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Published: February 19th 2009
Varkala to Madurai
We arrived in Varkala in the sweltering heat of midday. Varkala beach was at the bottom of the huge cliffs. The eagles soared high on the thermals, gliding overhead, we liked this place already..
We got a place to stay in the funky art house café. Our first night in Varkala we decided to drink the rum we hadn’t drank on the river boat. XXX rum in a plastic bottle. When on a budget do as students do, and we did. We filled up coke bottles with rum and coke and sat in our bar and proceeded to get very drunk as we hadn’t drank in an age.
We were listening to the open Mic night that was on when Seamus a guy from Dublin stood up and sang some amazing songs. It was his birthday that night and oh of course drunk Pam had to go over and wish him a happy birthday! Well a few hours later Stu Seamus Sarah, Kelly and I were all great friends and they were really lovely people, pity they were leaving the next day.
I have some vague recollections of that night. One was of Stu telling
me to get up and sing an Irish song. It didn’t take much persuading before I was up talking to a crowded pub describing Ireland and how amazing it is and the meaning of the song I was going to sing “She moves through the Fair”. I then proceeded to sing probably the worst I have ever sang in my life, forgot the words obviously….Lights out. The following day we both had the worst hangover, sure what could we expect after drinking triple X rum.
When a day later we went to the beach the currents were very strong and the waves were high. I proceeded to paddle in the shallow water as I was too afraid to go in. Stu on the other hand was body boarding on the waves while trying to coax me out further to teach me how to swim in strong currents! I declined as I didn’t have a good feeling so I went back to reading my book and sunbathing. Stu said that it wasn’t dangerous, I begged to differ!
20 mins later Stu came out of the water and had saved a lady from drowning. She had got caught in a
current pulling her out to sea and she couldn’t swim towards the shore. As the waves continued to crash over her she called to Stu for help. So Mitch Buchanan AKA Stu swam to her aid, calmed her down and 10 mins later she was on the shore…..TIRED BUT ALIVE. With special thanks to all the episodes of Bay Watch Stu had consumed over the years. So he tells me!
We ate some great fresh fish and met some really great people like Leo, Philip, Serena, Gabrielle, Kevin, Claire and Ed from Ireland.
On the beach at sunset every night as we dug chairs into the sand. Stu was back in the Never Never land vibe juggling on the beach, while Leo was twirling his Fire staff and Kevin did Poi! It was a great display of talent as the sun went down on Varkala.
We left Varkala on a sleeper train which left at 6 o’clock in the evening and didn’t arrive in Madurai until 4.30 in the morning. We had chosen a different class to travel in this time called Sleeper class. Which is basically 3 beds on top of each other. The train was practically
full, Stu was on the bottom bunk this sleazy Indian guy in the middle and me on the top. I woke in the middle of the night to get the fright of my life to find Mr sleazy staring at me!!! Ahhhh. I went back asleep only to be woken again by Mr Sleazy only this time he had his hands and was feeling my ass up the side of the bed. I decided not to tell Stu this until the next day as I feared for Mr sleazy safety.
The train stopped at a station and we both got out as we could not sleep. On my way out I saw 4 Cockroaches on stu’s bed. He said nothing about them when we got out so I thought he didn’t want to talk about it incase I got freaked out, what a nice guy! It wasn’t until the next morning at 4.30 in the morning when we arrived in Madurai that I said thanks Stu for not telling me about the Cockroaches but I actually saw them on your bed. Stu’s reply was “What Cockroaches” ooooops….
An epic task lay ahead to try and get a place
to stay as it was so early in the morning. We looked at two places both were horrific. The first one had a cockroach the size of a mouse in it we ran out of it! By the third place we just said ok as it was clean and had a TV with Star Movies…. The staff were not the friendliest bunch to say the least.
We stayed in Madurai for 3 days. One of the main reasons we went to Madurai was to see the very famous temples. It was just our luck that all the temples were being painted and were covered in thick wooden scaffolding and we couldn’t see a thing, as al ten were being renovated at the same time. We spent the next 2 days eating new foods like shark fruit etc. one night as a special treat we ended up in a bar which was a copy of the bridge in the star ship enterprise from Star trek…Crazy place.
We left to head for Kodi kanal at about 10 in the morning. We put down a deposit of 500Rs for the room so we owed them 100rs as it was 300 per night.
Stu gave them back the key and lock and 100Rs to old man river at the front desk. OMR said that we owed him 400rs 100 + 300 for another day as we didn’t check out by 6 o’clock in the morning! The old man took the 100Rs and crumpled it up and threw it back at Stu. Stu calmly threw it back at him and this continued for about 4 throws. Then the man changed the note for the large brass padlock and threatened to throw it at Stu. In the mean time I was edging close to the door, while Stu flexed his guns. Stu told the old man to call the police and to ask them to sort it out. The man now enraged and red faced shouted and ranted, Stu threw the note one last time and we both headed out the door. Stu put his guns away and we both calmly walked around the corner and then ran for the nearest tuc tuc. He was the nastiest Indian apart from the scammer in Nepal that we have met. Blatantly trying to rip us off when they never told us we had to be out at
6! We went directly to the bus station to head for Kodi Kanal.
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