Soon after having visited old Kochi we drove to Allepey situated 62 kilometres South of Kochi. We were suposed to sail and spend the night on two Kettuvallan boats but as we got to the anchoring harbour Sagar managed to have us all board in a slightly bigger one which would provide accommodation for the whole group.
The surrounding atmosphere very much reminded me of a previous sailing trip along the Guatemalan canals, though the width of the river beds and the density of the luxurious vegetation was somehow different, not to mention the size of the cruising boat.
The sea breeze made me feel slightly better as I set foot on the deck and started photographing the cruising boats sailing around. Having been described as the "Venice of the East" and regardless of the obvious differences, the numerous canals, lagoons and back waters did provide the ideal-like scenario for an idyllic relaxing trip, which might be difficult (if not impossible) to describe. Images may (or may not) speak for themselves but they will at least provide the viewer with an idea of what it was like as a "visual" experience.
The cabin I chose for my overnight stay was the second one closer to the deck and what a magnificent one it was. I lied down for a while prior to the extraordinarily good meal two of the crew members had prepared for us and seemed to be feeling slightly better than I had in the morning.
Once we finished lunch and upon request from the cook we sailed farther away into what looked like a web of rivers flowing together, some of which surrounded by lush green coconut plams and rice paddy fields in search of some prawns (he would be preparing for our evening meal) said to be abundant in these wetlands.
The more I looked around the more I got fascinated with the wide variety of Kettuvallan boats in regards to their shape and outside decoration. Siad to be built according to ancient principles and techniques of boat building using coir ropes to fasten the wooden planks together, some of the Kettuvalan we came across had rather exquisite upper decks, some of which double.
(To be continued)