Jill, Evelyn, Lex and I went on a boat trip around the backwaters of Kerala. We actually went on 2 boats - in the morning we were on a very small boat and travelled along small waterways, hopping off at various villages.
The first village we stopped at was where women made rope out of copra (the inside of coconut husks). The women go through a long procedure of soaking the husks to make them usable, and then twisting the strands into rope - which is actually very strong. This is used in a variety of ways, including something called geotex which is put alongside the banks to stop erosion.
Meanwhile the "flesh" of the coconut is dried in the sun and then send to a factory. The coconut oil is removed, leaving dessicated coconut. The brown outside of the coconut can be used as firewood and as a fertilizer.
Clothes are washed in the local waterway
After visiting the rope making village and another village where different spices were grown (pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg) we took another boat over to an island where we had a local lunch.
After lunch we set off on a larger boat down a river. It was a slow, but very relaxing, journey.