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Enchanting Emerald Isle

DAY 17 -
The turn off the main road to Emerald Isle looks improbable. We crawl along a small road half covered in rice, it doesn't inspire confidence that we are either on the correct road to a lovely resort, or that this is the path frequented by many on their way to enjoy the Kerala backwaters....




At the end is a small village stall and the road disappears into paddy fields...We park outside a house with huge wrought iron gates and enter a scruffy backyard, edge our way along the garden, past the kitchen, bathroom, goats and chickens to find ourselves on the edge of a river with a dug out canoe...




We load all the suitcases and all of us, onto the small boat, wave goodbye to the driver and a boatman paddles us across the Pamba river to the historic wooden bungalow of Emerald Isle, which even from the river looks impressive with it's large orangey-pink painted frontage and landing dock.




There are just 5 guest rooms around the sprawling verandah and one cottage and we have hit the jackpot by being the only guests. Our hosts the Job family brothers - Vimod and Vijo offer us a cold drink in the cool dark living room and tell us about the homestead which their great grandfather built 150 years ago...




We all gasp with delight when we enter our rooms, all different and with heaps of character. Our room was originally Vijo's and has a rice chest store, revamped and turned into a wardrobe. The room next door has beds on a mezzanine with four huge steps up to - would make you feel like royalty sleeping on your own bed-throne!




All rooms have the ever popular inside outside bathroom open to the sky.... and the bonus of good water pressure and hot water!




The view from my shower....




There is hardly time to look at all the interesting pieces of furniture such as the deeds to the property etched into a 250 year old banana leaf, as it's time for lunch in the garden ( the best lunch so far....) served Kerala style in a banana leaf...




After lunch Vijo takes us on a tour of the 9 acre property, which includes 5 acres of rice cultivation. We look at the banana, coconut, almond and toady ( the local tipple) trees along with the exotic spice plants, see the fishing ponds and end up at a cool spot with hammocks and a cushioned seating pagoda where we hang out for a while, it is hot and humid and great to just chill....




Just hanging out at Emerald Isle - view over the paddy fields from my hammock....
Tea and biscuits are served on the front verandah, before heading off in the dug out canoe to explore the backwaters - we are lucky the weeds ( water hyacinths) are not too bad today and we can take the smallest of waterways.




Life revolves around these waterways and we pass women washing clothes, teenagers washing pans, and kids taking a bath, giggling and ducking under the water as we paddle closer, music and singing fills the air from one family's prayer session, joined in harmony by the birds, goats and roosters...




At one point the weeds get too dense and we need the engine to chug through, our guide explains tomorrow the pump will be turned on to water the rice fields and the river will be churned up, hence the hive of activity to wash everything before it all becomes muddy...



As the sun drops in the sky, the reflections on the clear water increases, land and reflection blur and we float gently down stream....
At one point the weeds win and we leave the boat and walk along the riverbank to view the sunset. We come across a fisherman, tossing his nets into the water, which produces a few small fish - good enough for a curry...















The sun sets on a perfect day in the Kerala backwaters.
Little Wandering Wren

Location:Cochin to Alleppy, Kerala, INDIA - 85 kms / 02 Hrs

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