Could you please pass the sunscreen?
From what we had heard, Kerala was a chilled out place full of beautiful beaches. And that's basically what it was for us. (I should mention, the part of Kerala we experienced was beautiful and beachy. There was, of course, the same poverty existing there in the parts we didn't explore that exist throughout the rest of India.) We headed to a place called Varkala and made our home in a hut that was about a 5 minute walk from the beach. We spent five days there, eating our pick of fresh fish grilled up to order and drinking chilled Kingfishers, lying on the beach eating fresh pineapple, and playing in the waves. On our last night there, we got to enjoy a nice dinner with a couple we met back in Jaisalmer that happened to also be in Varkala. The next morning, we took an 8 hour boat ride through some back water areas and then a bus ride to get to Cochin. From there, we caught our flight to Goa.
Upon arrival in Goa, I was a little worried about finding a spot to stay because so many people go there for Christmas. But, we decided on going south and ended up at Benaulim beach. We found a place on the first try, but ended up having to move 50 meters down the beach halfway through because it was booked for Christmas. Our first hut was about 25 steps away from the sand and the second was about 10. Again, we spent our days eating fresh fish, drinking Kingfisher, lying around in the sun, and playing in the water.
Whether you looked left or right, all you could see was beach. It was so nice.
On Christmas Eve, we started the day by heading into town and picking up some
decorations. We came back and decorated our hut, complete with a Christmas tree. Later in the evening, we went to a "Seafood Party". The evening's itinerary consisted of a fresh seafood dinner, drinks, a bonfire, fireworks, and dancing. Andrew and I snuck away for a bit to go to midnight mass, but the party was still going strong when we returned. I think we finally managed to make it back to our hut around 4:30am. No one was up too early or moving too quickly on Christmas Day. Everyone just lazed around, drinking even more water than usual. That evening, Andrew and I had a delicious meal of chicken stuffed with spinach and cheese, roast potatoes, steamed vegetables, and salad. (I was pretty nervous about this- it was my first time ordering meat since Andrew's episode in Nepal...but it was a success!) We ended Christmas Day with a walk along the beach and phone calls from our families :)
On boxing day, we took down the decorations, packed our bags and said goodbye to beach life...for two days that is. We're in Mumbai right now, waiting for our flight to Thailand tomorrow morning. It's seems crazy that our two months in India is up already. So much happened in that short amount of time. We'll still keep in touch while we're in Thailand and before you know it, we'll be back in Canada!
Laura and Andrew