Alleppey backwaters tour

A typical local boat like you find them all over Alleppey

Alleppey backwaters tour

Alleppey, also known by its original name Alappuzha, is not only famous for its beautiful beaches and chilled back atmosphere but even more so for the Alleppey backwaters. One of the tours along those little canals seemed worth a visit to us and so we stayed here for two days.

Arriving in Alleppey

We were glad that our newly repaired auto-rickshaw survived the first long run. It seemed like the breakdown in Varkala was overcome finally. When we arrived in Alleppey in the evening safe and sound and went bathing in the still really warm sea. We then borrowed a scooter from the hostel and went to a nearby food-shop. It was hilarious as I had never driven a scooter before but loved how easy it was and how harsh the acceleration was compared to our tuk-tuk, no gears, just gas and off you go… I was laughing like a maniac because of the adrenaline and the feeling of freedom rushing through my veins.

Almost no battery left…

Funnily we had slept in a tent again, much like we did in Varkala the last week and went to the Alleppey backwaters tour the next morning. A tuk-tuk driver was waiting to pick us up and Flo tried to get me more time by drinking tea with him and the hostel owner, while I was reloading the camera batteries because most of them had close to zero charge left… Somehow we got them full enough to last for the day. The driver, a bit annoyed by having to wait for what must have felt like an eternity to him, brought us to a government ferry that took us to a little village then, where we had breakfast.

The Alleppey backwaters tour.

Even though the ferry was a transport system for the local people from the villages to get to their schools or to their working places in the city, it was full of white people… Tourists, much like us, and guess what, some of them left at exactly the same village as we did.

A man with hat sitting on the border of a ferry, watching the ripples in the water

Having breakfast was nice, even though it was nothing really special… we talked in German with the guys from Munich sitting across at the same table. It felt wrong somehow, not at all like a meal in a local village should feel like and it was definitely not an authentic view on the Indian culture, but much more like a super arranged tourist thing. This made me feel sad at first but when we started our tour on a little kayak the situation was getting better.

Jamming on the waters

Admittedly it was a proper tourist tour, but we had lots of fun anyway: Flo jamming in the front of the boat, all of us singing and enjoying the beautiful landscape.

Laid back in our boat, floating through little, water-plant covered canals and past people fishing and washing their cloth … the music resonating inside the boat. It was really beautiful and we went on for some hours like that, just enjoying our wonderful time.

The other tourist boats passing us were the funniest thing though. They were either listening envious to the music of our boat, offering Flo to hop over into theirs or even shamelessly taking videos. In the end, the tour was a bit too short for my taste, as I would have loved to see the little water streets and rivers in the golden light of the evening. We saw some of this golden hour magic back in the city though. 

The famous Alleppey backwaters during the evening hours bathed in golden sunlight

The famous Alleppey backwaters during the evening hours bathed in golden sunlight

Sunset times

Anyways… we went back with the same ferry we had already taken in the morning and then walked back to the hostel. Or should I say, we sprinted? Well… Before our eyes, one of the most beautiful sunsets unfolded and I did not want to miss the opportunity to shoot some photos of it at the beach, so I ran as if my life depended on it and I think that was really worth it.

Fish on display for sale, tinted yellow by the receding sun

A street scene lit by a wonderful yellow glow of light

Photodyssee author Flo playing his ukulele while walking the street during the golden hour

A person bathing in the sea shortly after sunset

A boat floating in the orange tinted sea during sunset

Couple standing in front of the sea during sunset in Alleppey

Bathing in the soft waves after the sun had just settled refreshed and relaxed us and because we wanted to continue our journey up the coast, I had plenty of that to look forward to. And so we left Alleppey in the early morning of the next day, heading to Kozhikode, better known by its English name Calicut. You can read about our Calicut story here.


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