I slept well and thought our boat bed quite comfortable, Mr L was not of the same view though as he thought it was like sleeping on a board! Anyway, breakfast was served at about 9am. We had opted for continental breakfast as the alternative Indian breakfast would again have been curry. Grape juice, toast that was still bread and had only a minimalist scorching on the outside, and omelettes. We both passed on the omelettes, partaking only on the bread-toast with butter and jam.
Unhooked from electricity and untied from our mooring Sunil continued us on our meandering of the backwaters.
We stopped mid morning and got off at a very grand church, St Mary’s Basilica, in Champakulam where we had 30 minutes to explore the church and village. Interesting to see everyday Keralan life in action. Of note, they had a place there called a de-addiction centre but not sure what the main addictions are in this area. Alcohol has certainly been a problem in the past which is why access to alcohol is limited and there are strict controls on liquor licences. The holiday has been alcohol free so far as no where we have eaten has legally sold alcohol. Water is the main drink served and if lucky it might be served cold, otherwise it is at room temperature. You get used to it.
Part of our houseboat package included a 2 hour canoe trip up and around the narrower backwaters. Just after 15.00 we transferred from our houseboat onto our canoe and we were paddled off the main waterway and into smaller waters and canals and onto a huge lake. There were channels off the lake with lots of little islands with homes built on them. Some grand, some average and some very poor. Everyday life was going on with women (the occasional man too) washing in the river/canal waters and slapping their wet washing with great vigour onto the flat stone at the side of the steps. We were really pleased to have taken up the offer of the canoe trip as it enabled us to see aspects of life here in Kerala that we would otherwise have missed.
Back on the houseboat we travelled on until 18.00 before mooring up for the night. We managed to get some good sunset shots which looked really impressive with the palm trees and the water reflections.
Curry for supper, an earlyish night – a life doing not a lot is quite tiring – with breakfast at 8am next morning as we would be off the houseboat at 9am and travelling to our next destination, Chennamkary, an island in the backwaters.