how to take the kerala backwaters ferry allepy to kollam

How to Take the Kerala Backwaters Ferry from Allepy to Kollam

While we’re not quite done with Kerala yet, we’re ready to move on from Allepy.  We’re going to take the Allepy to Kollam Ferry.

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The Brown Residence where we’ve stayed has been a wonderful respite from the outside world, we found cold beer at the Harbour bar and the beach.  It’s not somewhere I’d want to swim or even stand around on in my bare feet it did give us the opportunity to watch kite flying as the sun set.

We’re leaving Allepy on our final trip through the backwaters of Kerala. We also took a no engine trip through the Kerala Backwaters, and also the ferry from Allepey to Kottayam.

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This time on a “purely for the tourists” ferry, that will take 8 hours to sweep us down to Kollam, where there will be a series of buses to get us to beach resort of Varkala in deepest Backpakistan.

Allepy to Kollam – Kerala Backwaters Ferry
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The ferry leaves from the same place that the one we took yesterday goes from.

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It’s somewhat more expensive, at a whopping 400 INR each.

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It’s a bigger, more seaworthy boat with two decks, although it’s impossible to stand up on the top deck.

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The seats are more comfortable, so long as you manage to get one that has air from the window but no sun.

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There are only western tourists on this ferry. Almost all have backpacks, although there are a few huge wheelie cases that look as though they could house entire families.

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This is for us, in the backwaters, perhaps one trip too many. The backwaters all look pretty similar to me now.

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Although I’m supremely glad we took the first trip (the one without the motor), as here in Alleppy, there are hundreds if not thousands of boats. It must be hell in high season and I wonder if you can see the backwaters for the sheer number of boats around.

There’s a lunch stop, at a single tied restaurant, where we’re served a thali on a banana leaf for 100 INR. It’s horrendous value for money and the food is simply fuel, little more with zero taste.

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Designed I suspect for a western audience who have nothing else to eat.  There’s a further stop about 30 minutes later for “tea” that, after the miserable lunch, we don’t bother with.

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Further south, increasing numbers of Chinese fishing nets bring opportunities for photographs and at the end of a long bum numbing day, we arrive in Kollam.

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The bus station is right across the road from the ferry stop and a helpful information booth tells us that we can’t take a bus direct to Varkala now it’s too late, despite the fact that I ask three different people.

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We need to take a bus to Kallamballam then catch another bus down to Varkala.

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The bus might only cost us 25 INR each and it is empty when we get on with two other western couples all of heading to Varkala, but it fills pretty quickly. and it stops everywhere. And in between. 6pm becomes 7pm and then 8pm.

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I begin to lose hope that we will arrive even in Kallamballam tonight, when the bus driver announces “soon, soon” and taking a slight detour, drops us off where we are to pick up the next bus.

We give up on public transport and join one of the other couples in catching our own auto-rickshaw to Varkala, in the hope that we’ll get their while there is still somewhere open to find a bed for the night. We have a short list of one place to stay from the reviews, but haven’t booked anything, confident in our ability to negotiate a better rate than online.
And so 30 minutes later, after several wrong turns and bad directional advice from other auto-rickshaw drivers we pull up at the Deauvill Resort, easy prey for the upgrade to the upstairs room that has hot water and it’s own balcony. We’re led like hungry lemmings to the Sunrise restaurant on the cliff top that is a friend of the hotel owner, but they give us good food, cold beer and a breeze from the Arabian Sea, so all is finally well.

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