Backwater cruising

Trip Start Jul 03, 2008
Trip End Dec 07, 2008

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Flag of India  , Kerala,
Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday July 12, 2008

    Today we took a boat trek through the famed "backwaters of Kerala" a canal system whose veins connect the entire state, and whose name is frequently mentioned in National Geographic and "100 places to see" lists.  Needless to say we were all stoked. We set out on our vessel with Dr. Luke's cousin, some sunscreen and a cooler of 32 oz. Kingfishers.  Relaxation found.  It was also a welcome change of pace from the bustle and urban madness of 800,000 person Pondicherry.  

    We got to our lodging, a beautiful old resort like-house only accessible by boat, and had a bit of lunch and relaxed for a bit.  We then were given a lecture on Ayruvedic medicine by a local practitioner, though his English was about as good as my Maylaman (the local dialect), so some things went misunderstood, but it was still interesting.  Ayruvedic is a holistic form of medicine as old as Hinduism itself, and has quite a following.  There are even special Ayruvedic hospitals that one can check into for various ailments, although no one is too na´ve; real problems go to the real hospital.

    Following our lecture we were treated to a 1-hour Ayruvedic massage.  I came to find it's not your typical deep tissue relaxation most of us covet but rather a flow oriented energy point activation.  It still feels great though.  And the modest need not apply: this massage involved me getting naked in front of a man I just met and donning a Egyptian style loin cloth.  Also keep in mind there is no language relation whatsoever on either side.  I was covered in oil (apologies if this is getting graphic) and massaged, which was nice, but the funny part was afterwards I was taken to a separate room and the same man assisted me in bathing via bucket shower to remove the oils.  Like I said, modesty be dammed.  

And a side note: these are a couple neat "gift" opportunities that were included in our program.  I assure you that my entire time in India has not been and will not be this pampered, but for the time being I'm taking full advantage J)
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