We were picked up at the station at 8.30am and our overnight train didn't have air con - only fans. Having said that, I'd sacrifice air con any day for a clean smelling toilet! On this particular trip the toilets weren't too bad and amazingly we didn't have any hassle from ticket inspectors either, is word spreading that I'm on their case? I think the towns in Southern India have been warned of my impending visit, as it's noticeably cleaner. There's no rubbish lying about in the streets, maybe that's because they are actually swept. I just love the vintage taxis,
how they keep them going is beyond me, but there is something quite charming about them. Varkala has the white version of the yellow taxi cabs we saw in Calcutta.
We checked into our hotel,
dropped off our gear, then headed straight to one of the clifftop restaurants for breakfast.
We were told that Varkala was very nice, but we were quite unprepared for the lovely panoramic view that greeted us. The village is perched high on the clifftops
overlooking the sparkling Arabian Sea. The sound of breaking waves was music to my ears, how I love that sound. We passed by all manner of shops selling everything from jewellery, tibetan crafts, second hand books, rugs and carpets, all mixed in with the restaurants offering million dollar views while you eat. Just beautiful! Doris is very giddy at the thought of sitting on a towel on the beach, she's been banging on about this little holiday stop for days.
After brekky we got our swimmers on and headed down the windy path to the beach,
and guess what, if you didn't know better you'd think you were in Greece - bloomin tavernas on the beach, how cool is that? Katie, who had also joined us, made more of an effort to swim than Fred & I, I'm not comfortable with big onshore dumpers, but we did enjoy splashing around just the same. The water temperature was so refreshing. Meanwhile Doris's dreams had all come true, she couldn't have been happier sat on her towel, soaking up the rays and reading her book.
To finish off our afternoon we sat in one of the tavernas and enjoyed the cheapest Kingfishers on our trip so far,100 rupees! Ridiculous that's under $2 dollars. Fred's well impressed, it's going to be a wrench for him to leave this place.
Fred, Doris & I decided that we would like to go for cocktails
before making a decision about which restaurant we would dine in tonight. We had pre-arranged to meet the others at the Rock & Roll cafe` about 7.30pm for a party night. This was the same cafe`we had breakfast in this morning. Like homing pidgeons we zoomed in on the sign that said, 'Cocktails Buy 1 Get 1 Free'. How could you go past that? We also checked out the catch of the day which looked amazing, big snapper, butterfish, grouper, tiger prawns etc all freshly caught and packed on ice. We decided that it doesn't come much better than this, good seafood and cheap booze and on that note we went upstairs and made ourselves very much at home in the Sky Lounge. What a great choice, lovely sea breezes, the sound of the ocean and all the candle lit tables looking so pretty. Me & Doris got stuck into the Gin Fizz and of course Fred had a beer. After a couple of drinks we went back downstairs to choose our fish.
We decided to share a big red snapper with some garlic tiger prawns on the side. Whilst we were waiting for our fish to cook, the waiters kept coming up to Fred and showing him the Windies V England 20/20 match on their iphones. Our meal arrived, and all I can say is that it was fit for a princess, fantastic and it tasted divine. We didn't really want to leave the Sky Lounge, but we did say we would meet up with the others after dinner.
Caught up with the rest of the Peeps at R&R cafe. Santo was really pleased to see us, he immediately handed Fred some bongo drums and wanted Doris & I to get straight into the cocktails. Basically Santo was a man in a hurry, he just wanted to get this party started cause it didn't look like it was pumping to me. Doris docked her ipod, got Sgt Peppers going at full tilt, because she thought at least everyone would know that song, - mmm.. apparently not on our table. However, the table behind us got into the spirit of things and they were singing along and lovin it, but our table looked like it had lost the will to live, in fact I'd go so far as to say I've seen people have more fun at a funeral then this lot was having. During an impromptu power cut Doris and I did our best to entertain the troops with a rendition of that good old Beatles number, When I Saw Her Standing There. That went down like a lead balloon. OK, probably not the best singing, but we were doing our best to have some fun. There was nothing left to do but to take our party elsewhere, so we took our music and headed back to the Sky Lounge. Poor Santo, he tried, you can lead a horse to water, but ......
We had 450 rupees left by the time we got back to the Sky Lounge and the owner greeted us like long lost friends.
We handed him our wedge and said this is all we got, can we have some drinks. What followed was one of the best nights ever. The boys were loving talkin cricket to Fred, and when the restaurant emptied, Doris suggested some Michael Jackson. Fred got up and started doing his dirty dancing - the one where he pretends to be dancing with a woman and traces the contours of his imaginary dancing partner's body with his hands. It's legendary in Dronfield. Mr Sky Lounge loved this move, the place was rockin, the music blasting out and finally all the kitchen staff who'd been a bit shy to start with came out and started dancing with us.
It was hilarious watching them try to copy Fred's dirty dancin. We thought it would be a good idea to take a torch out with us so that we could find our way back to our hotel in the dark. Fortunately it was a head torch - which came in real handy as a mobile disco. I strapped it on my head and turned it on to the flashing light mode - nice.
The biggest disappointment of the night was that Katie missed this party. She'd been waiting for us to show up at R&R cafe` and when we hadn't turned up by 8pm she decided to head back to the hotel. Apparently she was bored out of her skull and feeling quite suicidal - everyone was on water and the main topic of conversation was about investments and salary sacrifice. Some people just don't understand the word party. All I can say is a big thank you to the boys at Sky Lounge for a great night.