I do like a good holiday.
It seems odd when I sit and think about it, that I have never taken a holiday on my own boat. I live on it, I move it around frequently but Ive never really thought to spend a whole two weeks of my holiday allocation cruising it nowhere, anywhere, just for the sheer holiday of it.
It also seems odd when I carry on thinking about my choices of holiday, that when I do make the effort to go away, I am magnetized to water. and very often, despite actually not liking canals, I end up on or around canals.
I travelled this time to southern India, and found myself exploring Kerala and some of its backwaters. (as well as the Indian ocean, getting my head wet.)
The main difference I can see between Indian canals and British canals, is that one is Indian and therefore has a tropical climate and the other British and is typically lined with fishermen looking like they got a day off from "peace keeping" in Afganistan.
The canals in Kerala are lined with mango and palm trees, cashew trees and paddy fields.
One thing that never changes though is pollution. Where there's a human, theres always pollution. Plastic bags. Diesel fumes. the air, land and water is polluted with the advancement of 'civilization'. the longer you wait to visit this place, the less chance you have of seeing it relatively unspoilt. however, the more people rush to go and see it, will hasten the speed of the spoiling.
here are few pics of the backwater canals near to Allepy in Kerala.
the mooring spot was shaded with banana trees
we took a small boat, powered by paddle only. We were too lazy to paddle for ourselves so we paid a man to do it. It cost us the equivalent of £10 for 3 hours paddling. Most average Indian locals in this area earn around £60 a month, so looking at it like that, he's quite well paid.
the local boat yard, building a new boat and upgrading an old one on the "dry dock".
there is a massive business in house boats in the region. They all moor along a set of pontoons, with people living aboard, waiting for people to book either through a travel agent abroad, or when they arrive with one of the masses of local house boat agencies. there are thousands of boats, all with varying levels of sophistication. most have air conditioning and all the comforts of a hotel, including a liveaboard cook and pilot.
if you go eel fishing you might need a bigger rod, these particular local ones can be around two meters, and have a bit of a bite
children play in a corracle, and people use them as a general get about means of water transport
the school children get to and from school by boat too
Che gets everywhere