Blogs from Varkala, Kerala, India, Asia


Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala March 13th 2018

Day 11-13 -New Year’s Eve – Beach time The trip to Odayam beach meant we passed Hindu festival in Varkala town where everyone wore yellow. It was an amazing sight which I don’t think we got photos of! We also passed men’s store “Hitler – King of fashion”, ahem. We finally met the famous Baba at the Palm tree Heritage resort. He was lovely. Looked a bit different to everyone else -possibly Andaman? Very warm and welcoming and nothing was too much for him. There was no bureaucracy like handing over passports or money or anything. He gave us a welcome drink and we hung out at the café/restaurant which was right on the clean beach which was rocky but had a nice enclave where you could body surf & wave jump. After some watching some ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala January 24th 2017

The BBC in this instance, does not stand for British Broadcasting Corporation nor does it stand for something dirty. In this case, it stands for the three things that I was looking forward to about Kerala, the reasons why it tops many a traveller's list of Indian highlights; beaches, backwaters and culture. Supposedly so different from the north and other parts of India, I was excited about seeing yet another different side to this endlessly fascinating country. But first, I had to get there. Already not enamoured by Mysore, my opinion of the place definitely didn't change after a less-than-great last day there. The "best dosa in town" gave me the shits and I should've known better than to drink the water served at the restaurant. But I was thirsty! I also should've asked for another ... read more
Chinese Fishing Nets
Varkala Beach

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala January 10th 2017

Our arrival back into India was a little bit calmer than our first in Chennai when we encountered the tail end of Cyclone Varda. We got to Thiruvananthapuram after a short 40 minute flight. This plane, Sri Lankan Air, was smaller that the last we took to Colombo in one significant area. The length of the seat belts! I had to spend 40 minutes holding my breath to enable mine to do up. Mind you I could have just not done the seat belt up as it wasn't checked. At least with it done up I didn't bounce out of my seat when we made our touch down. Worse touchdown ever experienced since a flight into Dunedin back in the early 80's. We had plenty of rupees left over from our earlier visit ( which technically ... read more
Kingfisher premium
Sea food selection

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala January 10th 2017

Geo: 8.73, 76.72I feel like a humpback whale, feeding on huge amounts of plankton and krill (in the form of information), filtering it through my baleen...receiving all, trying to keep that which works for me, filtering out that which doesn't, and inevitably other stuff gets in. India is, well, overwhelmingly full of information - sights, smells, sounds, that enliven, shock, scare and bring joy. We have travelled to many countries and India is the country that offers the most...if you can handle it. Here in the south, the people are friendly and laid back, well sort of. I realize why this population is so spiritual; they need to find peace somewhere as, most certainly, it is not found in the environment around them.Highlights:1) Colour - I love colour and this is a place where colour is ... read more
Tandori chef
Sadu offering blessings on the beach
New friends - Martin and Adrien

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala January 7th 2017

Geo: 8.73, 76.72When we start to develop...unconditional acceptance of ourselves, then we're really taking care of ourselves in a way that pays off. We feel more at home with our own bodies and minds and more at home in the world. As our kindness for ourselves grows, so does our kindness for other people." Pema Chodron Everyone looks so vibrant and healthy here in Varkala. There are masses of yoga-body women of all ages with glowing faces, tight, lithe bodies, long hair pulled up into loose ponytails. Many wear snug-fitting LuluLemon-like yoga clothes covered with the flowy cotton Indian clothing being sold at every little shop along the cliff edge here. I'm having a yoga crisis. How can something that is so good feel so hard and unsatisfying to me? My belly fat prevents the free ... read more
Vibrant wall paintings
Egret on the wing
So many sandal options

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala December 31st 2016

Geo: 8.73, 76.72As the New Year arrives, I reflect on my annual theme. I usually make a theme that is broad enough to be a guide and is not a goal. In 2016, I acknowledged my theme was a disguised goal or, really, a New Year's resolution (which I didn't accomplish), thus the reason I don't do resolutions. They just don't work for me. My 2016 theme of '500 hours of joyful writing' manifested as '50 hours of far-from-joyful writing'. Ah, but, it is often the themes that don't work so well that segue into more inspired themes for the following year. My theme for 2017 is peaceful ease. Like how I feel right now sitting amongst the chaos and buzz of the Coffee Temple in Varkala, writing blissfully as I switch back and forth from ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala December 24th 2016

Geo: 8.73, 76.72"I'm happy to be here, but still a little sad to be here too. Sometimes it's better to travel than to arrive." - Robert PirsigAnd to arrive and be so far from home during Christmas is always hard for me. Ah, but sometimes being home at Christmas is also hard with no family living near us. I've been listening to Firestarter Sessions from Danielle LaPorte and I'm taking some advice from her. Easy is not always lazy or undisciplined; sometimes it is you intuitively waiting for the right timing or inspiration. And easy is just the other side of the coin of hard; you don't have one without the other. But you can choose where you want to spend more of your time. Think of your body, your attitude, your you want to ... read more
The Coconut Harvester
Sweet Face

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala March 1st 2016

The time has arrived … to disembark from the houseboat on completion of a romantic overnight stay onboard ….. at Kanjipadam Jetty off Alappuzha. It is already 10:30 and the atmosphere has started warming rapidly. We must gear up for the journey of about 3-hours to Varkala …. The beach destination. What was the least anticipated …. the chauffer was missing from the parking lot. Wish we had called him earlier to inform him of our scheduled arrival. The cellular network has been quite strong throughout the waterway. There was neither a call-drop nor loosing stable data-signals. The waiting for the chauffer was inevitable. We were left with no alternative but to take a small walk around to kill some time. The small roadside eateries, with large flex banners & paintings depicting fish varieties, were yet ... read more
Poolside ..
Black Beach
Roaring Sea ..

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala February 24th 2015

WOW! That's the only word I can use to describe the awsome experience we had last night. The owner of our guest house told us of this temple celebration and arranged for an auto-rickshaw to take us there. At the temple we saw this huge ornate structure (see picture) resting on poles on the ground. As the celebrations got going, a lot of men lined up along the poles then hoisted the whole structure onto their shoulders and walked around the temple three times carrying this huge structure, losing the balance of it and almost toppling it. There was also a smaller structure very similar to the first, this one carried by teens and young men. This procession was followed closely by a parade of all sorts of bizzare characters and drummers. The very last and ... read more

Asia » India » Kerala » Varkala February 23rd 2015

On Friday evening we attended a 3 hour demonstration Kathakali (google it) performance, which included watching the make-up and costuming. We found it to be very interesting and informative, but this was a performance geared specifically to tourists. We spoke to the owner of our guest house who told us of a real, all night Kathakali performance at a nearby temple. This performance is to celebrate an anniversary of something I haven't quite figured out yet. We went (we were the only tourists there) but only stayed for any few hours. The whole performance has many bizzare characters and involves a lot of drumming and chanting. This celebration will last for the day today finishing up tonight with an elephant parade and a temple blessing. I will post pictures of that later.... read more

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