Exploring the Kerala Backwaters, India
Roughly 7 weeks ago, we spent some time cruising along the Kerala Backwaters, lapping up some sun and smashing down some tasty fish curries. We were roughly a week into our India trip, unsure of what was to lie ahead, and looking back we were probably as relaxed as you can be in India. We wrote about our experiences, and some peeps from Kerala Tourism liked what we said, and asked us to add their new campaign shots you see before you.
As discussed previously, there are pros and cons to taking a backwater tour in Kerala; on the one hand, you get to experience the old rice barges and a bit of luxury by being waited on hand-and-foot, but the sailing time is less than what yin might expect, and you don't have the option of going down the smaller canals. There are stacks if options to remedy this though, and we took up the canoeing option as well so we got the best of both worlds.
These are the tips we gave last time to ensure a smooth sailing;
1. Make sure you see the boat, often the day before. Check out stuff like the lights (especially on the top deck where you will be spending most of your time), whether they have fans in all the rooms that work, the shower situation, and of course, the social area - are there enough comfortable seats, etc etc. 2. Find out the route that the boat will take, how far it will go. You may be able to influence the route at this time, so you can have a bit more peace and quiet. 3. Make sure the food is what you want. Most will be fish curry for lunch, chicken curry for dinner and then toast and maybe an omelet for breakfast. We specifically asked for Keralan breakfast, and had to fight to get it! 4. Pay at the end, sounds stupid, but the captain/manager will demand payment before you leave. Naturally this gives you more bargaining power should anything untoward happen while you're cruising along. 5. Standardly, what should be included in your trip are the following; water, tea/coffee break (and a bit extra, but not necessarily on tap), breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a fridge/ice box to store any beers or soft drinks you want to bring along. You should also get the opportunity to stop by a fish market and pick something up for dinner (you pay for the fish, and the crew will cook it however you like).
NB Please note that this is a sponsored post by the Keralan Tourist Board however all thoughts and views are our own, and no outside influences have impacted our comments. We speak the truth.
Oli & Lucy