Michael Gray could be any other foreign tourist who combs the interiors of Kerala with a heavy, bulging backpack, inspecting whether this was indeed God’s Own Country. But this Scot has different plans.
Mr. Gray has decided to row a fibre paddle boat, winding through the palm-fringed shores of Kuttanad, learning how agriculture is done below sea level, and then touching the historic banks of the Pampa River. With a visit to the Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram, it will be curtains on his trip.
The tourist from Scotland who reached Kerala two weeks ago along with a friend, he decided to have a tour alone that was “different” in all senses. That led to his training on paddling a fibre boat on the Vembanad Lake for more than a week before he spent Rs. 15,000 to buy himself a brand new fibre boat.
“I want to savour the picturesque life in Kuttanad, travel along the national waterway, enjoying God’s Own Country all the way along,” he said. Several halts have been arranged en route and the final destination
Thiruvananthapuram, as per Mr. Gray’s itinerary, is a month away.
On Friday, as he set out rowing from the Punnamada Finishing Point, Mr. Gray made it a point to conduct ‘poojas’ and to put paddle to water only when the ‘rahu kalam’ or inauspicious time, was behind him.