Sunday, October 26, 2008


There's this debate I had with a friend a few years back in Cochin- and it was about which was the greatest song (pop) ever written. The two choices were Bob Dylan's 'Blowing in the wind',my friend's choice and John Lennon's "Imagine", mine. So, after innumerable arguments, we decided to take a poll among music buffsin Kochin. This was during my DJ ing days, and when I was running my music shop there, so it was'nt a problem to find music fans.The poll results came to about 20 each or so, when I decided enough is enough - and cheated. We had this housemate who had a lot of friends thru her boyfriend and they frequented my parites as well. So, it was inevitable that they would be polled soon. And I asked her to spread the word among her clique that should this question come to them , which song to pick. Sure enough, 'Imagine' soon ran away with the "Best song ever written" polls, leaving my friend frustrated with the lack of intellect among Cochin's music buffs. And I was like, who needs intellect and a nasal voice in a song anyway. I did eventually admit to him about the set-up and he was furious.
It was all good fun.
But, which is the better song, anyway?
3 musicians, all of whom could sing, 2 guitars, a whole lot of beer, lots of encouragement from the other non musician guests and a couple of my mates, who happened to be there made yesterday one terrific jam session of music and partying. Paul -Canadian/British, a French lady - Carat and her sound engineer husband and my man Stephan who was Italian. We sang, played guitar, drank beer and had some good healthy fun well into the night. It was great, almost like my DJ days in Kochin.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Updates On Johnson's Alleppey Kerala India


This is Johnson Gilbert, owner/proprietor of Johnson's guesthouse, a homestay hotel for International tourists/travellers based in Alleppey. This is my first blog and I'll like to start with posting updates on my guesthouse rents. Since September 2008, the rents have been established as Rs.750/- for the 3 rooms in the main house, and Rs.500/- for the Eco-art theme room in the backyard. I have also got a new room now, the Cricket theme room which is smaller in size but no less cleaner @Rs.400/-.


We're finally sign-posted. After resisting forever to put up a sign, on account that I thought it would like more like a hotel than a homestay and a couple of more practical considerations like a hike in taxes and electricty tariffs I've finally put a Johnson's board up in front of the house

Houseboat Rates

We have now introduced 3 Options for our customers who want to hire out our houseboats for an overnight trip. The rates given below are for the same boat - the best one bedroom houseboat in Kerala - "The Pride" with the room, the deck and the master bathroom on the upper deck. This 3 optional rate system is to make the boats affordable for all people of all budgets.

Option A - PREMIUM - Rs.9000/-/- (For 2 People)

24 hours trip -12.00 noon to 12.00 noon with 2 hours of canoeing.

1/2 an hour lunch break. 6.00 p.m. evening stop.

9 course Lunch includes Fish & veggies. And Ice-cream for dessert.

7 course dinner with chicken, veggies, etc. .

Indian/Continental Breakfast.

Additional lunch before check-out includes roast duck and tapioca.

1 Complimentary Beer per person.

Village walk. Fishing.

And with this option, the Rs.750/- room at Johnson's comes free for a night for two people.

Option 2 - Mid-range -Rs.8250/- for 2 people

22 hours trip - 12.00 noon to 10.00 a.m. -

1/2 hour lunch break. 5.30 p.m. evening stop.

7 course lunch includes Fish. 5 course dinner includes chicken. B'fast Indian/continental.

Village walk.Fishing.

And on this option, you are now entitled to one night's free stay at the Eco-art theme room.

Option 3 - Budget - Rs.6500/- for 2

21 hours - 12.00 noon to 9.00 a.m.

1 hour Lunch break. 5.00 p.m.evening stop.

6 course vegetarian lunch. 4 course dinner including Fish or Chicken. Indian B'fast.

Fishing. Village walk.

Choosing this option gets two people a free night's stay at the New Cricket theme room at Johnson's.

All Options include Free To and Fro Transport. Hygienic drinking water, fruits, complimentary welcome drink(non-alcoholic) provided for all options as well.

Extra person @1250/- per person. (More people can make the amount less as you pan it around per person) Free room offer is for one room only regardless of the number of guests who may take the boat. When guests from different rooms at the homestay join up to take the boat, the free room amount is reduced from the total of the houseboat charges, and then split up per person.

The boat has 3 staff - Captain, cook and an assistant. English speaking guide provided @Rs.

500/- per hour for a couple of hours, on request.

Pls add 20% to the houseboat rates for peak season. During this period, we take only Option 1 tours, and the time is reduced by half an hour. Check-out 11.30 a.m. (Dec.20th to Jan 20th)

Johnson's guesthouse rates do not change during the season.

Secret beach guesthouse

Guesthouse near the Secret beach is promoted by myself and the rates here are Rs.1200/- and Rs.1350/- with air-con. Peak time rates (Dec.20th to Jan.30th) are Rs.1350/- and Rs.1500/- air-con. The guesthouse is a quiet homestay with 8 ensuite rooms and dining facilites. The secret beach is 20 minutes drive from Johnson's.

The secret beach guesthouse is not on the beach - it's 9 minutes walk from the beach itself is quiet, secluded, by a fishing village, totally non-touritsy. Food and beverages available inhouse. In house laundry. Internet, banks , shops within walking distance of guesthouse. An ayurveda center is nearby. The perfect Holiday.


Rooms at my family firend's farmhouse is Rs.2000/- with food, and during peak season Rs.2500/- with food (Dec20th to Jan30th)


Only 2 rooms in this fantastic, completely cut-off from the world dream place costs Rs.6000/- for two per room includes all food. 3 and a half hour's dirve from Alleppey or Kochin.