November 12, 2009

kerala trip day 4: lake vembanad

we were up early to hop on the bus to another part of lake vembanad. unfortunately, a leaf spring on our charter bus broke, so we had to wait (with our eternally patient tour guide, dileesh) by the side of the road for a new bus.

luckily, this gave me an opportunity to walk around the local streets for a bit. we broke down right in front of a tiny market, and i got some good shots of the local scenery.

the wealthier families have their surnames displayed on the gates outside their homes.

all of the fiber optic cable is identified with little road markers that look like tiny headstones.

en route to go kayaking, we went through allepey, which is known as the "venice of india" because of its many canals.  we passed the police station (photo below) and miles of water hyacinth growing on the canals.

it was sprinkling when we arrived at the kayak launch point, but we hopped in anyway.  a little motor boat (photo below) accompanied us with our luggage.

tedster and los angeles real estate agent renee and i were kayak buddies, and it really required some teamwork because our rudder was broken.  after kayaking beneath a bridge full of bats, we headed out onto the canals.  it was beautiful when the sun finally came out.  we even saw a little river snake.

we stopped for a snack and renee tapped out because she was getting sunburned.  no sooner did i get a new kayak buddy did the sky open up and really release a downpour.  our guides side it was like monsoon weather (although the season is over).  we were soaking wet, and i was nervous about my little kayak filling with water.

wet and exhausted, we were happy to finally reach our destination -- a private home for lunch.  after eating, we hopped aboard our house boats for the night.  my boat was called the "lake home."

the house boats were surprisingly spacious with a "living room" area, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a full kitchen.

pictured below are the aforementioned jake and his wife fiona, self-described "possibility accelerator" rafe, and q fund CEO and founder chellie.

the afternoon house boat ride was spectacular.  the sun came out, so we soaked up the rays on the boat's bow.  lots of people live along the canals' banks, so we saw many scenes of daily life including children finishing school (photo below) and women washing their hair in the river.

we literally watched the storm roll in over the lake, and once the rain was really pouring down, the boats docked for the night on the water.

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