Saturday, May 8, 2010

Kerala Trip Part 2 - Introducing the HouseBoat

Day 3 :

We planned to set out at 7:30 AM as we planned to reach Allepey (by car) by around 11:30 at the max, bearing in mind the delays and a stop for refreshments. Day 3's itinerary was to reach Allepey and take the house boat from Allepey and travel to Kumarakom. But, as is always the case, we were late and could start only by 8:00 AM.
My aunt, again pitched in, and in spite of my denials and the early hours packed "Fried Idlis", fresh curd and "Panagam" (a thirst quenching drink made out of Jaggery, lemon, cardamom and dry ginger).

The drive to Allepey was uneventful and Jillu happily napped for an hour on the way till we took a break. The poor girl was very co-operative throughout the trip, sleeping when she could in the car and nodding off early at nights due to tiredness. This suited us very well indeed :)
The traffic was heavy and as there were only 2 lanes, progress was slow and we could reach the jetty only by 12;15 or so. (Our check in time at the house boat was 11:45 to 12:00 noon). By the time we settled in and we could move on to the next leg of our journey, it was way past 12:30. 

I had not seen the boat before booking and I was slightly anxious, even though I knew I could trust my aunt as she had made the reservations. But, there was absolutely no cause for worries and everything was wonderful and to our satisfaction !

In this post, I plan to take you through a virtual tour of the boat and all its facilities. But, before I do that, I wish to share the details of this package

The houseboat cruise took us from Allepey to Kuamrakom. So, check in at Allepey at 12:00 noon and check out the next day morning 9:00 AM at Kumarakom. The package comes with lunch, snacks, dinner and breakfast, in that order. After cruising along till 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM, the boat anchors at an isolated spot for the night. All meals will be provided on board. We can enjoy the lovely sight of sun set and sun rise :) from vantage points. In the morning, after breakfast, the boat leaves you at Kumarakom. And the A/C is switched on only at night and not during the day time.

More info on houseboats :  The house boat comes equipped with a kitchen, living room and bedroom with attached toilet. There are single bedroom, 2,3,4 or even 5 bedroom houseboats with upper deck and all. We can book any of them based on our need. There are various travel agencies who flourish in this. As is the case for hotels and other facilities, from our side, it is always good to plan and do some ground work for verifying the quality and authenticity before signing up with one. I was lucky I skipped this part as my aunt took care of it :)

Note : The backwater cruise can also be taken from Kumarakom to Allepey. Other option is not to stay overnight in the houseboat. Only cruising packages without boarding are also available.

Now, without further ado, I shall show you the boat house which was our home for a day and a night.

The house boat that we traveled in !

What you see is actually a 2 bed room house boat ! I had booked for a single bedroom only! But we were given a 2 bedroom because I think they did not have a single free on that day! But we made sure to use only 1 bedroom.

The entrance to the boat is through the living room and the dining area. You can see the door open there!

The decor on the ceiling of the living room

And then on closer look,

There's a CFL inside the lantern :). How interesting ! Its a pity that I did not notice this while on the houseboat:( I noticed only after I uploaded the pics to my comp after coming home. Too soon eh ? :)

The driver seat on the deck :)

The corridor from the living area takes you to bedrooms and the kitchen. The orange life jackets are clearly visible there

Entrance to the bedroom on the right side of the corridor,

Inside the bedroom, 

The view from the bedroom

Further down the corridor after our bedroom is a wash area

A closer look,

Further down is the second bedroom which we did not use. We shall peek in there. Shall we ?

And further down is the kitchen at the rear

And then the rear of the boat...

And this pic shows how the house boat looks cruising along in the back waters! This is a pic of another similar boat as we could not take a shot of our own :)

Hope you enjoyed this tour of the house boat. You can expect more and more pics of the scenery and what Jillu's family were up to in the up coming parts :)


Anuradha Shankar said...

Good one, lavanya! the houseboat looks wonderful! havent yet been on one, though have been planning for ages.... lets see when it happens..... im sure jillu must have enjoyed being on the water for a day!

Swaram said...

Wow! Thatz breath-taking! We missed this one last time we were in Kerala due to lack of time .. must do it sometime soon :)
What a wash area! Thanks for a such a lovely tour of the boat :)

Swaram said...

I luvved the rear of the boat :)


Looks terrific! I know where my next holiday is going to be.

Unknown said...

ohh very nice Lavs.. loved the pics.. how did Jillu like it?

Satish N said...

Excellent and scenic spot ... I literally peeped into those house boats, the images were so clear. Life needs such wonderful breaks at times.

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Anu : Yes, she did Anu. You should definitely try this ! I can just imagine you there in that boat with a book in yr hands and relaxing :)

@Swaram : There are all kinds of boat. You could some research and then really choose the boats as well!

@LR : :)

@AJCL : Jillu loved it even before we left chennai :). She saw a pic of a cruising houseboat on the net when I was doing some research and then she was like "Naama idhula polaamaa?" :)

@Sat : Oh yes ! it was a wonderful break !

Anonymous said...

Sounds very exciting! Nice pics! Am sure Jillu madam had a wonderful time:-)

Lavanya Sriram said...

@Vidya : Oh yes ! she did have a great time. Thanks, Vidya