Aim: The clichéd ''Looking to unwind-get away from the monotony of the city life (even if only for a few blissful days) and plain veg out in shorts and shades, eat good food AND sleep in"
and Varkala delivered.
P.S: A few other things got thrown into the bargain: loud train journeys, pictionary with the masters of cheat drawing, hilarious drinking sessions with ridiculous trips down memory lane and fun community-style meals to name a few.
So, in short, mission accomplished.
Varkala is a little beach town in the south of Kerala. It is quaint, offers many photo ops and is a backpacker's or elite gucci toting traveler's paradise pit stop. It is not too crowded or over hyped like its other beach compatriots such as Kovalam or Cochin, but all of that is judging a book by it's cover. There is more to Varkala than the beach, papa naasham,, ayurvedic massage parlors or the swimsuit clad foreigners adorning the beach.
For example, i got to paraglide! With a French gentleman called Aurel in tandem, i soared for 25 odd minutes in the hot, unapologetic sun over the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian sea. It was exhilarating, a generous boost of endorphins and much more fun than what i'd always imagined flying would feel like. LOVED it, and i would do it again in a heartbeat.
The food scene is good, we probably didn't visit the right places. Quite a few 'Tibetan' restaurants abound in Varkala, most of which are of shoddy lineage. And, a head's up: if you are famished from an evening of frolicking in the beach, do not go to these restaurants thinking you will be served in a reasonable amount of time. One meal at such a joint had us waiting for more than an hour and a half. We'd only ordered the usual fare of fried rice/noodles thinking that'd be the easiest items for the good restaurant folks to dish up, but nope. (we were a group of 20 but still didn't think 1.5 hours was justified.) The food, once it came, was alright, but we made sure we never went back there.
But somehow, the food scene, as disappointing as it was, was not all that disappointing because it was not a priority for us this time around. Sometimes, just sometimes, having a good time with friends, inspite of all the differences, supercedes even the allure of food.