|Low bridge on the canal|
We stepped into a wooden canoe that was about fifteen feet long and enjoyed a very peaceful meander through the backwaters. As our guide paddled and poled the boat, he pointed out the many different plants that grow in the region, including cashew trees, nutmeg trees, peppercorn vines, cloves, vanilla vines, and turmeric.
|boat in process|
|Colin helping make rope|
Once we got back into town, we raced back to the guesthouse to gather our gear and check out on time. We hit the road and made our way to Varkala. It was only about a twenty-five mile trip, and we got there by mid-afternoon, only to get lost in the winding paths along the cliff. We asked directions to our hotel from several different people, and each of them pointed us down a different path. After failing time after time to find it, we finally called the hotel and were assured we were very near, but the man on the other end of the phone said he would come and lead us there. Which he did.
|life doesn't suck here|
And he led us to a very nice, small hotel on the cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea. We ended up spending three nights there, relaxing on our balcony, playing in the very temperate waves, snoozing on the beach, and eating really delicious seafood. We also strolled along the cliff, wandered into town, looked at the big temple and tank, and just relaxed.
|the view from our balcony at sunset|
Varkala is the most enjoyable beach town we've been to in India. The touts are not too pushy, the food is great, there aren't too many tourists, and the water and beach are very clean. We like. Very much. The one useful thing I did was scrub the grime off of Colin's jacket so it will hopefully breathe (plus it looks so much nicer now). In the three days we spent in Varkala, I practically forgot what horns sound like.