From the Backwaters to the Beach to finish...

Trip Start Nov 27, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2010

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Flag of India  , Kerala,
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

We were up reasonably early this morning for breakfast, and another great meal from our chef, it was really nice enjoying it whilst taking in the view of the backwaters, at that time in the morning most of the tourist boats are still moored up so we just saw the odd local pull up.

After breakfast and a local turned up with his little boat for our little tour round the smaller backwaters and off we went, it was really peaceful as he and our chef paddled us along, past a few houses with friendly kids that waved as we went by. Our man also pointed out a couple of Kingfishers but by the time I finally saw them they'd flown off! We also saw a 'duck farm' which was basically a fenced off bit of the riverside absolutely stuffed full of ducks They were all sat quietly until we passed, at which point they all started to lift their heads and stand up at the same time which made for something of a view!

After an hour or so we turned around and headed back to our houseboat, finished packing and jumped onto the taxi boat back to the offices. The houseboat had been a fantastic experience, just what we'd needed after trecking around Rajasthan for a fortnight, really relaxing.

Once back at the office, we checked with the people whether the 15:30 train we'd booked to Varkala was definitely the earliest one as it would have meant that we would have had to hang around in Allepey for 5 or 6 hours which would have been a shame. After they suggested it was, another guy started talking to us and said there was another line which went to Varkala with a train leaving in the next hour or and after a bit of a chat he offered us a lift in his car. It turned out that he was Indian born but had lived abroad since being a child, firstly in Switzerland and then in London where he now lives. As a result he had more of an American accent than an Indian one. Apparently his uncle owned or ran the houseboat company and so we were able to hop into their car for the trip to the station. It was a really nice gesture on his part, him and his girlfriend were really easy to talk to and it basically meant that we arrived in Varkala around 5 hours earlier than we expected and so were able to enjoy an extra afternoon at the beach.

The B&B at the beach was great, pretty simple accommodation but nice all the same. It was surrounded by lovely gardens and was located at the top of the cliff with steps down to the deserted beach below. We knew that the south cliff at Varkala would be quiet, with all the restaurants located at the north end but even then it was only a 10-15 minute walk to where all the action was. We dumped our gear in the room and headed up the beach to the north cliff to enjoy a few south indian snacks and a beer or two whilst watching the sunset, it really doesn't get much better than that...

And to be honest we didn't do much else for the final four days than get up, enjoy breakfast, read a little on the beach, go up to the north cliffs for lunch and a little shopping, then back to the B&B beach and catch the sunset before going out again for dinner. 

Varkala was the perfect place to finish our Indian Adventure, 3 fabulous weeks taking in palaces, temples and forts in Rajasthan, our desert safari and houseboat experience. We had a brilliant time and would recommend India to anyone, a fantastic experience that really does test all of your senses.
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