Alleppey is a town on the coast, south of Cochin. It has nothing to do with Aleppo. Alleppey is mostly known as the best place to explore Kerala’s backwaters, an extensive network of waterways spanning thousands of kilometers. While the hills are dry and cool, the coast is hot and humid.
Getting there involved another six hours in Kerala’s crowded public buses, except this time it was downhill from an altitude of 1000m so it went much faster. The driver didn’t drive so much, we hurtled, sometimes a hand’s width from slower or oncoming traffic. This is easy and safe because everybody has a loud horn. Another one of those essential Indian experiences, it just wouldn’t be the same thing if there were such things as safety distances, speed limits, or fear of turning into oncoming traffic. Traffic laws are for wimps. Bus drivers are the kings of the road because of their size and mass, and they know it.
Alleppey is a mid-size city with a layout defined by two parallel rivers, where the boats wait for tourists. We’ll rent one tomorrow. On the sea side end there’s a wide beach with a ruined pier, good for watching the sunset.