Kollam & Kovalam – India

We arrived in Kollam by bus after doing a stop off in Alleppey for the night. Alleppey is mainly where people get houseboats from; if we were on holiday rather than travelling then we definitely would have done it, but unfortunately staying on a house boat was a little out of our budget.

We had also planned to get the ferry between Alleppey and Kollam, but unfortunately it wasn’t running (you basically just have to rock up and they say yes or no). They said no. So instead, we hopped on another bus to Kollam.

The lack of boating so far actually worked in our favour as we had a brilliant backwater canoe tour around Monroe Island. We did this tour through a random tuk-tuk driver we met who insisted on showing us his testimonial diary that he pulled from under his seat. He had hundreds of reviews in all different languages so we took a risk and said yes for a tour the next day.

He picked us up from our hotel and drove us to the island, we had to get a very unstable mini ferry boat (with the tuk-tuk on board) across to the island. We were met by an island local who warmly invited us in to his slightly rotting, wooden canoe. We went round for about three hours down the narrowest of canals, taking in the sights of tropical village life all around. We sailed past many tiger prawn farms, including one being drained where there were hundreds (genuinely!) of eagles circling. They were diving down and catching fish, we’d never seen anything like it, insanely cool. We also saw some beautiful electric blue Kingfishers along the way. Through the backwaters, there are loads of little makeshift bridges where our boat rower would shout “Sophie, Dave – duck!” and we’d get on to our knees in the canoe or limbo lying backwards.

We then got the bus to Trivandrum and a tuk-tuk to the near by beach area: Kovalam where we stayed for our final couple of days in India. Our tuk-tuk driver was awful and claimed we had said the wrong beach name and wanted to charge extra which we refused so he dropped us off about 1km away. Kovalam was an amazing, relaxing break. We stayed in a hotel right next to the Lighthouse beach. The waves were actually pretty big and powerful and we (well I) definitely got knocked down quite a lot. Dave ended up fairly sunburnt (shocker) and I too got slightly red arms. Kovallam was the first place since we’ve left the UK where I was able to wear shorts rather than full-length trousers!

Next stop is Bangkok for a few days, then we go back on ourselves to Myanmar!

Thanks for reading!

Sophie & Dave


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