I don’t do as much travel writing as I would like to. Then, I don’t really travel as much as I would like to either. So when I experienced a backwater cruise like the one I booked through Travelmate Holidays, I just had to tell you all about it.
My wife Caroline and I are currently in Alleppey, Kerala. I’m here gathering recipes for a book I’m writing but there was no way I was going to come all this way and not see as much as I possibly could of this amazing place. My good friend Jomon Kuriakose, who is the Chef de Cuisine at Lalit London and originally from Kerala told me I had to take Caroline on a backwater cruise. I know Jomon isn’t just a fantastic chef but a lover of all things Kerala so I wasn’t going to pass on that advice!
Our cruise started at 12pm and we were immediately made welcome with fresh coconut water on arrival. There are many different sized boats you can book. Ours was a two bedroom boat and as it was just the two of us, we chose the room we wanted. Most of our time during the day was spent at the front of the boat, taking in all the magnificent scenery. The actual cruising part of our overnight stay was about six hours long and following are a few snaps I took so that you could see for yourself why you might like to do the same.
If you’ve never been to Kerala before and you happen to like a glass or two of wine or perhaps some cold Kingfisher beer, then I’ll warn you here, that is easier wished for than done! Kerala is essentially a dry state and alcohol is difficult to come by!!! There are numerous toddy shops where you can purchase cheap alcoholic palm toddy. More on those in a later post. If, however you want to enjoy a glass of wine or beer in the evening like me, you’ve got to do some forward planning and even then it isn’t necessarily going to work out as you might have hoped. Luckily for us, our host Jins Sunny was more than happy to find a beer and wine shop for us and deliver it back to the boat! Now that’s service and enjoying a few adult beverages in the evening with Caroline was the icing on the cake for us!
After a restful sleep, we were awoken by birdsong and then the boats engines starting up. We went out to the front of the boat for a further 40 minute morning cruise to where we would be let off. Early morning on the Alleppey Backwaters is something I hope to experience very soon again.
I couldn’t recommend this trip more. The service on board was second to none. We were catered for in a way that you rarely experience back home in the UK. The cruise cost about £150! Never before have I experience such amazing service and especially not at that price.
All opinions are my own. I did not receive any payment for this review and Caroline and I were paying guests. You can get more information here. Jins Sunny will be happy to help you. His company Travelmate Holidays specialises in tours all over Kerala.