We couldn't have timed the train connection and the boat cruise any better if we tried!!! We got off the train from Trivandrum, jumped into an auto-rickshaw to the boat jetty where we booked a pkg deal for the 8.5 hr cruise to Alleppey through the backwaters, hotel in Alleppey, and an overnight stay in the backwaters on a houseboat in Alleppey the next day.
We jumped on board the boat where we met the other 5 passengers. 3 Canadians from Quebec, and a Parisian couple (Frederick and Noella).
The backwaters of Kerala is beautiful. It is a series of waterways that take you through massive lakes, and also through narrow canals. At one point in our journey, we could see the ocean on the otherside of a small strip of an island to our left. All of these waterways were lined with palm trees. Beautiful.
There was also a fair bit of activity on the backwaters. Women were doing laundry, some fisherman were in their small dugout boats, and folks were being transported around in the small dugouts, which were poled along by the poler standing up at the back of the boat. There were plenty of larger fishing vessels, which were painted with colourful designs.
The four of us (Nigel, Lammie, Frederick, and Noella) were all sitting out of the deck at the front of the boat when suddenly, our captain said 'excuse me, big rain coming from the left side'. We looked over to the left, and sure enough, everything was dark grey and it looked like we were heading right for it.
We barely had time to get below deck when the monsoon hit. Boy, did it ever come down in sheets!!! As we puttered along, we passed fisherman who were scrambling out in the rain, trying to get their tarps up. The poor folks in the dugouts were frantically bailing out their boats. We felt so sorry for them.
The rain didn't last long, and it was sunny as we pulled into Alleppey. We were wisked away to our guesthouse, an old Portugese manor. Later in the evening, we met up with Frederick and Noella for dinner. As we got ready to leave the restaurant, the rain hit again. We splashed our way down to the main street, but oddly enough, no auto-rickshaws could be found! Where are they when you need them???!!!!
Soaked, we finally found two, said our goodbyes, and headed to our respective hotels. We fell asleep to the sound of the rain.