Kerala is special. It seems you can feel it immediately after crossing the border coming from Tamil Nadu. Smiling people, glowing eyes, beautiful nature, birds and butterflies everywhere. It’s not hard to understand, that Kerala is called “gods own country”.
The first place we are going to stay is a nice resort inside Keralas Backwaters and was booked in advance several months ago, because we got it as a present from Sevens former boss. Usually only Indians are on holyday in these Club Mahindra Resorts, guests from other countries are quite rare so we are again a little bit an attraction. The resort is luxury, especially in comparison to the kind of accommodation we normally stay in. Cleanliness, every day room service, big bathroom, nice and comfortable bed, terrace with comfortable seats, coffee and tea in the room, refrigerator…..wow, it really feels like paradise and we enjoy a little rest from very basic accommodation and spend some days chilling out.
Unfortunately, I came to Kerala with a bad wound infection that led to a sepsis and needed to be treated in a nearby village hospital. Finally I was forced to go there three times to get the wound to be cleaned and to get injections with antibiosis. I would never expect something like that to be a hospital. Small building, really dirty… To be honest I was really scared about the facilitation and conditions of the building, but it needed to be done. At the end I think they did a good job and it is impressive and somewhat shocking how they deal with the less things they have and the less money they get for their work (the cap drive to the hospital was more expensive then the treatment including medicines!!!).
The stay at Club Mahindra is during my birthday and they surprise me with nice room decoration and even a birthday cake. This day we spend on a tour with the rowing boat deep inside the backwaters with birds and a wonderful landscape all around us. So again, Kerala is really beautiful.
After one week staying at Club Mahindra we take the local bus to Kollam and go on an eight hour ferry ride to Alleppey, also called “the venice of the east”. The closer you come to Alleppey the more houseboats you can see on the water, some are really luxury and big. It seems to be a quite common tourist attraction to spend some days on one of these boats. Our accommodation is very basic again and in the evening hours the Mosquitos are going to kill us. We need a little time to get used to this again.
The next day a lifeguard and fisherman we meet on the Alleppey beach invites us for fishing and the next early morning we are lucky to get his small styrofoam boat to go out on the sea. Many of the people around use these boats for fishing. Although they seem to be very basic it works quite good.
Because Alleppey is more touristic we decide to rent a scooter again and do some day tours driving through smaller villages and towns and to beaches outside Alleppey. That’s how we stumble into St. Sebastians festival, a Christian holyday, with big party all around and along the beach. Groups of men drumming and dancing and colours and lights everywhere. Amazing! One of the last days we drive to a small school, where the traditional kind of keralian martial art, Kalaripayattu, is teached. We just called there in the morning hours and asked if we can come by and watch the training. It seems to be no problem and the teacher seems really proud to show us around and explain how the training works and what the main guidelines are… almost like a private show just for the two of us. So we are really thankful and quite impressed. Because time is passing again so fast and it’s late in the evening the way back home with the scooter gets little adventurous. Of course there is no streetlight and some parts of the street are in really bad condition we need to go slow. On the way we get the best fish curry we ever had at one of the small street stalls. Unbelievable delicious. The guys that run that place are quite interested, normally their place is just used by the locals and they seem to be very happy that we like their food so much. Wonderful people and a special experience for us, that stays in mind.
The last evening we spend enjoying one of the beautiful sunsets at the beach before packing the backpacks again.