Its now Monday evening (I think) and I’m back on the road tomorrow, well actually, it’s back on the tracks as I’m travelling by train (by general class for the 3rd straight time…the magic can’t last forever).
Kollom isn’t anything special but it is at the bottom of the backwaters, which spread south from Kochi, hit Alleppey in the middle and end at kollam. With the town not worth seeing I splashed the cash and went on a 3 hour punt in the backwaters.
To get to the starting point took a very fast and nervous 45 minute rickshaw ride, with a lecherous and immensely vain man who spent most of his time looking sideways or backwards depending on the quality of the young women we passed and if nothing caught his eye, then his face did in the mirror!
Once on the canoe, it all slowed down. Taking a winding course down canals mostly only 10-20ft wide underneath bananas and palms. Pass tiger prawn and fish ponds, all of which were netted to stop the herons and fish eagles from having an easy breakfast, lunch and dinner. At the half way point we entered a large shallow lake and watched as two fishermen dragged their nets in a large and lazy circle. The fish they caught would make a good whitebait lunch. Back in the narrow canal system the canoe turned a corner and there right in front of me perched on a drooping palm frond 6ft above the water was a fish eagle. We passed slowly towards and then underneath it. It only flew away when the guy doing the punting got too close. So, 4ft from a wild fish eagle…bloody marvellous!
Down at the beach for the afternoon (yes I know I have a hard life) watching the pounding surf crash onto the steeply sloping sand. At this beach last year 18 people died whilst swimming. I really don’t think that most Indians can swim well if at all!
Tonight I am having an early one as I have got cable tv.