Lakes and Lagoons are hosting the 30 bloggers on the #keralablogexpress on an overnight houseboat trip in the Kerala Backwaters in India where 900 kms of waterways link 44 rivers and 34 lakes forming a highway transporting rice and people about their daily business and of course visitors like us. Womentravel is there.
Our houseboat is joining an army of other users for whom the river is their front door. They are washing, fishing, playing, using it as a highway as small canoes and larger ferries carry people from one side of the water to the other.
Kettuvalloms are local trading boats which have been modified into houseboats, they are everywhere, but on the water it is as if we are on our own. Until we stop at Champakulam.There are soon dozens of houseboats moored three or four deep. The attraction is one of the most famous places of worship and pilgrimage St Marys Forane Church, as well as some riverside markets.
School was just out, so it was great to see the kids winding their way home. The church has quite a few people praying quietly beneath a vaulted fully painted ceiling fresco.
We are soon on our own again in the life of the river watching the waters slip by. Birdwatching I spy Cormorants fishing, including one with a very long neck known locally as a snake bird. Kingfishers fly by, white herons, eagles, what looks like a small tern and at one spot a huge tribe of domestic ducks.
Soon dinner will be served. I think this is as close to heaven as you can get.
I shared the houseboat journey with Arnaud Wiehe (South Africa and Amsterdam) and Veronika Hradilik (Czech Republic)
Arnaud made this great You Tube Clip of our journey – watch and enjoy and perhaps begin to plan your own trip to Kerala