Highlights of Varkala

No real sights per se in Varkala, but it was an excellent rejuvenating stop. The town, which I ignored except for the train station, is a few km from the beach; the Varkala I describe is the tourist ghetto on the cliffs. Here are some of the things I enjoyed in Varkala: sandy beach refreshing breezes … Continue reading Highlights of Varkala

Arrived in Alleppey today after extending Varkala to 6 nights

Actually it is now officially called Alappuzha, but Alleppey seems more common (even in the train schedules!). 2 hours by train (Rs70/$1.75 for “sleeper” class). I almost missed getting on the train! This is the gateway town to the backwaters of Kerala – canals and villages accessible only by boat (over a huge area). I … Continue reading Arrived in Alleppey today after extending Varkala to 6 nights

Still in Varkala

It’s so relaxing, I’m spending 2 extra nights here in my semi-luxurious hotel room (Rs800/$20 per night) – sheets without stains or holes! top sheet! real towels! Yesterday I took a hands-on cooking class (Rs500/$12.50 for 1-2 people) with my new Scottish bud Brennen (the pic shows 4 of the 5 dishes we prepared and … Continue reading Still in Varkala

Arrived in Varkala last night (cliff-top beach town)

Internet is very slow here, but will try to post some updates over the next 2 days as I chill here for 3 nights. I’m now in the state of Kerala, in the southwest corner o India. It’s a beautiful setting, albeit very touristy (though apparently not as commercial as beaches in Goa). Fresh fish … Continue reading Arrived in Varkala last night (cliff-top beach town)

Highlights of Alleppey and backwaters

Alappuzha (Alleppey) was nothing exciting in and of itself, it’s more of a gateway to the backwaters. It sits roughly in the middle of the at least 120km long (north to south) stretch of backwaters; I’m not sure how wide it is (though it is wide too). Basically the area goes from Kochi (Cochin) at … Continue reading Highlights of Alleppey and backwaters

Some little updates and new photos

These were added in place in the original posts as italicized updates, but I’m putting them here for those of you reading regularly: Kanyakumari: I forgot to mention that at the memorial there is a darkened meditation room with a glowing Om symbol and a recorded Om sound that plays every 30 seconds or soo. … Continue reading Some little updates and new photos

Flying to Bangalore tonight

On Kingfisher airlines – yes, the same company that owns the popular Indian beer Kingfisher (they are quite the conglomerate; they also have branded bottled drinking water). And I did see actual kingfishers on power lines in the backwaters… The flight is 1hr20min flight, vs a wait-listed overnight train ride. Does anybody work with outsourced … Continue reading Flying to Bangalore tonight

Tips/thoughts/feelings: Food

After 17 days in (south) India, here is what I’ve discovered/experienced regarding food: Note that I haven’t gotten sick yet (knock on wood) and the food has been very tasty and cheap. Only 7 of my meals have been non-vegetarian (5 of them were fresh seafood in Mamallapuram and Varkala) and I can’t say that i miss the … Continue reading Tips/thoughts/feelings: Food

Leaving Madurai late tonight for Kanyakumari

At 2:10 in the morning, that is, on a night train that puts me in at 6:30 in the morning. I have a sleeper berth in AC3 class – that’s open compartments of 6 berths (3 per side) with A/C. Since I have a cheap hotel room (Rs160/$4 per 24 hours, I took it an … Continue reading Leaving Madurai late tonight for Kanyakumari