After an 8.00am breakfast on Friday, we were collected for our 4hr drive to Alleppey, and our beach front hotel for the night, the Raheem Residency, www.raheemresidency.com . Built by a Britisher, (called this by the Indians at the time), in 1868, it was bought 30 years later by Mr. Raheem, a wealthy textile merchant from Gujarat, who moved here when the town was a thriving port. It was then kept within the family for the next 100yrs. The current owners have tastefully extended the building in the original style, and run it as what they call a boutique heritage hotel. The remains of the port house, customs house, rail terminus, complete with tracks and points that run down what was once a transhipment pier are all still clearly visible just down the road. On Saturday our driver will take us for our 2hr cruise on the backwater canals on our way to Kovalam, our final destination in India, where we have another guide booked for a tour of Trivandrum on Sunday. We will then have Monday free prior to our 4.20am Tuesday, flight out to Abu Dhabi.