I am in a vacation mood right now. Ready to kick off the shoes and sit back and sip on my Screwdriver. So what options do I have? Lets see. There is this long due trip to the OSHO commune or a trip to Goa or may be to this place called Tarkarli in Maharashtra with a nice coastline or some place (can’t recollect the name) which has got options for a good stay in a Houseboat which, apparently have been been shipped from Alleppy in Kerala.
Have been to Alleppy so don’t really feel excited about the houseboat. In fact they are really boring. They take you around the backwaters during the day and park the boat at the bank by evening as the fisherman then spread out their fishing nets by sunset. Mind you the bank is no cleaner patch of land but those which are full of bushes and tall green grass, very conveniently housing mosquitoes and a variety of other insects. So if by any chance you decide to lounge around in the lounging area (primarily the front portion of the boat) be ready to face an assault of the biting, tickling, crawling, humming, buzzing mosquitoes and insects around you. Sitting pretty on your cup of coffee or just about any eatable. Yikes. Though they have options to cover up the open sides with mats and stuff it doesn’t really help much. So if you thought you would take a quiet dive into your favourite book. Please don’t as you very annoyingly may not be in a position to keep the lights turned on due to those little squiggly, singing, aviators kissing the bulbs and intermittently falling all over you. Arrrrrggghhh!! ANNOYING! So most of the times you have the option of sitting in your room.
We went around winters last time so didn’t really think an AC boat would be needed. Mind you!!! That was the biggest mistake we made. It gets really hot and humid in the night. So that feeble looking fan may not really help much and you also don’t have the option of keeping the windows open because of those unassuming insects we talked about. All you can do otherwise is, crouch into your mosquito nets and sit trapped and get fried if the windows have to be kept open. As said earlier the fan doesn’t help at all. Hmm…nevertheless the sailing during the day is quite an experience. You feel quite at ease and relaxed . Occasionally waving at the other boats cruising, exchanging a quick conversation. Pretty good. There is a little stopover that is made during the day on one of the banks to buy fresh sea food..hmm…yummy looking king prawns which will be bought by you and then cooked for you by the steward during lunch or dinner. Choice is ours. Each boat has one captain and at least one steward. You don’t really have options for lot of other variety of sea food though. So that isn’t that good a thing. But kings prawns are not a bad option. You don’t get to see those big ones very often in Mumbai. Or may be they are available but I just don’t know where. Liked the traditional keralite food served for lunch too. Different. With all that generous coconut garnish. Yum Yum. Later in the day I even got down to taking control of the wheel for sometime :) Yeah that was fun. And then somewhere in the evening me and my sister caught hold of a local fisherman passing by in his canoe. Some how coaxed him and paid him some 150 bucks for a half hour sail in the canoe. So did some bit of paddling with the oar. Exciting. Its best to go for an overnight stay in a houseboat when you really need quite time and no mention of any other worldly concerns and needless to say in an AC one. Unless a big group you may not have much to do for fun stuff. However, its good to take a feel of the backwaters. You can even go for a day tour and not for the overnight stay. Good thing to try out once. It sure was a good experience but i haven’t captured it vividly in the post as otherwise it seems like a rant about a vacation turned foul.
So that was a big detour from my actual plan of a vacation. I guess it is going to be either Goa or Tarkarli. I want the beaches this time. Osho could happen a little later. So guess the 1stJan weekend or may be the 8th Jan weekend I shall be off for my vacation. Oh i hope it doesn’t turn into a fiasco.
Listening to: Going Places by Johan Astrand (House)
Correction: A friend who read the post said that the houseboat place that i couldn’t recollect is no other place but Tarkarli. :D
And yeah…as per her..we don’t park the boat we anchor it…:)