Dani, a German freelance photographer, and Jess, a Chicago-born freelance travel editor and writer, are the nomadic couple behind their popular blog The Globetrottergirls.In 2010, the pair left their adopted home of London to travel around the world, and they haven’t stopped since.
Last year, the couple took a three-day houseboat river cruise in Kerala, India, a region known for its sprawling river system and proximity to the Laccadive Sea.
After looking at seven boats in the major tourist city of Alleppey (also known as Alappuzha), and bartering down the price to 7,000 rupees per night (or $125), Dani and Jess set out with two friends to travel the lakes and streams of Kerala.
Their journey through the backwaters surpassed expectations. Superb daily meals, outstanding views of nature and the surrounding villages, and a leisurely boat ride made for a memorable experience. They even booked an extra night with their personal captain and crew to keep the experience going.
The travelling couple shared their photographs and recollections of the trip with Business Insider.
They paid 7,000 Rupees ($125) per night for a two-bedroom boat with all food and transportation costs (including a personal chef, meals, and a captain) included.
Though the houseboats vary in style and range in level of accommodations (from hostel-style to five-star floating hotels), the standard boats are traditional kettuvallam with an upper deck and thatched roofs made from bamboo poles and palm leaves.
Jess, Dani, and their two friends shared two double rooms with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a lounge and dining area.
The Kerala houseboats float no faster than 10-15 mph, so they were able to take amazing pictures of the scenery and people they saw.
Known as the Kerala backwaters, the rivers and lakes are a deep blue colour and surrounded by greenery on all sides.
As they traveled down the river, they were able to see schools, shops, and churches. Even an occasional village.
Here's one of the villages the couple saw along the backwaters with women gathering for their daily shower and laundry.
They were able to visit in some of the villages along the canals. Here's a photo of a Keralan street food vendor.
Though neither Jess or Dani spoke any Indian dialects, the children and people they met were extremely friendly.
They were provided with three meals per day, including an afternoon snack. Jess and Dani ate a Keralan breakfast, but traditional Western breakfasts were also available.
They were served coffee, tea, and a sweet snack at 4 pm when the heat broke, and the boat would dock for the night at around 7:30 pm for dinner.
...As well as equally-bright Hindu Temples. Here, a detail of the art work on a Hindu Temple in the backwaters.
Dani and Jess were struck by how much the water impacted the lives of the people they saw — it was where they washed, fished, bathed, and transported building materials.
They were also struck by how hard it was to make a living by fishing along the streams. Here, a villager poses with a tiny fish he caught.
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