Trip Start Oct 30, 2005
Trip End Jun 19, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Sunday, March 12, 2006

As I was watching King Kong king-hit a T-Rex and tear apart the Civic Theatre last night, and this morning, watching Shane Bond do something similar to the West Indian middle order, I had a few wistful thoughts of home, and so, before I go any further, I just want to say hi to all of you in NZ - hope everyone is well, and know I that miss you guys.

Well, right now, I'm in Varkala, in Kerala, and yep, I'm back on the beach (my tan is fantastic now!). This is my penultimate stop before I leave India, which sad day is to come on Saturday 18th, as I fly out of Trivandrum at the bottom of India, and finally after 3 and a half months here, move on to a new country - Sri Lanka. But enough of that for now - till then, I've got another few lazy days on the beach, sunning myself, and putting the local acupuncturist's kids through college as I attempt to needle my rambunctious back into submission.
My erstwhile travelling companion, Laura, has now abandoned me to return to the more pleasant climes of a wintry London, and so I'm once again a party of one for dinner. It's not too bad actually, as I find myself slowly beginning to withdraw from India and all its pleasures, in preparation for leaving in 6 days. In some ways, it's easier for friends to leave me here, instead on my leaving them and this country at the same time.

In the meantime, it's all about the beach. Varkala is definitely a pleasant place to spend a few days, even if it may be lacking the real serenity and friendliness of Palolem. It's a picturesque place, to be certain. The tourist town is speckled along top of enormous red cliffs that loom over the beach and ocean. The weather has been almost perfect (barring a few diluvial downpours), and it's been quiet and relaxing. Well, most of it...
What is not quiet and relaxing here is the sea. The waves here at Varkala are the most obstreperous I have ever encountered, a far cry from the somnolent waters of Palolem.
Contrary and persuasive currents, nascent rips that appear & disappear without warning, and waves that have a ferocity belied by their relatively small size & shallow break. You'll be out on the surf and waves will break on from three sides simultaneously, and then, as you're worriedly looking out to sea bracing for the next onslaught, breakers will be coming at you from BEHIND, having reformed as the water drains away the beach!

It's been damn good fun, actually... :-)
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