A number of boats have turned up recently, heading west. Never before have I met such a miserable bunch of sailors. I thought it was just me but this morning a friend of ours who was cleaning her boat asked “What is it about these people?” They simply cannot bring themselves to say ‘hello’.” She is a cheery lady who could make even Scrooge smile. What do you think? Let us know.
Apparently, according to some ‘Bucket Lists’, the backwaters of Kerala are a must-see before dying. Indeed, the National Geographic Traveller places the backwaters in the ‘top 50 destinations of a lifetime’. Having now ticked this off my own bucket list I can honestly say I agree with the sentiment. This log entry counts as a proper log entry, what with it being a two-day trip on a boat, so in old school style I’ve put together a words-and-pictures account of this most incredible place, which includes video clips and a link to Google Earth so you can put it all in perspective.
I’ve no idea who Romit and Rupashi are but I was at their Hindu wedding nonetheless. This was a fantastical event with much noise, colour and many people. Here is my pictorial account of the special occasion: more photos, less words.
The Western Ghats is a huge mountain range that runs down from the centre of India to the south, where it divides the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. All of these images were taken in the hill station of Kodaikanal.
The streets of Madurai is a bustling chaotic mass of energy. One doesn’t have to walk far to get a great picture of the people going about their business, weather selling, carrying, begging or playing. I tried my best to get some surreptitious, objective viewpoints but as soon as you point a camera at a Tamil, they smile and pose!
These images were taken in January 2011 on our road trip to Maduarai, Tamil Nadu. Along the way we saw many pilgrims making their way to the Arulmigu Dhandayuthapani temple in Palani. We drove past hundreds of kilometers of people making their way towards this sacred place. Along the way we met a group of villages weaving wickerwork on the road side. They were very happy people.
Boating is about pleasure but if there is one thing that gets me down it’s having to repair yet another puncture in my dinghy. The coral beaches of Eritrea gave our Tinker a real thrashing and quite frankly I got fed up with lugging this huge weight on and off Esper every time we wanted to go ashore. Liz and I decided, therefore, to treat ourselves to an unsinkable, indestructible, lightweight, folding Portabote. It stows like a surfboard, commissions in minutes and is fast! Check out the first of two reviews of this boat, including a video clip of the assembly. Worth every penny? Quite possibly. Strangest looking thing on our boat? Very definitely…
On an overcast and mildly blustery New Year’s morning there were tears on the pontoon as Antony and Davina of s/y ‘Divanty’ left for the Maldives. Not including Lo of ‘Mistral’, who leads another Vasco Da Gama rally back up the Red Sea, this now leaves just Roam II and Esper from the original gang of adventurers who left Turkey in November 2009.
It is a strange feeling and a little sad too, what with spending the last few months having a giggle with the Divanty crew, but we’re happy that they’ve slipped their lines with some favourable winds and are heading somewhere new and exciting.
Good luck, Ants and Div.