We bade farewell to the brilliant JK and took a general-ticket train ride to Varkala. An hour-long train ride we hired an auto and it took us to Kerala Bamboo House on the northern-cliff of Varkala. Since it was off-season, we got a large room for 4 at INR 1000 a night. In the course of our stay at Varkala we came across only a handful of tourists and the whole cliff-edge wore a deserted look. And that's where the fun lies.The dark clouds were nearing the cliffs, engulfing the blue sky bit by bit. Overcast and beautiful, we walked along the cliff towards the northern end, stopping at small beaches rocky shores to feed our insatiable need to marvel at the unruly sea. I saw a couple of men from afar, near the palm trees, throwing baits into water. On closer inspection, I realised they were fishing, with a single line, judging only by the vibration in their hands. He told me that he and his friend are welders and they come here twice a day to catch some fish. A sincere hobby for the past 15 years. He asked me to come over at noon the next day so that he could teach me how to fish like them. Shikha had joined us the earlier night. Next morning we strolled along the cliff-line and the shore-line of Varkala and as far as we could. Had our breakfast of set-dosas and banana fry (try only if you are a fan of bananas) and hopped on a bus to our cottage. Bought some coconut water to the dismay of Shikha as she was expecting rock bottom prices (INR 30 apiece). Lazed around for the day overlooking the sea over and some savoury dishes. I went to learn the art of line-fishing but didn't manage to catch one. Though it was an experience I shall not forget. Just before the sunset we let the sea soak our skin and enjoyed every bit of its salty Furore.
Varkala was a sleepy beach town with many of its seaside restaurants and shops closed for the off-season. There were only a few other guests in the hostel when I arrived, which made me have doubts about staying more than one night. After exploring the Varkala cliffs with the other guests, I decided I couldn’t possibly leave this town the next morning. Varkala was quiet, relaxing, and a nice getaway. I spent my time at the empty beach, walking along the cliffs, and playing cards, carrom, and chess with hostel friends and the staff. I’m curious to see what this place is like during the high season, so I think I’ll have to return on my next trip!
Starting early in the morning from Alappuzha, I reached Varkala much in time for some late lunch. After a little fresh toddhy (the local liquor), and some rest, I set out to rediscover more panoramic views of Kerala in the dramatic edges of high, red limestone cliffs, which made Varkala a unique and unforgettable experience.
As advised by a few relatives I met up at Alappuzha, I headed off for a typical touristy indulgence in the Ayurvedic treatments. And might I add that they don’t just provide physical relaxation. For me, it was a mentally and emotionally rejuvenating experience too. Fresh, up and about, I was all saddled up for a sixty-kilometer ride to Kovalam, via the state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
Two train rides with a brief stop in Mumbai brought us to Varkala in the southern state of Kerala.
Varkala, a place where we felt at home, a place where we lived for a month, ate curries with hands and made love. It has one of the best beaches in my opinion. A 10-meter cliff marks the iconic beach and makes a perfect picture. It was the best place to say goodbye to India.