I think the reason why I write so many posts is that I treat the blog like a diary and my first draft is what you see which is probably full of typos. I try to correct them if I do reread and spot glaring errors. but I want the blog to truly read like a record of my thoughts for the day. I also want it to sound like me, and not like what I think I should sound like. I want my real voice to come through.
Back to my recent trip to Kerala – Taking the houseboat was quite a unique experience. What took me the most by surprise was that the houseboat was fitted out like a hotel, including a living area, bedrooms and even an air-conditioned dining room. I would recommend you just take a short cruise rather than a costly overnighter. Most people on a houseboat are usually on their honeymoon.
But then again I might be biased as I was devoured by sandflies when the boat docked in the evening near still marshy waters. I am still scratching like crazy and will probably be scarred for life. My sister’s cure kinda worked. She takes antihistamines which stop the itching but you have to take them at least 3 times a day. I need to go to the pharmacy to get the cure recommended by my pharmacist cousin in Australia, who suggested sunburn spray with lignocain (I am just wondering if I can buy that over the counter or need to ask the pharmacist).
This is what the 2 deck boat looks like from the outside. It’s crew consisted of a driver, customer service guy who attend to our needs and also took turns steering the vessel, and a cook.
My favourite part was sitting on the top deck and reading a book I got at the hotel bookstore for just S$6 by Rohinton Mistry who is a fantastic short story writer, with a mastery of language and dialogue that bring stories to life. This is my idea of a relaxing holiday.
The bathroom with the shower looked impressive at first but to be completely honest it wasn’t too much fun showering in cold water (you need to inform the customer service guy to turn the heater on for a while and I didn’t want to trouble them). Somehow the bathroom didn’t feel very clean to me but then again I am very finicky. The bed was also extremely hard with hospital type pillows and I would have rather spent a third the price and slept at the Taj Malabar which is a luxury hotel. I am sounding like such a princess, I know – but I can’t help it.
The usual hospitality shown was lovely, with garlands placed over us and we were even given a rose each plus coconut welcome drinks. This was the dining table at the lower deck of the boat.
There was a massage chair on the upper deck but it wasn’t working. It was a nice place to sit till the crows came to share our fruit and then it got a tad bit scary. First one came, then two, then three. It was like the invasion of the crows! They are not afraid of people at all.
This is what a smaller houseboat looks like from the outside. It’s actually quite pretty as the roofs are made of coconut fibre which is one of the main products of Kerala besides fish, coconut oil and wood.
There were some interesting wood craving type artwork on the boat.
The long corridor on the boat.
View from the air-conditioned dining room.
Thanks for the prelude! I have been wanting to go Kerala, and staying in these houseboat is one of my to-dos.
As for sand flies bites, Tiger balm always works for me. Try it.
will try it ..thanks J!! At the moment antihistamines are stopping the itch.