>Travel Pictures


Kerala - Alleppey

Fort Kochi - Kathakali dance - Backwaters - Alleppey - Ferry Ride - Varkala - Kovalam - Fishermen - Trivandrum
After our first foray into the backwaters of Kerala, we taxied on to the town of Alleppey. We had no plans other than to relax for the afternoon, and our guesthouse was the perfect place to rest in a woven swing or hammock with a cold drink in hand. Of course, some of us were more relaxed than others!!

It was an idyllic setting, with gardens for the kids to run and play in, and plenty of wildlife to help us pass the time. In addition to the little lizards that Breck and daddy caught, there were cats to help clean up after dinner and even chickens to keep our seats warm!

By the end of the day, the coconut selection is picked pretty thin!

Later in the afternoon, we did decide to take a stroll down the main thoroughfare to the canals from which we'd be leaving on our boat ride the next day. Alleppey has much more of a small town feel to it, and we had a great time trading smiles with the vendors we passed. We passed the fruit stands both coming and going from our hotel, and these guys were all grins for us both times.

In front of each of the small temples we passed, there were always people selling garlands of flowers to put over the idols inside. Alea and Susan bought a small length of flowers each to wear in their hair as we walked around.

Dave liked the fish seller (above), but Susan was much more intrigued by the big pile of pottery. We ended up buying a large jug and two smaller flat bowls from the woman at the left for the equivalent of around $4 (which I'm sure is a greatly inflated tourist price). She was excited to have her picture taken, but apparently didn't understand anything more than to just stare straight at the camera, as solemnly as possible!

As noted above, the vegetable markets were bustling, so we were able to pick up the kids' quota of silage (potatoes and carrots and apples). The peppers were the most photogenic, but ultimately not on our shopping list.

The churches in this part of India are interesting (actually, they are interesting in all of India) because of the mix of cultures. We ran into our old friend St. George and his dragon on a sign by a Christian church, but he was sure dressed differently than we'd come to expect!
Further down the road, we hit even more evidence that "Anything Goes" in India, as the communist flag was proudly waving in front of a Hindu temple. Kerala is one of the most staunchly communist states in India, and the party's influence is very strong here. We got used to seeing the hammer and sickle as we traveled around, and we also heard numerous reminders that Kerala has the highest literacy rate in the country. Of course, we'd also heard that the suicide rate was also highest, as all these educated people couldn't find work, but nobody talked about that much...
Nevertheless, the ornate facades and roof combs of the temples in Alleppey were the highlight of our walk. The fantastic colors were unlike any that we'd yet seen, and gave us lots of eye candy as we wandered around.
The temples themselves stretched over a commercial zone, so the figures on the rooftops were all above shops and other businesses. The details were fabulous, though, and we all took turns looking through the camera lens to see them close up.
There were certainly some, however, that we didn't feel as comfortable letting the kids look at. I guess every religion has its own bloody imagery, such as a suffering Jesus on the cross, but some of these were right up there with Aztec delight in blood.
Oh well - time to beat a hasty retreat back to the room - we've got an 8 hour boat ride tomorrow!!

Fort Kochi - Kathakali dance - Backwaters - Alleppey - Ferry Ride - Varkala - Kovalam - Fishermen - Trivandrum

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