Arriving in Kochi with the nightbus from hell, the first thing we need after dropping our bags in the guesthouse is food. By coincidence we enter a vegetarian place which might be the best we ever had. A busy place, 15 large steel tables seating 6 people each, bright lights, only men. Lunch, dinner and breakfast. We indulge ourselves in the delicious pongal, idli, vada, lemon rice, enriched with sambar and coconut chutney.
Our next stop is Munnar. A bumpy, swirling bus ride of 4,5 hours through chilli green tea plantations dotted with little roadside tea shops constructed of corrugated iron and plastic. Serving piping hot chai, coffee, biscuits and bananas. A golden sun is setting in the emerald sea of tea trees, which cover the sides of the waving hills as a thick warm blanket.
The 6 hours bus ride from Munnar to Alleppey leads us through villages, towns, and cities. The side of the road alternates green fields and town center areas where shops flog together with loud, extravagant advertisement. The men wear lungies around their chocolate brown legs. Women wear the immer beautiful, stylish and fitting saree’s. Like colorful flowers, birds of paradise, they move gracefully from one place to the next.
A small, covered canoe brings us to the narrow backwaters of Alleppey. The sunrays beam through the palmtrees lining the waterfront. Colorful houses, women doing laundry and men giving themselves a through wash. Peaceful tranquility.