Rice boat tranquility

This is the last of the photos on my blog intro page for me to comment on, and it relates to a holiday in Kerala 18 months ago. I took the photo on a sunset boat trip when we were staying at the southern end of the Vembanad Lake, on the Malabar coast of Kerala. The lake is part of an intricate wetland system, and an astonishing place. It sits at sea level, separated from the Arabian Sea only by barrier islands, but it is linked by canals to other coastal lakes, and at least six freshwater rivers feed into it from the Western Ghats. All that means that the water is salt in parts and fresh in others and achieve a delicate balance of the two over most of its area, which is about 1,500 square kilometres.

The sunset boat trip was on a converted Keralan rice boats – a reworked model of Kettuvallam (in the Malayalam language, kettu means ‘tied with ropes’, and vallam means ‘boat’). These were originally used to carry rice and spices through the backwaters up to the port of Kochi (Cochin).  They have thatched roof covers over wooden hulls, and as you can tell from the photo they were steered from the bow rather than the stern.

I know the photo isn’t very clear – my new iPhone takes better photos than this camera ever did – but you can just see the misty barrier islands ahead of the boat and a few other boats ahead and to the sides. But what I liked most was capturing a mood of almost meditative tranquility in the two figures.

The present intro photos will be replaced in the next week or two by a new set – a great relief to one of my friends who tells me he can’t bear the spider pic for very much longer.  Sorry, Jon. But you know (and this goes for anyone else who feels unhappy at the sight of a spider or who’s bored with the blog intro pics, or just likes to go for a low-click rate in their internet life)  if you enter the link directly to the blog you can skip the website, intro page et al.

4 Responses to “Rice boat tranquility”

  1. Spider-fearing Jon Says:

    Now you tell us. Looking forward to the new pictures. (I’ve only just started replying to blog entries. And I kind of like it. Brilliant blog, Belinda!

  2. Belinda Says:

    There’ll be no stopping you now you’re hooked on replying. And that’ll be a great distraction from spiders, I reckon.

  3. Spider-fearing Jon Says:

    Well, one’s needed. Even in England. The things that crawl from my window box. Eeurgh.

  4. Johnathon Rollin Says:

    Thank you very much for this awesome article. I’ve read it for a couple of months now and they are always very informative. Thanks!

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