Letters from India 3 - A houseboat and an infinity pool
15th August 2013
How's everybody doing?
When I started writing this e-mail I was about to put my bikini on, open the terrace door of our room and walk towards a lovely infinity-pool. We've been relaxing in Muhamma, Kerala during the past days in a fantastically located resort called Lime Tree. It's taken us quite some time, but we've finally found the silent, chilled place we were looking for.
After staying at the little cottage in Alleppey I was talking about on our last e-mail, we took a tuk-tuk to the jetty of that town, where some of the houseboats are. The very annoying tuk-tuk driver we had followed us, checking out (for my despair) all the different houseboats we saw. Our criteria was simple: something that floats, has AC in the bedroom and a nice second floor to enjoy the view even more. After a few tries in which the driver annoyingly kept on showing me the way to the kitchen (!!), we found something that seemed to be nice. 5500 Rupees and we had it for 22hs with food included!
The trip was great - amazing landscapes, interesting smells, brilliant times. We tried a new seafood dish that is typical from Kerala and played cards whilst listening to Bob Marley and cruising the canals. What else could we ask for?
Observing people’s everyday duties from the top floor of the boat was a very interesting and priviledged. Kids playing around the water, others washing their clothes, other cleaning themselves, women getting buckets of water, ...
At 9am we where dropped off back in the little houseboat port. The tuk-tuk driver, for our astonishment, was waiting for us! Foreigners are a great business for them, as you see...
So even if I did absolutely NOT want to help fill his pocket because of his chauvinism, he was our only option to get to the nearest town. I was very disappointed by this man for his attitude towards me - simply because of my sex. Although, frankly speaking, it is the first time I feel discriminated against in India for being a woman. I have had no single comment or sign before. Hopefully it will be the last one as well.
Following a very hot and sweaty internet surfing session at a tiny cybercafe, we discovered the beautiful Lime Tree Hotel. We made our way there right after lunch - food comes always first chez nous. The local place we found was great. I love eating with my hands. Getting dirty and messy makes food taste somewhat better. And it certainly makes the whole act more fun and natural as well!
At this resort, for the first time, we heard no single honk (Indians adore making noises on their two, three or four wheel motorised demons) nor shout. Wonderful atmosphere, honestly. We've had two simply amazing days.
The first night, while we were picking up a movie at the front desk, we heard all of a sudden some loud airplane style noises. The hotel manager made us a sign to follow him. From the pool area, he pointed out to a helicopter flying over the lake that's just in front of the resort. Followed by a 'splash', the people on the helicopter dropped something out. Our new friend said it was a normal practice of the local government. Since it is the biggest lake in Kerala and certainly the most frequented by fishermen - both tourists and locals - they throw in chemicals to help fish procreate faster and 'better'. We found it well fascinating, but extremely weird and polluting at the same time.
Many pool dips, masalas and ice teas later we took a car back to Cochin. This time, we're staying in Ernakulam, Kerala, in a nice guesthouse that's very centric. Why are we back, you might ask yourself? We're meeting our Indian friend's fiance tonight! Exciting hours ahead of us.
Lots and lots of love
Written by Marta García Aliaga. Pictures by Rowan Farrell.