Day 2 of my journey, and Google Maps showed me two routes from Kochi to Alleppey. I chose the more scenic one, that passed almost next to the sea. On the way, I explored many interesting, almost deserted beaches such as the Thumpoly Beach or Andhakaranazhi Beach. I also passed by the Arthunkal Basilica, where the Arthunkal Perunnal (feast)was going on, in the honour of St. Sebastian. This is a 10-day feast t honour the patron saint, and I just happened to visit during that time. The roads were packed with colourful processions carrying the statue of St. Sebastian, lots of music and devotees, and it gave me a glimpse into the culture of the region!I finally reached Alleppey in the afternoon, after driving through lush paddy fields and canals. My AirBnB was on an island far from the madding crowd of Alleppey proper, right in the middle of the backwaters. The from my window, I could see the still waters of the lake, and houseboats passing by. This was as calm and serene as it gets, and I truly understood why Kerala is called God's Own Country. Of course, I went for boat rides (twice!), and on one of the rides, I saw the sun set in the midst of storm clouds; painting the landscape golden. The backwaters are a birdwatchers' paradise, and I lost count of the number of different water birds that I tried to photograph (but they were too fast for me). TIP: Try the eating from the roadside shops for some real authentic cuisine. Even the smallest of eateries are spotless! Fish dishes, appam and a sip or two of the local toddy are just what you need to "discover" the local flavours!