After we finished the Rickshaw Run and sadly parted ways with the new friends we’d made along the way, Dave and I took a Backwaters tour. A taxi brought us south from Kochi to Alleppey. We didn’t see much of that area as we were hustled right aboard the houseboat that would be our domain for the next 2o+ hours. The houseboats are all lined up and double or triple parked along the coastline just as far as the eye can see. We were told that there are 2,000 such houseboats. They are huge and seemed such a waste for one couple! There was another stateroom besides ours, but no one was scheduled to sleep in it. The government mandates the start (12 noon) and end (9AM) times of the houseboat tours. It wasn’t noon yet and we were solidly parked in, so I wasn’t sure why we were being rushed aboard. But we were greeted warmly by our captain and the cook with fresh coconuts to drink the water from and made comfortable. Next thing we knew, a big group of people came aboard with a lot of luggage and walked towards the stern of the boat. Dave and I looked at each other and shrugged, assuming they must be using our boat to get to the boat behind us. That seemed to be the case, because as soon as they were situated, the boat behind us moved out and we followed. It didn’t seem to matter that we were up tight against the boats on either side. Just give it a little more throttle and rip some of the woven siding off and you’re free. It was an ominous start, but merely turned out to be a wonderful and relaxing trip. Now, India as we experienced it so far is certainly not for everyone! It was not a pampering, relaxing, resort-type vacation by any means. But this, the Backwaters of Alleppey, I would recommend for nearly anyone. True, it is no cruise ship, but it is a bit of serenity in a crazy and crowded country. I hope you enjoy the following video on our houseboat experience.