IMG_3289…AKA Heaven!

Yes, this serene vision of the clear blue waves lapping against the soft sand beach wiped away all fatigue and stress and made us want to drop our bags and jump from the 40ft cliff into the sea.

… Of course, we didn’t. Instead, I sat atop the cliff with the bags, overlooking this image of perfection while Brendan set out to find accommodation. Returning in only 10 minutes having found a guesthouse for 200Rs per room, he collected the luggage and I. Painted bright pink, this little guesthouse (Parvathi Bhavan), is run by the loveliest Indian couple, with whom we had chai regularly, and on our last night, they cooked us dinner! The rooms are spacious with ensuite. Basic as they are, they’re clean with a ceiling fan, shelves, a table, and a full four-poster mosquito net, as well as our own little porch area outside, where we could chill with a beer and a book in the evening. A bargain, to be honest – we’d stayed in far worse rooms for over 3 times the price! FINALLY we weren’t being scammed!

After walking around, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Café del Mar. I had a Mexican omelette, which was truly amazing! And cheap!

When we eventually stepped down to the beach, we were so excited we jumped straight into the sea. And later discussed the fact that we might never leave…. We stayed a total of 6 nights. Our original plan had been to stay 10 nights, and slowly make our way around Kerala, the Western Ghats, and Goa, but as we all know, plans always change, and thanks to the persuasion of our friends, Luke and Winnie who we lived with in Hanoi, we impulsively decided, on Saturday, to get the train straight up to Goa to meet them, arriving on the morning of Brendan’s birthday, and then travel with them a little while before making our way BACK up north again!

This week on the beach has been so lovely! It is definitely one of my favourite places, and it’s been so nice to slow down, catch up on sleep, not get ripped off at all, ever, and enjoy the heat of the sun, rather than moan about how hot it is! I admit I was pretty disappointed that we were leaving so soon and so suddenly (the day after we decided), but I’m excited to see Luke and Winnie, and it will be nice for Brendan’s birthday tomorrow to be able to have some drinks.

So I’m going to try to sleep on this Varkala-to-Goa train, after I write a little list of some places I really liked here:

Sea Queen -> on our first night we enjoyed the BEST fish BBQ EVER for 500Rs, including salad and chips. SO AWESOME – cooked to your liking (tandoori/not tandoori, spicy/not spicy).

Café del mar -> whole host of breakfasts. I had the Mexican omelette while included scrambled eggs mixed wit peppers, mushrooms, jalapenos, tomatoes, and onions. Also comes with bread and MARMALADE! We also had lunch there once, and I ordered a Mexican wrap, which could not be flawed in any way! They also do excellent shakes and lemon juice (my new favourite drink). They also offer an array of international breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

ABBA -> amazing international restaurant with German bakery, and bookshop, inside. They do the BEST banana yoghurt honey breakfast ever. Brendan enjoyed their banana pancakes and muesli fruit yoghurt.

Rock ‘n’ Roll -> A bar with reasonably priced drinks and friendly staff. Seems to be the place to go, though admittedly as it’s low season, it’s currently pretty quiet.

Tuman -> beers in teapot.

Chillout -> beers, live music, football. Good pizzas and Thalis.

At the other side of the beach (south cliff), there are 2 restaurants, though I forget both their names (they are next to Monsoon). We went to both. One served an excellent eggplant curry, dhal, and veg tikka kebab. The other we went to for breakfast and they do a great Keralan breakfast with banana stew, coconut idly, and porridge.

Juice Bar -> healthy juices. Some juices can be substitutes for meals (Juice Fasting).

Little Tibet -> Tibetan food, obviously! Awesome Thukpa soups, veg spring rolls, and momos! Really popular place and such friendly staff!

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