Beach Time and a Circus
We left Kanyakumari and finally started on our long ride north towards Goa. For the first few hours we followed the coast along a quiet road with the waves crashing off to the left. We stopped here for a swim and were tempted to just stay and bush camp. But instead pushed on thinking we could find some where as good in the afternoon.
Unfortunately this was not meant to be. Instead, the roads got busy and even the smallest roads had houses, shops or coconut plantations running all the way along. It started to get hilly and with the heavily loaded bikes and the draining heat the 2 days it took us to get to our next stop Kovalam were hard going.
We decided to stay 4 nights here after finding a great little hotel that was a complete bargain as its low season in this resort town. The beach was nice and the waves were great for body surfing. We watched the locals swimming in jeans and shirts as the lifeguards would blow their whistle and tell them to come in if they got deeper than their knees while the westerners were allowed to go in as far as they like.
It was hard to leave this great little spot. But we finally decided to head just 20 km’s to the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum. To Mark’s extreme excitement the hotel we ended up staying at had a circus set up just a few meters down the road. So the first night we went to see what passed as entertainment in India. For about $2 the 2 hr show was a bargain. It started off with the flying trapeze and the evening progressed with juggling, a clown that just stood around passing out props, a wild west balloon shootout, dancing girls, and all sorts of balancing acts! However, both of our favorites had to be a guy that appeared with a bucket of water and then proceeded to splash the floor and himself while drinking a gallon or more! He then walked around a bit before spraying it back out of his mouth to fill the jug back up again. The climax of his performance was when he swallowed 3 live goldfish then spit them back into the jug unharmed.
The next day we decide to carry on with local entertainment and visited the zoo. Not expecting much we were very surprised with what we found. The zoo was larger then we thought and enclosures were surprisingly spacious and relatively well kept. There were different deer, monkeys and bears from India also tigers and leopards. They also had a rhino, hippos and a lone zebra.
We then made our way up the coast to our second beach resort town, Varkala. This place had more of a traveler feel than Kovalam which is aimed more for package holidaymakers. Most of the hotels and restaurants are perched on top of a cliff that looks down on to the sandy beach below. We found a great spot just next door called black sand beach to watch the sun set.
The hotels are very cheap this time of year as its too hot for most people. But it’s hard to find food at the prices we are used to paying. All the restaurants are 3 times the price and even some of the local place’s try to charge us more. But we have always managed to find local food at local prices in the end. It just takes some looking and asking around.