Thought I’d share some images from my stay in a beautiful village near Alleppey, Kerala. I can’t believe this was five months ago now – who has their foot on the excelerator peddle of my life? I stayed at Greenpalms Homestay – which I discovered through the always-awesome Bridges and Balloons – located on an island in the backwaters. Getting off the auto-rickshaw and travelling to the village by canoe felt like entering a dreamworld.
Colourful, Portuguese-style houses and lush tropical vegetation line the banks of the waters, while locals stand on the banks washing saris or travel past by boat. The usual tourist thing to do in the backwaters is a houseboat trip, but sadly this was slightly out of my budget. However, my tightened purse strings were actually a blessing, as the village stay ended up being a highlight of my trip – a world of calm and relaxation away from the madness of Mumbai, and a wonderful chance to experience village life.
I went on a morning walk with a friend of my host family, learning about all the local flora and fauna. and the different ways they are used. These orange coconuts create a natural version of Red Bull, apparently.
These tools are used to make ‘toddy’ – an alcoholic drink made from the sap of palm trees. Kerala is (technically) a dry state, but the village still has its own toddy bar where the men will drink and socialise.
The villagers were some of the friendliest and most hospitable I encountered on my trip. Kerala has some of the highest standards of living in India – the literacy rate is 93.91% (compared to a national average of 74%); the average age for women to marry is 22 (in Rajatsthan it’s only 17), and there are food programmes to ensure no families living below the poverty line go hungry. I didn’t experience any of the hassle that usually comes with being a lone female traveller in India, and my stay here was definitely the most relaxing part of my trip.
I can’t recommend staying at Greenpalms enough. The food was delicious (and made from ingredients all sourced on the island) and the hosts also offer canoeing, cycling and motorboat trips. I stayed three nights, but it’d be easy to loose a couple of weeks there.