On arrival to Mallapalaparum I found somewhere to stay, dumped my bags, had an actual HOT shower (blissssss) and then headed straight for the beach. I walked right up to the see, put my toes in the water and promptly burst into tears! Who would have known the ocean would bring on such a powerful wave of homesickness. Oh it was so nice to see it after a couple of months of being landlocked. I learnt today that the ocean has a strong association for me with my poppa, nanna and Whiritoa! [Whiritoa is an amazing little beach on the Coramandle in New Zealand where I spent every Christmas holiday as a kid].
So I sat for a while; took in the view and reflected. My first beach experience in India was pretty weird… there was lots of pretty fishing boats, a few people walking, lots of cows, a man trying to sell me jewellery and an odd smell. This isn’t the type of beach that you can put down a towel and sunbathe… but it was still a fairly nice beach.
The town in Mallapalarum is tiny, there is a little tourist area with internet cafes, a real café and some restaurants. Then there is the main town centre which looks more Indian and has some more shops, a bus station and train ticket office.
I spent the next few days wandering around town, eating delicious seafood and chilling on the side of a pool at a flash resort (where I was not staying) working on my tan and pondering my future. I met Sandra, a British woman based in Spain in India for a few months on a ‘healing’ trip. It was interesting to hear about her advadic treatments and yoga sessions.
I tried to book a train ticket for the next leg of my trip (where I plan to make a bee line to Kerela before starting the yoga course in Mysore)… well… that was a bit traumatic. I turned up at the train ticket office to find a small dark smelly room fill of lots of men (who have not yet discovered deodorant) pushing and shoving… as I had expected the train was fully booked. Damn… time to move to plan B.
I went to a travel agent and looked into buses… it would take a couple of days to get there by bus and to be honest I don’t have the energy or the time…. So I made the call to get a cheap flight from Chennai to Travandrum, then a bus to Kovalam.