Took a "high speed" government bus from Mullay to Kottayam - a town that my guidebook said wasn't worth visiting. What this meant, was that I was the only foreign face I saw in town. I got a number of strange looks that I've yet to get here thus far... and so a pleasant change.
Rickshaw drivers here did away with the meter - which is usually present, but broken in other towns, and refused to haggle at all on prices. Every driver I went to offered the same price, and so I can only guess they're all in cahootz.
I finally solved my fruit problem. I've been eating bananas as my daily fruit intake, and this has been getting rather boring. I've seen other interesting fruits here, but they're usually cut up and served by the piece... and I don't trust the streetside fruit sellers here - the stuff sits on their table for hours before being sold. Solution: Buy an entire tasty pineapple for 15 cents, cut it up with my pocket knife, eat as much as possible, and then hand the rest to some street kid. Problem solved!
Ate dinner on the street again - Parata (a tasty flaky bread) with a plate of Channa (spicy chick peas). Mmm. 20 cents for a filling dinner.
The next day (today), I took a 2 hour government boat from Kottayam to Alappuzha. While most of the tourists take an 8 hour backwater cruise from Alappuzha north (at a cost of 300 rupees), I opted for the government boat trip, for 10 rupees.
After a 2 day boat trip in Laos this xmas, I understand how after a while, even the most beautiful boat trip gets boring. 2 hours today was more than enough. We rode along a beautiful canal, through lakes, with palm trees and rice paddies all around - naked children, old men and women bathing clothes in the water, and the odd goat standing by the side. Again, Kerala is amazingly beautiful.
I passed the time with a bottle of whiskey and my mp3 player - all while enjoying the great view, smiling and waving at people I passed, and taking photos (to be uploaded soon).
I'm going to head south later today (as soon as i'm done in this internet cafe), and I think, I'll head to Varkala, a beach-side town.
My clothes didn't dry properly last night, and so i'm quite anxious to find a town warm enough where they can dry properly. Munnar was just too damn cold, and so my towel would be wet and moldy in the morning. Not good.
Glad to see you enjoyed Kottayam and Kerala, although that bottle of whisky could have had something to do with it. I actually live in Kottayam. Have for most of my life.
Look forward to seeing the pictures.
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