Varkala is the first place where I feel like staying more. The previous 5 days have been a continuous exploration adventure. Here I felt like coming down and staying for a while.
The morning started at 5.30. I was woken up by the call for praying at some Muslim church. It was a fantastic energizing feeling, something like I experienced in Istanbul. The best alarm clock ever.
I went down to the beach. At this early pre-sun rise hour it was beautiful. I did my morning exercises and swam in the sea. People were steadily coming even in this early hour, swimming, doing yoga, playing football.
Sunrise at Varkala beach
Same shot with a different camera effect
People arriving at the beach from early morning already
On my way from the beach found a resort called “Kerala Bamboo House”. The houses here are made from bamboo. The price is exactly 10 times higher than in our lodge (2500 rupees vs. 250 per night).
Here is how a bamboo house looks like. It’s pretty and pretty expensive too.
Today at 8 am I had a yoga session planned just across our room on the roof. This was one of the best group yoga experiences ever. The young woman-instructor from Nepal was very knowledgeable, helpful, and just great. We did mainly dynamic Ashtanga yoga, with Sun Salutation in the beginning. As we did the final relaxation, the teacher came up and adjusted my body gently; it was amazing how my position became more relaxed immediately.
A resident of our lodge doing morning yoga on his own
The pleasant surprises were just beginning. It turned out this same teacher was giving a 6-day intensive Thai massage course for some of the girls at our place, and they needed volunteers to solidify their skills on. I volunteered of course :). Who would refuse a free massage? So in just one hour after the yoga session and a quick fruit breakfast, I had about an hour of pleasure with my whole body twisted. What is more, I’d have the same opportunity the following day. What a chance!
After having good curry chicken for lunch, I exercised a bit on the sports facilities (that I discovered) at our place, which was followed by a pleasant swim in the sea.
Eco mini gym at our residence 🙂
My favourite piece of equipment – bar – is also available at Shiva Garden
And the boxing sack is here too 🙂
After swimming I walked along the main road on the cliff, where all the shops and restaurants are, and saw a local Indian man India selling chai and sweets on his bicycle. It was a bit unusual, as most of the restaurants here are Westernized. To see someone selling local food here – a usual scene in a town – isn’t common here. So I was delighted. I bought a cup of chai and three biscuits from the guy (which as he said he cooked himself), and had a chat eating having my tea right there at his bicycle.
One lady took a picture of us, saying it was an interesting shot. I understand why it was interesting for her. Having local food next to the seller instead of sitting in a tourist-oriented restaurant. But for me it was a bit bizarre – the idea that having Indian local food in India cold be unusual :).
Towards the evening I was reading a book lying lazily in a hammock, and afterwards headed for dinner with Neil from Israel to the “Big Apple” restaurant. The butter masala chicken and the banana lassi were great; but the main reason I chose the place was because of the Ukrainian guitar and harmonica player that was supposed to perform. It should have started at 7.30, but by the 20.30 we only heard the guy setting up his equipment. So eventually we left, on good mood nevertheless.
The final gift of the day was meeting an English couple from Sheffield, England, both mathematics teachers, who just arrived that day (in fact, returned to the same place after 4 years). We talked a lot about our Indian experiences, although James and Ang-Hariette had much more to share as they had travelled extensively in the Northern India. So my decision to visit the northern part of the country next time was reaffirmed; and I already have an India where I want to go.
James told me about two more less known beaches at Varkala – less known but none the less amazing. For today I conclude that India is the first (and probably the only one) country where I definitely would like to come back.