The milestone read Alappuzha was some 18 odd kilometers and I could already see a canal by the roadside running in parallel with the highway. A glance towards the other side side of the road and I realized that another canal was running in parallel on the other side as well. It was sometime later that I saw that there was another canal too! Every 2 kilometers or so there were these old rusted sort of bridges which connected the roads on either side of the canals.
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So many times have I imagined myself as Anthony Bourdain, roaming around tasting food in different places. In Kerala too, I stuck to Kerala’s cuisine in search of that one gastronomical delight that would would be worth talking about. That search for the holy grail finally ended in Alappuzha where I had my lunch. Each and every course had something in it. Whether it was Avial with drumsticks or the date+lemon pickle. But the thing that stood out was Cabbage Fry which was simply put was out of this world. My mom knows how much I love cabbage and how much I love the cabbage fry my mom makes but I’ll have to concede that the cabbage fry these guys raked up was simply outstanding, leaving me begging for more! The other major point worth noticing was the rice that these guys used. The rice grains were large, fat and in total contrast to what we usually would want to eat. Though I could eat it, I’d prefer our desi rice any day :)
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The sun had set and we reached Marari beach(on the outskirts of Alappuzha) in twilight. Though we didn’t get to see the “usual stuff” like golden sands, coconut trees, I definitely got to see water around me, extending further than my eyes could see. Whether it was the joy of jumping in the water or the pain when the salt water went into ones eyes or the the frustration when one was not able to get the sand and salt off his body, everything had its own charm and romance. I was as happy as an ardent pilgrim who reaches Tirupati and gets his head shaven. Gave that example ‘coz I gave my bermuda to the beach in a similar fashion. I left it there after taking bath :D
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Without doubt the best part of the batch trip ‘09 was Alappuzha. Though most of my friends say that Munnar was the best part of the batch trip, I beg to differ. Alappuzha was love at first sight for me. Never had I thought there was a place in India where more than three quarters of the town would be on the banks of canals. The water was surprisingly clean, with some of my batchmates swimming in it too :D There were boats and steamers in the canals, the boats were shops, homes and well, simple boats. The canals which ran in parallel (with the highway road) for more than 20 km was an absolute thrill to watch. Equally great was the boat ride in the canal itself. A point where a large lagoon acted as the junction for the three canals gave some postcard perfect scenes with the setting sun and a bunch of coconut trees in the background. All in all Alappuzha was a great place which more than made up for the disappointment that was Ooty :)