I can hear the lapping of water, a guitar playing an Indian tune, a male hindi voice singing along on a CD and the chattering of voices as my Indian travel family share stories. Lying on my stomach on a soft cushion, a gentle breeze brushes my face as it flows in through the gaps of the wooden railing and a line of palm trees and timber boats pass by in my line of vision. I wish I could close my eyes and flashback to moments like this during stressful moments later this year.
But this heavenly moment is happening right now. This is seriously me right now. Matt you genius! He has just called me over for a game of 500. I have never met anyone else who can play this amazingly strategic card game apart from my dad and my grandmother. So time to teach two more people and 500 is on. Now i’m back after a walk through the rice fields, a nice spicy curry, a glass of wine, a session of animal games, riddles and clapping games. I’m not even exaggerating. Days like today make the stressful ones worth living. Right now I’m lying on a soft cushion, sweating from every pore in my body, watching the geckos crawling across the wall as the black water reflects the lights of surrounding houses and waiting for everyone to finish showering and come out to the common lounge/dining area for a chat.
(Photo credits to Matthew Blake)
But just how exactly did we arrive to the serenely calm waters of Allepuzha, known colloquially as Alleppey? While I was roaming lost in the streets of Kochi earlier this morning, Charlotte, Pat, Elise and Sarah left our Hotel in Kochi at 6am to haggle out the best deal in the available house boats in Alleppey. We were aiming for a 20000 rupee deal ($400) between the 12 of us. However, we did not foresee the house boating popularity among the locals for the Indian republic day celebrations on the 26th of January (the day we would wake up in the houseboat). Nonetheless our expert bargainers scored us all a deal for 26ooo rupees, costing each of us about $42 Australian for the night. We were content with this price as we had read you should be paying somewhere between $35 and $50.