Saturday, February 19, 2011


The most hair raising taxi ride yet took us from Kovalam to Varkala. The only good thing about it was that the car had darkened windows so people couldn't see the look of terror of our faces! Anyway we are here and very comfortable in a stylish four bedroom B&B. This is our only foray into life without a/c and luckily we have acclimatised enough not to miss it terribly, we have a good fan and a nice shady veranda with a sea breeze, our breakfast is served here, its lovely and peaceful.

We've visited the beach, gorgeous to look at and paddle in but not so good for swimming because of the rip tides so we dipped in at a local hotel pool yesterday. Faint echoes of the bombing at Mumbai resonated as our rickshaw was stopped at their security gate and our swimming bag inspected. It was worth it, we had a lovely day just wallowing, it seems ages since our pool frolics in Marari. On our way back we were taken to see bats, loads of them hanging in trees near a shrine stocked with fruit reached by walking around a pair of superfluous gates. I presume they are fruit bats, they were big and when disturbed by a call of chuck-cooo they flew silently above our heads in the tops of the coconut trees.

This morning we have visited a temple just around the corner. Janardhana Swami Temple. As non Hindus we are not allowed in most temples but this one lets us into the outer courtyard. Lots of people of all ages are there. Most people seemed to do a circuit or two of the shrines surrounding the temple before entering. The men and boys take their right arm out of their shirts and bare their shoulder on going in, I've got no idea why, maybe it is historical, something to do with showing they are not carrying arms. I put some money in a donation box near the ancient Banyan tree and felt entitled to give myself a dab of yellow powder on my forehead. There is a huge water tank at the bottom of the hill for the pilgrims to bathe in, I didn't fancy it just right then! Somewhere nearby there is meant to be a very ancient temple but we've not been able to locate it yet.

This afternoon we've both had an Ayurvedic massage. Unlike the one I had in Munnar there was no fire under the massage table and this table was slightly more comfy with a full length thin plastic covered cushion to lie on. There were two ladies massaging me in perfect unison, one each side of my body. Keith had two chaps. We both started off with a vigorous head massage. Keith said later that his was so thumpingly stimulating that he thought he could be brain damaged so he ran some pin numbers through his mind to check he hadn't lost any faculties! He is funny. No steam box to get the oil off this time, it was soap and a bucket and chuck it method!

We're off for a fish supper this evening looking over the Lakshadweep Sea. Lovely.


Philippa said...

Brain damage! lol x

axx said...

Only he could think of doing that while having a massage! It still makes me laugh when I think about it!