Went straight to a cousin's house and had a wonderful, albeit late lunch. Then took a rick to another cousin's place for dinner. Getting across from one end of Cochin to the other took a good part of 2 hours in rush-hour traffic. Another fabulous meal courtesy of cousin's wife, we hit the bed at The Arches. We went off the reviews on Yelp and boy! what a pleasant surprise this place was. Traditionally done in the Kerala style, with an amazing restaurant for breakfast. It was quite close to all the major attractions in Fort Kochi.
The next day the hotel arranged a car for us to take a short mini-trip of the Fort Cochin area - Chinese fishing nets and the Mattanchery palace. By the time we were done with the palace tour (sorry, no photography allowed), Jew Town was closed. So, we headed straight to CGH Earth's boat jetty to start off our house-boat stay.
The boat jetty is located amidst a cluster of small villages about a 2-hr drive from Fort Cochin on the way to Allepey. It took some time,asking for directions Indian style, to get us there. We received a very warm welcome by the staff and after a quick check-in were casting off for a cruise on the backwaters.
Shortly after boarding, we had an elaborate Keralas-style lunch. Food, food and more food. More than what the two of us could eat. As we cruised along the back waters, we had time to relax and take a small nap. A slight drizzle woke us up and our host plied us with hot pakoras and karupatti coffee.
While cruising the waters, we saw a local team practicing for the Onam snake boat races.
We cruised back to the jetty, anchored and prepped ourselves for another feast. Before that, we took a guided tour to the local village temple. Shortly after dinner, we hit the sack. The main reason being, there is only generator-powered lights on-board. The boat does have a small collection of fiction on board for your reading pleasure.
We woke up bright and early for another round of cruising while having breakfast. The boat dropped us off at the jetty around 10.00AM. Our host arranged for a car to drive us back to Allepey. On our way back, we took a short detour to see an Indian elephant. Although domesticated, this little elephant had run amok the previous day and destroyed a few huts in the vilage. So, he was medicated and left to lunch in peace that day when we caught up with him. We also made a trip to Cherthala , a small town known for its bronze artifacts. We picked up a gorgeous lamp for my sister and a couple of hanging lamps for our home.
The bus ride back to Trivandrum was a nightmare. We were in a hot bus that seemed to make every possible stop between Allepey and Trivandrum. We made a pit stop at the Arya Bhavan in Trivandrum before taking another bus to Kanyakumari and home.