My Houseboat Experience in Alleppey
A ride through the beautiful backwaters of Kerala was always on my bucket list. Alleppey was the one suggested by a lot as it has the never-ending stretches of coconut groves and lush green paddy fields all around. It was my dream to book a houseboat ride through the backwaters and a night stay over it. So one of my colleagues suggested an online houseboat booking website called Alleppey houseboat club. This online service found to be very helpful in planning our houseboat ride as they came up with few plans that might meet our budget.
Based on their guidance, we booked a traditional houseboat, as they provide a luxurious stay with all modern amenities. It was in November we a group of 4 friends reached Kerala with so much thrill and enthusiasm. We reached Alleppey by 11:30 am and the check-in time was supposed to be 12. We had half-an-hour time to see around the nearby places. As mentioned in travelogues by different people around the world, this place was a feast for one’s eyes. We couldn’t move our eyes from the beautiful scenes around us.
At 12, we checked-in to the houseboat. The journey began with a tender coconut drink. Once we moved inside the houseboat, the traditional charm was beyond words to be explained.
Our houseboat was a deluxe boat with two upper decks, one was very spacious with a clear view of the lake, with sofas and chairs to sit back and enjoy the cold breeze from the backwaters. The other deck had the space to take a sunbath. We moved around the boat, looking for all the facilities that are available within it. As this is our first experience on backwaters, we were very much excited to start our journey. We couldn’t stop capturing the beautiful scenic view of the lake and houseboats moving around us.
We had a captain, a cook, and a guide inside the houseboat along with us. The guide gave some instructions on safety and security while inside the houseboats. The houseboat staff was very friendly with us and it was very entertaining to be onboard with them. As the boat moved through the lake, the guide gave us information about the places that were seen around. The Nehru Trophy boat race venue was the route that we went on. When the guide spoke about the boat races, he became very talkative and we saw that spirit in his eyes.
Moving further we saw backwater villages and the people engaged in their daily chores, fishing, washing clothes, and even some small kids were swimming across the lake. One common sight was every house had a small canoe or kayak in front of it, and it was used by them for local transport through the lakes.
By around 1 pm, the boat halted near some shores along the lakeside for lunch. Kerala’s traditional food cuisine is a must-try for everyone visiting here. Especially the Alleppey seafood can make one’s mouth watery. The fresh prawns and shrimps are the ones that stand out in every menu. We were served food in Kerala style over banana leaves, with rice, fish curry, and so many tasty side dishes. Banana chips as the starter and Payasam at the end made the lunch complete.
After lunch, we continued our journey through the serene waterways of Vembanad Lake. Among one of the longest in Kerala, the lake routes were like never-ending ones. Sitting back on the deck and enjoying the cold breeze from the backwaters gives a soothing feel, it makes you relaxed and gives you a break from everything around you.
We had tea and snacks in the evening, the banana fritters were very crispy and yummy. By 5:30 pm, the boat cruise came to an end for the first day, as houseboat services are not allowed across the backwaters after 5:30 pm. The boat was anchored near a small village along the banks, we went out for a walk through this village. It was a strange experience for us walking through the villages, saw the people engaged in fishing, farming, shell mining, coir making, etc. We returned to the boat by 7 pm, spent some time talking with others and enjoying the night view of the lake from the boat’s deck. Delicious dinner was served on board and then we all went to sleep. As the houseboat had full-time AC in all the rooms we got a very good sleep.
Morning, we woke up with the view of a beautiful sunrise. After breakfast, the boat started its cruise heading towards where we started. And thus our journey came to an end by 9 am. It was a great experience in the houseboat through the Alleppey backwaters that will stay forever in our memories.