El Capitano of Alleppey Houseboat

3rd July 2014

Some time we are so engrossed in the beauty of our surroundings that we totally forget about people around us. But is travel only about looking at scenery or shopping, or is it about connecting with the people you meet. One such wonderful person I interacted for a brief while was Captain Mohan of our Houseboat in Alleppey( Official name Alappuzha).  If you have read my earlier posts about our travel in Houseboat you will know what a wonderful experience we had traversing the network of canals in Alleppey.

We visited an ancient Portuguese  Church in Champakulam, and enjoyed the scenic beauty and life in the backwaters of Alleppey in Kerala.  So friends today for Travel Tuesday picture let me give you our Captain Mohan of the Houseboat in Alleppey.

Captain Mohan was a bit shy to get clicked

As our boat criss crossed the narrow canals our Houseboat Captain Mohan skilfully navigated the narrow canals  and made sure we maintained the safe distance from other boats, ducks farmers, kids swimming in waters etc. It is not easy to navigate a Houseboat in narrow canals as you do not have any rear view mirrors, or GPS to tell you where you are. Everything comes with experience and complete dedication and focus to navigate the boat to avoid any mishaps during the journey. The captain sits in the front of the boat on a small chair maneuvering the boat with help of his wheel. As they say he was at helm of things and in total control while we enjoyed our cruise in the calm backwaters merrily clicking pictures and enjoying our food.

I tried to strike a conversation with him and learned that you need a licence to run a houseboat and there are rules on sailing in the backwaters about which side you will sail just like on the road. Kerala even has nation waterways that are used to transport goods and people, but more on them in another post.  Captain Mohan is a shy man and was not comfortable posing for the picture with the big DSLR in my hand, finally I convinced him to pose for me with just my cell phone and the picture you see above is from my cellphone. It seems a lot of people get scared in front of the big cameras but are OK to be clicked by a Cell Phone.  I wonder if this could be a marketing idea for cell phone companies ?


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