Allepuzha backwaters
January 2006

I travelled back towards the coast to Allepuzha, to meet friends who also happened to be in Kerala.

The bus journey gave glimpses of the countryside, and a number of marches and celebrations.

Adam and Jo, in our quiet canoe trip at sunset.

We saw, bizarrely, a long disciplined line of several hundred ducks being herded home by two canoes.
Ducks are farmed here, so this is a daily ritual as they are taken out to graze during daylight hours.

This area of Kerala, with its many waterways, is becoming very popular with tourists as the Kerala 'backwaters'. The large houseboats above are growing in number - a very expensive and noisy way to travel up the larger canals. Their outboard motors completely spoil the peace and tranquility, and rapid tourism development threatens to spoil this area completely, though it is bringing benefits too - we could see new roads and other infrastructure.

Many children living along the riverbanks came out to greet us, as we floated past.
Tourists are still a relatively new phenomenon here, as this industry has grown in the past few years.

After Allepuzha, we travelled inland to a small town called Mavelikara, to visit Jyothi's School for Special Education.

This is a small church-funded institution, where a couple from the UK are helping enrich the curriculum for the children through arts and crafts. The project they have started, Kerala-Link, organises for volunteers to come and assist at the school for extended periods.

I was deeply impressed by Caroline and Andys' commitment - with their three (lovely) children in tow.

I didn't take photographs at the school, but you can find more details on Adam's blog.