We stayed in Varkala for 12 nights, there hasn't been a post for a while because we weren't up to much special, just lazing on the beach by day and drinking Kingfisher and eating curry at night.
We did get there a bit early, we were reminded every day by the locals that it "wasn't the season yet". The weather also reminded us quite often. On our first night we got caught in a monsoon without an umbrella. We walked home & it was quite dark so we tried avoiding puddles best we could. I felt something on my foot that felt like a frog so I told Russ but he wasn't convinced until we saw a little frog enjoying the rain. Funnily enough, somehow, we didn't even get that wet. The worst thing about the rain was that between our hotel and the main part of Varkala there was a little mud path that was covered in puddles. At one point it got so bad we just had to walk right through the muddy puddles. Most of the time it was passable if you walked right on the edge up against the wall - I used to sing the Crystal Maze theme tune while we were doing this in the dark.
Russell did manage to find a positive in the monsoon. We were sat on the balcony watching the rain and there was a pipe connected to our room with rain water gushing out. Russ said "that'd be the best shower in India" so I dared him to shower in it. That's exactly what he wanted me to say so he went ahead and had a monsoon shower. Turns out it was the best shower in India.
Due to being in Varkala early the beach was quite small, in the height of the season the sea is further back but not in October. We would put our towels right next to the cliffs but the waves would get so close. Twice the waves caught us unawares soaking our towels and mp3 players. Every day after that we were constantly on the lookout for the waves coming for us so the beach wasn't the most relaxing. What made it even worse was these tiny crabs that weren't shy at all, they would come and nip us and walk on us. 1 day I had just got comfortable & relaxed when I heard Russell shout "Oh God" so I jumped up, he had a crab the size of his hand sat on his hand. Proper scary.
There were 2 ladies on the beach selling pineapples. The first lady we saw used to stand at the side of us singing. The song went - "beautiful madame, pineapple yum yum yum. Cutting cutting pineapple yum yum yum". We did buy a pineapple from her twice. The second time though the other lady was there & was really angry that she didn't get the sale and started having a massive go at the lady cutting up our pineapple. She even went so far as to push the woman in the head! It was a bit worrying as they both had massive machete style knives so I didn't want it to go too far, luckily pushing was as far as it went.
With all this beach action we were running out of suntan lotion so needed to buy more. Russell found it very funny when I said we need to be careful buying suntan lotion in India because when I came to India as a kid we bought suntan lotion and my face puffed up and then peeled around my eyes really bad so someone at school called me Batman! It wasn't funny at the time.
Varkala has lots and lots of bars all secretly selling booze as hardly anywhere in Kerala has an alcohol licence. It looks like there would be some good night life there but again because we were there before the season it was still pretty quiet. We went to a lot of the bars trying to find night life. We went to a bar called Chill Out Lounge, kinda strange place. As we approached they said "come on in, the party has started". The place was dead! Not 1 person in there apart from us. We soon found out why. There was a bit of a commotion and the waiter came up and took Russell's beer away saying the police were coming (I was allowed to keep my vodka). We didn't think much at this point as we knew that none of these bars were allowed to sell alcohol. After about 10 minutes we started to wonder how long we had to wait for the beer back. After 15 minutes the waiter came & asked Russell if he wanted to order another drink?! Russell's reply was funny, "are you joking?!". Turns out instead of hiding the beer they just chucked it away. We paid for half the beer & never returned.
We had a favourite bar in Varkala called Garden Bistro. It was right near our hotel so was good for rainy nights and the food was always excellent. We quickly became regulars and made friends with all the waiters. There was another bar called Rock n Roll that we had read about before arriving in Varkala that I'm sure is ace in season but like everywhere else it was pretty quiet & wasn't very rock n roll. You'd get 1 or 2 ACDC or Nirvana songs and the next song would be Backstreet Boys. Doesn't matter though because they had 3 puppies only a week or 2 old so we used to go just to play with them. We even named them. The 2 brown ones were Gary & Larry and the white one was Ghost.
There are lots of wild dogs in India but in Varkala they were really nice dogs. All the tourists would stroke them & feed them. We even had one that liked to relax on our balcony.
After 10 days in Varkala I realised we need to look into going to Goa soon, we need to take malaria tablets for 7 days before arriving so we should look to book a train in a week. Nothing is ever that easy in India. We went to the travel agent who told us the trains are all booked up for 3 weeks. He said we could go back every day as there are some emergency tickets released every day to travel the next day. We didn't fancy our chances but went back and managed to get the tickets for the next day, we weren't quite ready to go and had only been taking the malaria tablets for 2 days but in true Indian style we either waited 3 weeks or went back to our room immediately and start packing. So our time in Varkala was up. Now for the 20 hour train journey.
|Breakfast - tender coconut.|