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            <<  Chennamkari, 31-Jan-2015  >>

The return to tropical serenity

Magical Keralan Backwaters. Possibly the most peaceful place in India, where there's nothing to do, just watch the time pass by

Deja vu is to be continued. From Cochin we went to Chennamkari, a village deep in Keralan Backwaters. Those 2 years ago this was one of my most beloved places in India, and it was so for 2 reasons. First, the village has got to be the most peaceful place in whole India. Away from roads, reachable only by boat, itís void of rickshaws and their honking, tuk-tuk-ing and their drivers who are usually more annoying than mosquitos. Itís far away from Indian dirtiness, and chaos. This is a quiet, clean, mostly agricultural village, a tropical inland-island and actually itís predominantly Christian. Second reason I loved it 2 years ago was my great host Cijo and his family. I stayed at his homestay and just enjoyed the time passing by slowly.

I really wanted to bring Irene to the same place so I called Cijo, but unfortunately he had a bit of construction works going on in his house so we couldnít stay there. But he told us we can sleep at his brotherís place. His brotherís place is a relatively large, very comfortable, almost luxurious guesthouse, just 200 meters from house of Cijo. It was actually there, where I had went those 2 years ago, but finding it too expensive for me I asked them if they knew some cheaper place and they recommended me Cijoís homestay. Knowing it was quite a posh place I told him that it might be too expensive for us, but when I talked to Cijoís brotherís wife (who actually remembered me(wow, what a memory!), because it was she that I first spoke to when I came those 2 years ago) she told me they were very happy I was coming back and that ďYou donít worry about the priceĒ. And so, not worrying about the price we took a ferry from Allepey through the beautiful channels of Keralan Backwaters and arrived to Green Palms Home in Chennamkari. When we arrived there, we started to worry about the price again, cause it was obvious that this place was out of our price category. All other visitors well moneyed older couples. But Maria (the owner, wife of Cijoís brother) just told me again not to worry, and told us that we can simply pay as much as we want. Whatever we can afford and whatever we give was going to be okay. Wow. And so we stayed 2 days, just relaxing, walking through rice paddies, canoeing along the channels and reading and paid what was affordable for us. Again it was like taking vacation from India. The life in Chennamkari is peaceful beyond imagination of us, the westerners. Most of us would probably decay there, without all that stress that we daily need to keep us going. Myself, Iím also not ready for so much peace in my life, but trust me, Chennamkari is a world unto itself.
It is here that Keralaís tourist motto ďKerala Ė Godís own countryĒ truly takes on its meaning.


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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak