Last Sunday we took the offer of a day on the backwaters that our hostel was offering. At 8am we set off with a German bloke who was also staying at Wind n’ Waves in a rickshaw to the ferry terminal. There we boarded a ferry boat that took us to the edge of the backwaters. Disembarking the ferry we followed our Captain to his family’s home for breakfast. There his daughter, Sandra, impressed us all by correctly naming the capital city of each of the countries that the 12 guests were from, her pronunciation of Edinburgh was a little off, but still! She also asked us all about our families and our professions, a really impressive young lady. She wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
After breakfast we boarded the canoe which was going to be our transport for the day and wove through the many canals and waterways that make up the backwaters. It was really interesting to catch a glimpse of local life in the backwaters and we witnessed many women washing clothes in the canal, lots of people washing themselves in the canal and men paddling around in canoes selling fish for Sunday lunch. Thus, we were a bit nervous about eating the prawn poori and fish curry that was on offer later that afternoon.
We also were taken to the Catholic Church that the Captain’s families frequent. It was the birthplace of Saint Chavara and they had built the church around the preserved family home. The contrast of the old wooden structure of his birth home was incongruous with the bright white and blue of the new building. The captain also told us that the main religion of Kerala is Hindu but Christianity is the second biggest religion of the region. I have certainly been surprised by the number of shrines that are in street corners and restaurants dedicated to Jesus and Hindu Gods.
After a short pause for some fresh coconut water, 20p- take that London prices, we paddles back to the family home for lunch. It was such a feast and you could not eat quick enough. Sandra and her mum kept circling the table offering more and more food. It was dreamy. Tummys full we boarded the ferry back to the hostel. I’d thoroughly recommend a backwater tour Graham and Laura (hope you’re reading this, haha).