Varkala..the gem that it is!

Of late, Varkala has been adjudged a coveted getaway spot in Kerala (and Trivandrum to be specific!). A beautiful stretch of clean private beaches, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A strip of restaurants and boutique stores with an excellent view of the cliff (best time to visit would be between 6pm and 11pm). The sunset views are pure eye-candy plus the area starts to light itself up with a happy-vibe crowd who love their music, beer and sea-food. Had a pleasant stay at Bluewater Resort (located at Odayam Beach road) recently and although, it seemed like a hot/humid weekend (b’cuz well, it was summer!) we managed to have a kick-ass time.

Stop #1 – Velliyaazhchakaavu Toddy Bar

Took us quite a few twists n’ turns (and GPS mapping/re-mapping) to get there but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise. They have separate seating spaces for groups placed at a decent distance between eachother. We downed 3 bottles of toddy + a crab curry + beef roast along with some soft n’ fresh tapioca and pathiri. Couldn’t finish all of it (so packed ’em away for the night-session). Taste and quality are first-rate; I’d even recommend the place for families. Pricing is okay for the portion-size. (Vegetarians are obviously going to be at a loss of options to order!) After the lunch-binge, we proceeded to head to Bluewater Resort where we were scheduled to stay over-night.

http://keralatoddyshop.com/thiruvananthapuram/velliyazhcha-kavu,-varkala-family-toddy-shop/1009

Stop #2 – Bluewater Beach Resort

Strolling along a slender path strewn with flowers/shrubs on either sides and beyond a few cottages, gets us to the reception. Our cottage overlooked the beach and that’s all our minds had begged for. The interiors were wooden and well-maintained, with a good, clean bathroom. We unloaded our stuff, played four to five rounds of UNO while the sun was still out, waited for the weather to cool off a bit, so we could take a long walk along the expanse (as shown in the picture below):

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The most pleasing sight!

Once the sun was about to set, we set off on a long walk, traversing the common area of other nearby resorts, a Muslim cemetery and few low-lying sandy beach-floors where children and families had been sitting/playing. The sound of waves lapping against rocks was indeed soothing and the beauty of the setting sun only added to the overall splendor.

http://www.bluewaterstay.com/

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A kid having a great time!

We stopped in between to click snaps of ourselves on self-timer. DSLR expert Mr. CSI (Looool!) had yet again proven his workmanship. A few samples shown below:

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The BALD & The BEARDED – Counting waves!

Being at a scenic place did evoke some uncanny photography skills in each of us:

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A picture of a picture!

The place was photogenic from every angle, so we decided to take only a handful of good pictures (before the battery died out!).

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Some skills there, Mr. CSI.
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Live the Coconut Life!
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Nature’s Ba-Dum-Tss!

Night was fast-approaching, and since Mr. CSI (being vegetarian!) couldn’t possibly eat much at the Toddy Bar, we decided to hit the Oceano Cliff to try out this place ‘Caffe Italiano‘ all of us had seen pictures of and were seemingly impressed by.

Stop#3 – Oceano Cliff / Caffe Italiano

Again Google-maps had made us take wrong turns through some extremely narrow roads but thankfully the friendly locals came to our rescue. We parked our vehicle at the nearest junction where they had street-lights and decided to trudge the rest of the way. The walk-ways kept getting narrower and darker as we plodded along. It got pitch dark at one point and we had to seek the help of our mobile flashlights. On the way, one of us spotted a huge wall-art of a staring (lady) face which looked pretty creepy when seen at night (especially using a mobile flashlight!). A few jitters later, we kept moving forward in anticipation of finding our destination; the sound of jazz/reggae music being played at a restaurant could be heard from afar along with the buzz of a horde. We hit dead-end pretty soon, but realized that we’d infact reached the backyard of a restaurant along the cliff. Overjoyed (but hungry!), we were still determined to walk the entire stretch instead of parking our asses at the first restaurant that we had laid our eyes on. On the way, we stumbled across various al-fresco themed restobars playing live music and serving either Tibetan cuisine or sea-food. The Chinese lamps (of various colors and patterns!) in some of the restaurants added a nice touch to the tract. Caffe Italiano looked pretty attractive from the outside and thankfully, the restaurant did not disappoint. From the wavering dim lights on the ceiling to the green-filled ambiance to the spectacular beach views (add to that, a blend of Zen Music, Dark Psytrance and EDM!), Caffe Italiano is bound to dazzle most customers. We ordered Paneer Tikka (served with salad and fries), Chicken Spring Roll and a few pieces of Butter Naan. The food was excellent for the prices charged (a lot more economical compared to Kovalam!) and service was quite alright. The crowd was a mix of foreigners and locals.

https://www.tripadvisor.in/Restaurant_Review-g297639-d2491898-Reviews-Caffe_Italiano-Varkala_Thiruvananthapuram_District_Kerala.html

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Stare-downs over candle-light and psychedelic music!

Epilogue

A bottle of Absolut Mandrin, cigars, leftover lunch and lengthy conversations on ‘life and death’ left us nicely hungover the next morning. But no visit to the beach is complete without a salty swim. Trust me, it does possess great hangover-healing powers! 😉

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Saline therapy!

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