We go for a slow non-motorised boat trip rowed by old toothless Vijay. Because of the slowness of our boat and the fact we get overtaken by many motorised boats, Peter is impatient and wishes we were on one of the other boats. When we're on a large stretch of water and it seems to take us ages to cross it, I admit I also wonder if it wasn't a mistake to be on this boat. After a while I tell Peter how paradoxal he is with his search for peace, his four intensive weeks of yoga training and his restless behaviour and complaining. He is sorry and says he didn't realise he was complaining. I tell him that after having met people who told me that most French people they met in India were moaning and complaining, I'm really aware of when I complain and don't want to seem "French" in that way. So yes Peter, I write it here on my blog, that I met this American guy who complained more than a Frenchman!

Nous partons pour une excursion en bateau non motorisé, lent et ramé par un vieu Vijay édenté. En raison de la lenteur de notre peniche et le fait nous sommes dépassés par de nombreuses embarcations motorisées, Peter est impatient et souhaite que nous soyions sur un des autres bateaux. Quand nous sommes sur une grande étendue d'eau et qu'il semble prendre une eternite a traverser, j'avoue que je me demande moi aussi si ce n'était pas une erreur d'être sur ce bateau. Après un moment, je dit à Pierre comment il est paradoxal avec sa recherche de paix et de spiritualite, ses quatre semaines de formation intensive de yoga et de son comportement impatient et raleur. Il est désolé et dit qu'il ne savait pas, il se plaignait. Je lui dis que, après avoir rencontré des gens qui m'ont dit que la plupart des Français ont rencontré en Inde ont été à gémir et à se plaindre, je suis vraiment conscient de quand je me plains et ne veulent pas avoir l'air «français» de cette façon. Alors oui, Peter, je l'écris ici sur mon blog, que j'ai rencontré ce gars-américain qui s'est plaint plus d'un Français!

After a short break on the shore where we become acquaintance with a 10-day old baby eagle baptised Lord Shiva, the little trip becomes nicer and nicer. It's just so green and quiet apart from the beating of clothes, the rowing of the boat, birds and a humming sound coming from a temple in the distance. We navigate slowly along the shore where a wee boy catches a small fish and we applaud. A few metres away a guy brushes his teeth in the water and a young girl washes her long black hair dynamicly. Suzanna tells me about Udine where she comes from. You can bathe in the river there, she says, because the river is so clean. I wonder if you can brush your teeth in it ?

Men are loading bags of rice onto a narrow rowing boat. A few boats pass by on which men have been collecting sand. From time to time houseboats drift nearby. Some are huge with several rooms. Shortly before lunch we follow a flock of ducks for a few metres. Hundreds of thousands of them are being herded by 3 men, each on a canoe. 

Lunch at the Kream restaurant where Peter and I share a delicious ginger fish and lemon rice. There he finds Marina who did the same yoga training as him. She resigned from her job at Airbus where she'd been working for 8 years in Hamburg. After 3 months in India she will go home and look for something to do. Suzanna and I see Fred and Suzanne again. We are able to say goodbye and exchange emails.

Tonight I take the train from Kochin to Mumbai, 22 hours. 

The Indian Koffee House

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Early morning in Alleypey

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Lord Shiva, 10 days

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Backwaters

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bye bye !