CRUISE THE BEAUTIFUL BACKWATERS OF ALLEPEY…FOR LESS THAN ONE ENGLISH POUND

Kerala’s main attraction is its 1000’s of kilometres of backwaters. A series of waterways supporting rice paddies, wildlife and local villages. It’s a natural environment that truly is a spectacular and peaceful experience. A whole host of vessels leave from Allepey’s boat jetty every morning offering a range of options ranging from an hour long boat cruise, sunset tours to a full house boat experience with an overnight stay! Prices range from 750 rupees (£8.50) to 10,000+ rupees (£120+).

One great way (and of course which we did!), to see the backwaters is on the Kerala Transport companies public ferry. A 2.5 hour journey connecting Allepey and Kottayam. It’s a pretty old wooden boat, crowded with locals but all in all a truly special authentic experience. Make your way to the front of the boat and watch the beauty unravel as the boat twists and turns through a series of vistas to reach its destination.

A great part of the journey is the interaction with the local families travelling to different villages. Miz spent her time teaching two little brothers ‘heads, shoulders knees and toes’ and did roughly a thousand high fives during the journey!
Birdlife on the waters was abundant. Palm trees and rice paddies stretched as far as the eyes could see. The backwaters lived up to expectations and all for the princely sum of 80 rupees for a return journey…less than a quid!

Enjoy everyone! X

HITCH HIKING TO JEBEL SHAMS- THE SUN MOUNTAIN

We woke up in our store cupboard; it was 7am and our plan was to hitchhike to Jebel Shams, the highest peak in Oman, standing at 3009 metres.

Two minutes spent walking down the dusty road side with our thumbs out, we had a catch. A German/Belarusian couple working as teachers in Muscat offered to take us to the summit. Eighty kilometres later, after numerous hairpin bends on an unsealed gravel road, our nerves were shot, this guy was like a rally driver. The reward, however, was one of the most spectacular views we have ever witnessed. A huge canyon cut through the landscape as far as the eye can see on a crystal clear day.

 

We spent the next six hours navigating the balcony route, an adrenalin fuelled adventure around the rim of this outstandingly beautiful landscape. You couldn’t hear a pin drop as golden eagles soared on the winds pushing in from the Arabian sea. Steep sided rock faces plunging into the abyss, made for dramatic scenery. Again, with most of the natural attractions here, no entry fee is charged and you pretty much have the place to yourself…AMAZING!!

As we returned to the start of the walk, we remembered we had to catch a lift back to Nizwa. Twenty minutes later just as we were about to be attacked by thousands of goats, a local family picked us up in a Toyota pick up. They kicked us out half way down the mountain when they decided they fancied a trip to a family members for a cuppa! Oh well, ten minutes later we were back in business in a luxurious 4WD with two couples from Winchester who had been working in Oman. If you have managed to find our blog, hello and thank you again! What a day it had been. With tired legs and burnt body parts it was back to the shady fig tree for a well earned mint tea, aaaahhhh!!