. Our room in Malayalam Homestay was fantastic. From our private terrace, we could see boats passing by. The view was amazing.

The next day, we booked a boat trip for 4 hours. There are 3 different options: the motor boat which go fast and you can explore more, a non motor boat with paddle and the famous houseboat where you can stay overnight. We decided to take the non motor for several reasons: first, it is eco-friendly and because of the number of boats/tourists, the backwaters get more and more polluted. Secondly, the boat is smaller and could go to more narrow canals and be closer to the bank. Finally, it is cheaper!
We spent 4 super peaceful hours, we could only hear the water, and some songs that our driver was singing. This place is paradise!
The big issue is the plastic. Indian people are not really educated about environment and you can see it all around India but we were particularly disappointed to see so many water bottles and plastics in the backwaters. Sometimes, we had to do a photo twice to make sure there was no plastic on them.

We also spent some time at the beach where we don't swim but the atmosphere is nice, drinking a fresh pineapple juice watching the sunset. The last night, our host cooked some fish in coconut milk. Delicious! We could also have a cooking lesson!

Alleppey has suffered from the recent flood in Kerala and so many tourists are still reluctant to come. It was very quiet and we had our homestay for ourselves. But now everything is back to normal so I encourage anyone to visit Kerala backwaters.