We spent 4 days in Aleppey at Antony's guest house which is in the heart of the town. (It is close to the KSRTC bus stop, market, the canal and even the beach). The place has about 6 rooms which are in a quiet locality. They are basic and clean. Renting a scooter for a day is a good idea and you can explore the town and its outskirts without many problems. But the bicycles (which are free for the people staying at the guest house) are the best way to explore Aleppey.
After settling in, we decided to go on the eco tour of Aleppey organized by Antony's Tours and Travels. Everything was on time. We got a bag full of tasty fruits and bottles of water for the day. After the initial half an hour of crossing the wide open part of the lake infested with huge houseboats which kept grunting like trucks, we made our way into the quaint channels where the big boats can't come. After breakfast we went deeper into the heart of Kainakari and could see the people going about their daily routine in this unique place. (The water level in some areas is above the paddy fields / unique to very few places in the world)
Because the boat is not mechanical, the ride is at a nice and easy pace and lets you soak in the local atmosphere. Rajeevan, the captain, who is a very simple and jovial person could convey lots of interesting bits of information and facts in pidgin English. There is a paddle right up in the front of the canoe and you can sit and paddle in tandem with him which can be a lot of fun.
He took us to a toddy tapper's house and we tasted the most amazing toddy ever. Later on in the day along a narrow channel, we alighted the canoe and started walking alongside the boat. Its a different world altogether and walking on the path lets you be part of it rather than just be a spectator from the canoe.
Lunch prepared by Rajeev's wife was mouth watering. Served on the traditional banana leaf, the simple meal of freshly made fish curry with rice and poppadums was just the right thing to eat after a fruitful day.
Things to carry : Sunscreen, mosquito repellent (just in case, we didn't encounter any mosquitos), a cap or bandana to cover your head and sunglasses.
Overall a unique experience. A motorboat may be faster and cheaper but nothing compares to this ecotour. Highly recommended.
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