Cruisin' Kollam

Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
Trip End Oct 03, 2009

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Where I stayed
Sudusan Hotel

Flag of India  , Kerala,
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kollam or Quilon (i dont know why they keep changing the names to the cities, i think it's a power thing), is the southern approach to Kerala's backwaters...which is the main reason i came.  Only a half hour train ride from Varkala but another world from my 'holiday' of peacefulness...Kollam is a smallish (for Indian standards) trading town with 400 000 peeps...loud, busy, happening...i was back into real India and it was gonna take time to adjust once again as i wasn't feeling the vibe here, and the vibe is very important to me.

I struggled to find a budget hotel so settled to pay 700 rupees for a room not as nice as my Varkala room but it certainly would do (just no ambience, and a very loud street right beside but i have been spoiled).  I find there is no consistency with price of rooms, anywhere from 150 to 800, the cost of living must be dramatically different depending on the town

As i wasn't feeling 'it', i could feel my face looking shrivelled, my demeanour and energy being negative, my confidence low, and of course being like that, its gonna be difficult to attract anything positive but i really tried just to get on with it and make the most of where i was.  I wandered the town in search for a Canoe canal tour that afternoon, my purpose here..  A french woman and I were lucky enough to show up at the tourist office at the same time to take a cruise together (not many tourists as it's low season). 

It was a hour rickshaw ride first to drive to the village.  Then we hopped in a homemade canoe big enough for 5 peeps maybe, with a very cheeky but fun 20 year old Indian guy that would be our guide for the next few hours.  He paddled us up a wide river and then through all the various manmade canals of Munroe Island, which were made for transport back in the day as there were no roads...and today there are only a few as the water gets in the way.  There are 13000 peeps on this island, they all seemed to live quite comfortably with big homes.  Most of them fish farm as a living.  We saw a family making rope from coconut husks (after it soaked in water for 3 months) with great ease and many smiles.  Then at another home, a group of men were maintaining a larger wooden canoe for the owner with yet again coconut rope and fibres.  Apparently if the canoes get an annual upkeep, and strengthening, they will last for a 100 years.  They were all smiles as well....lovely to see.   The island was lush green (as it's the rainy season and proved it as it downpoured for a wee bit), palm trees everywhere, beautiful with the many canals and fish farms adding character...and peeps here and there doing their every day things, cutting, washing, building, walking, or just sitting.

It was a great tour, great insight, a great afternoon..and i was happy once again.  Traveling truly is the rollercoaster ride of a lifetime...just as life is.  I love it.
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