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HILLMAN INDIA ADVENTURE
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South India: Gallery 34
ALLEPPEY BACKWATER I
HOMESTAY
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CONTENTS
PHOTO GALLERIES and TRAVEL NOTES
01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 |
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 |
Alleppey is the hub of Kerala's backwaters, home to a vast network of canals and lagoons -- a greenery-fringed watery world of villages, paddy fields, and over a thousand houseboats. Alleppey is one of the most important tourist centers in the South, with a large network of inland canals earning it the title "Venice of the East." This large network of canals provide Alleppey its lifeline. Alleppey was one of the busiest centers of trade in the past with one of the best known ports along the malabar coast. Even today it retains its charm for locals and countless tourists. The boat cruise along the backwaters of Alleppey give one first hand experience of the life style; punted canoes, toddy tapping, fishing for small fry, Coir carpet industries, prawn farming, etc.

We arrived in Alleppey, Greenpalm Homes for our homestay. From the "mainland" we took a big canoe to cross over to the island. These are man-made islands in the backwaters and delta deposits. Hundreds of years ago, there were no villages here. When settlers arrived, they dove into the water and pulled up buckets of silt to build the islands for their homes. Dikes were also built to claim farm land. They grow a fluffy rice here, two crops a year. It’s quite a process to "clean" the soil during the monsoon so the salt from the backwater is cleaned off the soil before they can plant the crop. The rice is indeed fluffy and long grain as opposed to basmati.

The homestay was entirely different from the one we had stayed at in Laos. This was a big house, well built, and we had the same room arrangements as in hotels. We were surprised to have A/C, ensuite, and lunch waiting for us. It was a south Indian meal with fish, nicely prepared and served family style by homeowner Maria’s Mom. Dessert was an unusal pudding with chunks of banana, cardamom, yogurt.

We’d been drinking bottled mineral water up until now. Here, we were served rainwater that had been purified and cooled. It was a lovely change!  The water for the showers, washing face, etc. was salty! It was a bit of a shock at first splash, but the purified rainwater for drinking was great - pure without any added minerals. Because drinking water is scarce for families who cannot afford the purification systems, the government brings in large containers of water by canoe to distribute to the people in the villages. They go down to the dikes with large containers to take water back to their homes.


Out of the Highlands and down to the backwater region
Stop for a water break

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A complex network of waterways, lagoons and islands

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Approaching our canoe dock

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View of our island across the channel

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Our canoe pilot awaits

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On board for the crossing

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Waterway Traffic
Houseboats ~ Canoes ~ Channel Buses

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Disembark on our homestay island

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First view of our homestay lodging

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Front Entrance

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Living Room

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Sue-On with the homestay family kids

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View of the kids' study area, china cabinet, kitchen and dining area

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Relaxing in our homestay room

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Meal before leaving on our backwater hike
South Indian Meal

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Desert pudding with chunks of banana, cardamom, and yogurt.

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Kitchen Area

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GALLERY 34
ALLEPPEY BACKWATER HOMESTAY

1. Homestay :: 2. Dike Walk 1 ::  3. Walk 2 :: Walk 3 


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