While the ‘backwater experience’ has become undeniably popular here, the Village Ways take on it
– as you might expect – offers something truly different and unique. The idea for this holiday came about through partnership with four small island communities – Vayalar, Chenganda, Perumbalam and Kodamthuruthu – who have formed a local committee known as the Kayal Gramodaya. This robust and eager group is a wonderful mix of fishermen, boatmen, canoe makers, coconut harvesters, traditional canopy makers, paddy farmers, coir-rope spinners and mussel collectors. The majority of them have – until now – had to seek work outside their own villages. Now, with the help and support of Village Ways, they have succeeded in building their very own houseboat – the Kayal Kettuvallam. Not only does the villagers’ boat allow them to use their backwaters to help sustain their local communities, it also allows guests – through its unique narrow design and shallow hull – to visit areas that have been thus far ‘off limits’ to the larger tourist vessels.