Sunday, August 16, 2009

This and that of Alleppey

As part of our "staggered"/"scattered" honeymoon, my hubby and I visited Punnamada resorts in Alleppey. The resort is a beautiful place with a lot of attention given to detail, so much so as to have wooden locks for the doors. Personally, I did feel that they've gone a bit overboard with the wooden interiors. That said, the place is very beautiful, peaceful, calm and serene, overlooking the Punnamada lake/backwaters. The staff there were very welcoming, everyone from the sweeper to the manager kept smiling always and were always willing to help.
We spent the first day on a houseboat. Well, I was thrilled - it was just Prashanth and me with the captain, a cook and a helper on the boat. Just before getting onto the boat I was cribbing about having to share the deck space with some noisy north-indian family. It was a welcome surprise when we were shown the way to our boat via the north-indian family's boat :). We were garlanded once we entered the boat and given a yummy pineapple juice. It was all hospitable and warm. We then set sail. The backwaters are very still and calm - smooth sailing :) I had a look around the boat and went to take a shower and to my disappointment was unable to get a single water droplet to fall on me :( Then hubby dear tried and he too failed. Finally, came captain to the rescue and all that had to be done was to turn the knob upwards :-P After a cold shower, it was time to enjoy the beauty of the backwaters - green rice fields, calm water body around us, other house boats passing by, noisy government transport boats, private boats with people ever willing to wave me a "hi", women busy at work outside their homes - they are so lucky to have a house just on the side of the river. Sadly, these people dont realize that they are polluting the water by bathing in the water, washing clothes in the river/lake, washing their vessels in the river. I wish they would realize this and instead of washing in the river/lake, take water out of the river/lake to do the needful on land with proper drainage facilities. Hmm.. this did sadden me quite a bit.

Anyways, forgot all that with scrumptous spread Syjeeth put in front of us. Once done with that, we played some carrom and I beat hubby dear 2 to 1. We then were joined by a very sweet couple from the US as we went in a row boat across the Venice of the East. Once back, we went a bit further and stopped the house boat for the day. Took a small stroll with Anoop[helper] leading us. We went near a lotus pond and saw a water snake... with its head nicely perched on top of a leaf - sadly we only got a glimpse and could not take a pic cause as Pras went closer to take a pic, it dived into the water. We walked back, played some cards, had another yummy meal and hit the bed.

The next morning, we awoke to the smell of pooris being fried. Once we ate, we set sail back to the resort. Back at the resort, we checked into our lake view room. The same had a view of the pool in the front. We took a shower, some snaps and went cycling. Once back, we showered and got into the pool. I tried to relearn swimming with Pras's help. We then had lunch, played carrom and table tennis at the activity center and then went on the speed boat.

I was very frightened when I heard the word "speed boat". However, not wanting to play spolit sport, I got into the boat and put my hands to my ears and looked down. We started and to my surprise I did not get the usual speed butterflies in my tummy. The person in charge also gave Pras and me a chance to try our hand at the speed boat. Was real fun. I never wanted it to end. Waterways are fun as you have no "right" way :)

Back at the resort, we took a walk around the nearby village with one girl coming out of her house and politely asking us to photograph her, which we willingly did so. We then had dinner, did another photography session and crashed for the day.

Next morning, we woke up, had bath and went in a row boat. Pras and I took turns with the one paddle given to us. It was a good exercise. One more bath and it was time to leave :( We were dropped at the alleppey bus stand from where we took a bus to ernakulam. On the way we got off to take an auto to "Fort Kochi". Fort Kochi is very much like Goa and you get to see a lot of foreigners in "short" shorts. ;) We visited the Maritime Museum whose caretaker was a very nice gentleman who asked me to take a look at his security guard when I asked him if it was safe for me to leave my haversack with him :) After walking around, we entered a gallery cum cafe, the manager of which was surprised to know that we were not from Goa - my thali confused him quite a bit. Infact, I think it confused many people since many of them kept glaring at it.

We had dinner at the "Abad Metro" hotel near the KSRTC bus stand. The food was very tasty and worth every rupee. We did not expect the bill to be just 115 rupees from the looks of the place. Got onto our bus and I slept through the entire journey on hubby's shoulder waking up for the first time when the bus had stopped cause there was a minor fire mishap due to faulty electrical wiring, which the conductor fixed in a few minutes. However, the bus got delayed and we were on the bus for more than 12 hours :(

I enjoyed this trip so much as I had Pras by my side at all times - the TV did not come in between us - not even once, which I had not anticipated. ;)