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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 62: First day in Varkala

INDIA | Sunday, 6 January 2008 | Views [1092] | Comments [1]

Sunday 6th January

After a decent kip, I had breakfast at the guesthouse before heading out onto the beach to get some sun. It is noticeably warmer in Varkala than it had been in Goa, which itself was very warm at times. The sun is also more intense, and I could feel myself burning up more than at any other time in India. The beach at Varkala is also a lot more crowded than in Goa, or at least the beaches that I spent a significant portion of my time on. People are much closer together on the rather short and narrow strand, with the red cliffs separating the beach from the shops and restaurants above, in contrast to the beaches in Goa where the restaurants and bars lie directly on the sand.

After a swim, I could feel myself getting burnt, so headed off to the clifftop to get some shade and a bit of lunch. There I got talking to a guy who I had seen – but had never spoken to – around Agonda Beach in Goa, and we both agreed that Varkala was much inferior to Agonda. Varkala seems to suffer most from the many 'resort' hotels that offer ayurvedic treatments to sooth and pamper affluent foreigners; while restaurants and bars abound, none of them ever suffer from a lack of customers. One of the most noticeable differences is that Varkala, although it is bloody roasting, lacks the warmth of the people who work in the restaurants and bars that all of us enjoyed in places like Agonda and Patnem; whereas tourists and bar staff in Goa mixed well together, people seem much more remote in Varkala.

One of my aims for the remaining time in India was to do some more yoga, as it would have been a pity not to give it a go (especially as my sole yoga lesson in India had been given by an Englishwoman called Vera!). I was in search for something a bit more authentic, if that was, in fact, possible in a place like Varkala. The 'School of Scientific Yoga and Massage' offered classes in Hatha yoga, a form recommended by my sister Maria, so I thought I would try it out. It was quite good, a mixture of relaxation and physical positions, most of which were reasonaly straightforward. However, I was noticeably stiffer in my movements, especailly those that required considerable stretching. This didn't come as much of a surprise to me considering the tight hamstring trauma that I had experienced in Dharamsala earlier in the trip.The instructor suggested that I come back for yoga the next morning, and follow it up with a session of Thai massage to see if they could relieve my stiffness!

Later in the evening, I went for dinner and to watch some of the FA Cup that was on the TV in one of the restaurants. I didn't realise that there was also a Kathakali performance coinciding with the kick-off of the Burnley-Arsenal game (yes, I am sometimes that desperate to watch football!). I wasn't remotely interested in watching another show, having walked out of a performance at an even more highly reputed place than this a few days previously in Fort Cochin.

I eventually got my food – a really good Keralan curry called 'Fish Molie' – and got talking to a couple from London (Jamie & Rhonda) who were sitting at the same table as me. They were good fun and interesting people to chat to, but our conversation was restricted due to the constant banging of drums of the show going on in the background.

At this stage, I had given up on the football, starting to feel tired and a bit run down. A cold that I had picked up in Kumily was quickly getting worse, and I felt like crap as I headed back to the hotel, feeling so bad that I had to crash out at 21.00.

Tags: Relaxation




hello I am from spain and I am going to varkala for study
how is the school ? I would like to know about accomodation? Yo know when I dont know where I am goinh I am confuse ,I will travel for one year or........ and is the firt time I will go to india ,so I try to get information.If you can help me I will be happy.
Best regards

  Ana Mas May 25, 2008 3:08 AM

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