27th March 2016
The backwater of Kerala is enchantingly beautiful. The literal meaning of backwater may make one imagines the back alley, dirty street or even black market, but the backwater river actually means the part of a river in which there is little or no current. The backwater cruise with Rainbow Cruises Backwaterworld is nothing but a memorable lifetime experience as Kerala Blog Express welcomes its second day.
After checking out from Hyacinth by Sparsa, an upscale, modern hotel in Trivananthapuram, we travel to Raviz Ashtamudi Resort and Ayurveda Spa for a breakfast. Unknown to us, Raviz Ashtamudi has prepared a whopping reception for us just for the breakfast.
Heavily make-up Kathakali characters, Devas (mythical residence of the heaven) and Asuras (mythical residence of Patala, above the hell) usher us to the reception. The make-up takes three to four hours to be completed and it is done in stages.
At the background, the music from the wooden drums fills the space. The wooden drums are traditional cylindrical percussion instrument used widely in the state of Kerala. It is known as Chenda. Chenda is suspended on the drummer’s neck or waist so it hangs vertically. A koal (stick) is used to strike to upper parchment producing loud and rigid sound. After awhile I get the hang of the chenda and my head starts moving in tempo.
The breakfast is overseeing the backwaters of Kolam, which is very scenic. The food is really good.
Some of the bloggers opt for spa inspection, but I decide to go to the rooftop for the view.
Once we finish our breakfast and short sightseeing around the Raziv Ashatamudi Resort and Ayurveda Spa, we proceed to the jetty at Kumarakom for our respective backwater cruise. Since our #keralablogexpress coach cannot reach the jetty as it requires passing through narrow streets, we have to ride a tuk-tuk!
Once at the jetty, we are treated to a refreshing lemonade. Within 15 minutes, we are already on our respective cruise. In the same cruise boat are London Claire from Curious Claire, Czech Republic’s Veronica from Veronicas Adventure and Slovenian Andreija from Adventurous Journeys.
The houseboat cruise is known as Kettuvalam or ‘boat with knots’ because the coir roped tied in knots hold the entire structure of the boat together. The boat is made of huge planks of Jack wood or ‘Aanjili’ and joined with coir.
Let’s check out how my room is:-
The room is spacious than my previous Ha Long Bay cruise. In the room, there is a see through window which enables us to enjoy the Kerala backwater views from our room. Also, there is a flat screen tv in the room, which is not utilized by us as we are always outside on the deck. The room is air-conditioned and also has a fan.
Pretty decent toilet too!
Not long after our room inspection, we catch a whiff of something cooking. Following the smell, we find the staff preparing for our Keralite lunch.
In the meantime, they give us each refreshing coconut drinks to enjoy while we take in the view of the Kerala backwater.
When the food arrives, they come in a portion for 10 people. The grilled fish is definitely one of the best I have tasted in Kerala. Claire and I could not stop talking about how good the fish was.
After lunch, we hang out outside enjoying the panoramic view. Although the day is hot and our bodies are sweating wet, it is just hard to leave the deck of the houseboat for I do not want to miss the moments. The boat takes us through narrow channels passing by villages, local people engaging with chores, and other houseboats. What I see during the cruise will be covered in a separate post because the mesmerizing Kerala backwater cruise and its spectacular views deserve a post on its own.
This is where we spend most of our time on the boat during Kerala Backwater cruise.
One of coolest thing we get to do on the cruise is that we are given the chance to be the captain of the houseboat. Of course with supervision by the captain himself.
As requested by yours truly, the captain sings a Malayali song…
As for tea time, we are served with tea/coffee and banana fritters. Slightly after sunset, plates of roasted cashews and shrimp tempura are served on the table for our consumption. I can correctly say, endless feast on board the Rainbow Cruises. The cashews are the local products of Kovalam.
As for dinner, this is our food!
For the moment, suffice to inform that of the many rivers and backwaters I had cruised, Kerala backwater is one of the best and the cruise with Rainbow Cruises definitely tops the list.