Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is This India? - Varkala, Kerala

With the red rock cliffs protecting the beach from the bedlam of India and the abounding choice of exceptional restaurants perched above, Varkala was the perfect transition from the far too short houseboat trip in Alleppey. Varkala is definitely the most tourist laden place we've been to. I haven't seen this many white people since I left all of you. In a sense, you're not really in India.

The food in India has been erratic in quality thus far but Varkala offered variation and excellence. In the evening as you walk along the the cliff side all the restaurants have a large table in front with all the fresh whole fish they've acquired that day. Stopping at one restaurant we chose a large snapper to be done in Tandoori style. The fish came gutted but whole baked with spices. The skin was crisp and spiced perfectly with the flesh moist and delectable. Definitely one on the best pieces of fish I've ever had.

On the second day I bought a frisbee. and with disc in hand we headed to the beach for a little fun in the sun. After flinging the frisbee around for a couple minutes we notice that three Indians had accumulated off to one side to watch us. Noticing their curiosity I threw the frisbee in their direction. A mad scramble ensued as they vied for positioning on the disc. After a few moments someone snatched the frisbee from the sand and raised it victoriously followed by a haphazard throw towards nothing. It seemed that every couple minutes more and more Indians came to join the tomfoolery. Jen, Matt and myself were in the three corners of the square spacing with ten Indian men ocuppying the fourth point of the square. Now we had a gaggle of men climbing over each other to get at the blue foreign disc. It was like watching ten eight-year-olds experiencing something for the first time. They were so full of wonderment, enthusiasm and vim. Absolutely hilarious.

By the third day we thoroughly fell in love with Varkala and rued purchasing our train tickets in advance. Now, with just one day left we wanted to make the best of it. We rented body boards and headed out to the surf. Early on I caught a favorable wave and road it all the way to shore for what was a glorious ride. For the next hour I battled waves as they crash down on me and fruitlessly tried to speculate where the next big wave was going to be. Growing increasingly haggard I became somewhat frustrated with this activity. Then, just before I had to return the board, I managed to catch one final wave to shore and my jubilation spiked once more. With raw nipples I turned in my board and lied in the sand for a much deserved rest in the sun.

"In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed."
Sid Caesar


  1. you're too funny :) glad you're having a good time.