After an air conditioned “local” bus full of other white people we arrived in Allepy which is the center for backwater boat tourism. Our guest house was in a lovely dutch heritage home run by a very sweet man who always seemed to be hustling business on the phone. We saw the Indian business network in full force here. They all employ family members and friends for drivers restaurants etc. one of whom was a very attractive man named Sheffi who told us how he wasn’t married and didn’t have kids because he wanted to live his life free and party in secret. Well turns out he’s a total liar. Married with two children. I was really mad at being lied to like that. I called him out on it later and I could see him squirming then he decided to stick with the lie and adamantly deny he was married. Carrie confirmed later he’s a big fat liar.
Just remove the plants, honking, garbage, heat, and rickshaws and this could be Amsterdam!
We went on a search for food the first night which is harder than it sounds. We were in an isolated area so had to walk in the dark past gangs of young men all just hanging out and looking at us pass. We ended up at a tourist restaurant but waited an hour for our order to be taken. The only other option was a muslin restaurant full of only men which was super weird and intimidating. We ended up storming out without ordering and ate chips for dinner.
Also frustrating was the fact that no beer is readily available since Alleppy is a nearly dry state. There is a big problem with alcoholism here so the government is trying to cork it. There are bars full of only men getting wasted… i wanted to go in for a drink but it’s also very intimidating going into those sketchy places. I couldn’t imagine the attention we’d get there.
Lunch provided at the canoe place
We were only there for one full day so we booked a “canoe” ride through the backwaters through the guest house. They showed us a fancy photo but the price seemed too reasonable. I am up for an adventure so I just said yeah sure sounds good. Turns out our fancy photos may have been a little embellished. In fact it was a tippy canoe paddled by an ancient little man with very few teeth. We went up some big canals / lakes very slowly competing for space with the giant boats. Carrie was very quiet and I could tell she was disappointed. .. she was looking forward to this and was upset she didn’t listen to her gut.
It wasn’t exactly as advertised but I had a great day regardless. We ended up going down some small canals which were very pretty. We got to see real life india. Women washing clothes by the river, men sleeping, dead snakes, unidentified dead bloated river mammals. …
After our lunch we were told that the ferry didn’t leave for two hours and we would have to walk. .. or something? We all just followed each other and ended up walking across a rice paddy. Luckily there was a nice breeze so it wasn’t too hot.
We eventually got to the new ferry dock where we waited for the return boat. That was carrie and my last night together so we went out to a new restaurant on the beach which was very nice. Except they lost our order and it had to be reordered. Not much luck in this town for food. The next morning I said my sleepy goodbye to carrie and took the ride with Sheffi the Liar to the airport. On the way he asked for 600 rupees of cash for gas which screwed up my cash situation. It meant at the airport that I had to go try and break 2,000 rupee bill which nobody has change for. I was forced to buy a giant bag of dates and Pringles. I was quite annoyed at Sheffi and he had the gall to tell me after I broke the big bill he had to park and it cost 170 rupees.. probably hoping I would pay. I ignored him and didn’t tip him. Liar.