Tuesday, 13 December 2011


Varkala is a place for fun, sun and lazy bars. You can party a little here but expect the unexpected.....

Bikinis are acceptable on the beaches here and i didn't feel uncomfortable at all. I wore shorts and short sleeved tops and didn't get stared at. Do cover up when heading into the town or local villages

Spices, plenty of jewelry, gifts/trinkets, some clothing


Take a torch. Power cuts occur quite often in Varkala.

Following advice from a friendly rickshaw driver we boarded a government bus that took 3 and a half hours from Alleppey to Varkala for 70Rs each. Whilst at the bus stop we met a British solo traveller called Mel. She had been in Sri Lanka for 2 months and had just arrived in India.

Once at Varkala we all paid 20Rs each for a rickshaw to drive us to the North beach of Varkala. Mel found a single room for 200Rs a night near Bamboo Mummy (i think) and we found a place called 'Hill View, Red Brick'. Hill View was the posh part and Red Brick was around the back where we stayed for 400Rs per night for a fan room. I did try and barter the guy down but he was having none of it.

If you want your laundry washed take them to reception at 'Hill View' and for 16Rs per item (don't include socks, like we did!) you will have your clothes smelling fresh and folded to precision.

Our room was like a little round house with red brick walls (of course), a stone floor, clean bed sheets and towels. There was a shower and two taps underneath, one of which had hot running water. Most of the time i filled up a bucket and used that as a sort of bath, it was a luxury, especially when washing my hair!

For breakfast try 'New Kerala Cafe'. We ate here a lot as it was clean and nicely decorated throughout with a laid back vibe. Also has free wi-fi.

We initially planned on staying in Varkala for 3 nights although this somehow turned into 6. We bumped into Mel again and she introduced us to some people she had also just met. Some nights we would all end up going out for dinner and drinks together, which is probably half the reason we stayed longer as we hadn't socialised with anyone for over a week and it was nice to talk and meet new/different people. I don't have any photos but i will never forget the people we met, all were great company and put a smile on our faces. Thanks for the good times, James & Becky, Jo & Alice, Bjorn & Lyndsey, Mike & Jenny, Mel, Rosie and finally Bart.

One night we went to the 'Rock N Roll' bar which had this brilliant live Indian band playing, one guy on a violin, the others on drums. It was a great atmosphere and everyone was really enjoying themselves. After some fantastic fire works the place was suddenly raided by the Police. In Varkala, from what i have heard, no one has a liquor licence and many of the Police are bribed by the owners in order for the bars to discreetly serve alcohol to customers. When i say discreetly i mean that your beer arrives in mugs and the remainder of the beer must be hidden under your table. We both found this amusing more then anything and would joke about our mug drinks.

Unfortunately for the Rock N Roll bar some of the bar staff were arrested and the owners husband was facing a 6 month prison sentence. The co-owner was British and as the bar had become popular and busy there were rumours going around that jealous bar owners had called the Police themselves to cause disruption and have the bar closed down and or heavily fined. There are many other bars/restaurants that will all serve you alcohol in mugs and some of these got raided whilst others did not.

We found ourselves at the 'Chillout' bar quite a lot where we mostly sat at the back because there was a large and cosy seating area that you could relax in and usually you will meet new people. This is where we met Rosie, a British nurse on a 6 month career break travelling around Asia alone.

Myself and Ian in the 'Chillout Bar'

The Beaches:
We walked right along the coast from the South beach, to North beach and finally to Black beach. South beach is quieter and the beach is ok. North beach is the nicest but very busy. When i say the 'nicest' it still has nothing on Cornwall! Black beach was very relaxed, with very few people, although most of the sand is wet its still worth looking at just to watch the local fishermen and enjoy some peace away from the busier North side.

North Beach

Black Beach

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