The first two weeks of our time in India was spent on Odayam beach in Varkala. It was awesome!
We arrived in Trivandrum on the 16th of November from Luxor Egypt. We had left Luxor the previous morning, and had a four-hour stopover in Doha, Qatar. With the time change, we arrived in India very early in the morning, with no sleep. At 5 a.m. we took a one-hour taxi ride to Varkala, a town on the cost of Kerala. When we arrived at the hotel that we had booked, we found out that they had no rooms left. YIKES! As it was still early in the morning, we decided to get breakfast at a café on the beach near by. After we had finished breakfast, we learned that Palm Tree Heritage Café where we had eaten was part of a hotel complex. As we were so tired, we decided to book a room for three days. The only room that was available had one king bed. Thus, sleeping was a little cramped, as my mom, my dad and I were all in the king bed, and Matthew got a twin mattress that was brought in and placed on the floor.
The three days that we had originally booked flew by as we played in the surf and relaxed, and we decided to say eleven more. Our routine was pretty much the same every day: wake up at 6:30 for yoga, have breakfast at 9:30 while watching the local fishermen fish, go swimming from 10:30 to 11:30, do homeschool from 12 to 3, take a break in our A.C. room for an hour (it was about 32 degrees outside, without humidity which was virtually 100% all the time), go swimming again from 4 to 6:30, eat dinner from 7 to 8:30 – Palm Tree’s service was so slow, but the food was great (I highly recommend their chicken tikka), go to bed at 9:30. Some days we changed it up (what!) with heading to town for shopping on the North Cliff, or having a sweet at an amazing bakery, New Kerala Café, that we had found. If you ever get there, try the Lemon Dumping Cake even if the name seems odd.
Half way through our say at Palm Tree Heritage we found a family that had a home kitchen/restaurant that friends of ours had recommended (Shout out to Steve, Ann, Kathleen and Robbie!) called Kumari’s House. We had a delicious thali dinner on banana leaves, which consisted of countless vegetable curries and other dishes, such as plantain curry, okra curry, beetroot salad, carrot salad, and more. The food was amazing, and I loved the atmosphere of the place: a cow in the backyard, tropical trees surrounding me, beautiful flowers, and family pictures hanging on the walls.
The two weeks that we spent on the beach were so relaxing, and enjoyable, that if you ever find yourself in Kerala, I highly, highly recommend staying on Odayam beach in Varkala, for at least a few days. It’s not on the North Cliff and maybe not in the action, but instead it is further up the beach and a more relaxed place!