Our South India houseboat adventure has begun! We boarded Tuesday morning and are blissfully drifting around in the tropical backwaters of Kerala. A crew of 9 guys accompanies us ( we are 10 women on 3 houseboats). They are piloting the boats, cooking fantastic meals all made from local foods, and pampering us in a dozen little ways.
This morning we got off and and took a long walk (1 1/2 hours) through a watery little village, talking to people, going into their houses and a small school, looking at what they sell in their tiny grocery shops, and exploring. We saw a group of kindergarteners dressed in white Nehru outfits, waving little Indian flags and walking around the village celebrating Nehru's birthday.
We went into a bar and tried a drink called a "toddy" made of fermented coconut. We explored a family home. We saw a duck herder, out on the river, with a flock of 250 ducks all loose, and him in a thin canoe shepherding them back and forth amidst the boat traffic.
When we came back the crew made us a traditional Sadya lunch, 16 courses served on freshly cut banana leaves. It was magnificent, and a local specialty often served at celebrations.
Now we are drifting, napping, dreaming, relaxing. It is a gift to have this time, after the grueling past couple of weeks. But I wouldn't have missed a minute of it so far!
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