Friday, August 26, 2011
Alleppey and house boat!!!
Dahl Roti was excellent. Quite challenging to locate but as i've expressed so far Goldie and I have almost always been lost. Very simple and pleasingly clean restaurant with loads of seating. The host was a very charismatic Indian man 50s 60s maybe who knew his menu inside out and had patience for all of India who held our hands while we fumbled our way through complex indian and traditional Keralan dishes we had never heard of, many equip with their own 5 or so side dishes. It was a full house and the mood was still ultra chill and relaxed. Gold and Emma got straight down to business catching up and reminiscing of old times and both Emma and Sam opened up as deep wells of knowledge on traveling through the crazy country that is India. We realy had hit a gold mine stumbling upon these two in the boring museum.
We ate a traditional fish Kati, a kind of awesome chapati wrap and a vegetarian tali, curry with these brilliant cottage cheese cubes and a selection of cooling chutneys, rice, dahl and chapati. Beautiful. Over chia and food comma Emma explained that her and Sam were heading to Alleppey the next morning to join another two traveling ladies on a two day house boat cruise on the back waters and that we were welcome to come fill up the last room on the boat. SHOWZOW.
That night I finally met BENSON. He was a lovely man with a lovely son. We chatted at length about the Wellington hotel scene, long distance walking and cricket. I told him we would be moving on to Alleppey the next morning for a few nights on the water. He offered to pay me back for the room I'd paid for, one more night in advance but i said he should keep it and have an account for us in credit in case we hit Cochin again. Moronic really, when in the hell would I be coming back to Fort Kochi? He drew me some diagrams of how to get to Toppompuddy the next morning to catch a bus with the girls. Very helpful. His information saved us a good 2 hour run around in and out of Ernakulum and probably a good 30 Rupee each.
And so it was, we were up at the crack of the crack of dawn to meet Sammy and Emma just past the junction on KB Jacob Rd were we caught an auto to Tuppumboddy, about a 5 minute drive, and caught the bus to Alleppey on it's way out of Ernakulum. Nice work BENSON.
3 hours on the bus, Goldie a couple of rows behind me sleeping face into her day bag. ALLAPUZAH Alleppey. We catch another Rickshaw first to the Sonar Guest House as a frustrating Hinglish mis communication, then to the liquor store where we picked up a bottle of blue label GIN and some strange Indian Vodka, then to a cool store for some pop and snacks and finally back to the Sonar Guest House. Our new friends Kavita and Hannah were staying a few 100 meters up the road.
The owner of the house boat came to "pick up" 6 people on a scooter. In the end we caught a rickshaw with 4 girls in the back seat 4 packs and day packs in the hatch and two more on the driver and under his seat. Goldie and myself opted scooter and rode triple back with the owner for perhaps a Kilometer before we reached the canal and the small sun shade motor boat that would take us to the backwaters and our aqua hotel for the next two nights.
The boat is a blur. I wrote nothing just relaxed and attracted mosquitos with my gorgeous blood. We paid the owner some extravagant sum and proceeded to drink Kingfisher's, sweet lime, Chai and Gins on the deck. The crew were outstanding the chef brilliant and much much more could be dredged up from memory but I only need to say that in the time we spent on that boat all of us became closer. I was floored by Sammy and Emma. Picking their brains about this beautiful country was invaluable. Hannah and Big V, the two loud mouth English chicks mixed killer cocktails (killer like halfies skullies) and played wicked charades and 500 and getting to know the crew was really sweet.
And then the dream was over. We were thrown out into the heat and the noise two days later with packs and boots. After the meal after meal and chai service after chia service and 'get Sajit to jump off onto a strange boat into town to pick up TP and more milk for our simply insane chia consumption' days this was all a shock. We had to walk all of 400 meters, over a bypass mind you, to the bus stand where the bus to sunny beachy Varkala was waiting for us an hour or so into the future.