From Allepey, we headed back down south to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, where Dave had some interviews to do. Turns out that lodging in Trivandrum was pretty underwhelming, and so we opted to stay at aptly named Lighthouse beach, just 15 km down the road. We were so glad we did! It was close enough for Dave to commute in for interviews, and incredibly picturesque.
Imagine a luau dance...
The beach was largely black sand, and was the finest sand we'd ever seen.
We stayed in a small hotel that was literally 20 feet from the beach. At night we could hear the waves crashing, and in the morning we could sit on the porch, and watch people fishing from the boulders (no poles, just lines!), the fishing boats plying the coast, and Skype—or at least try to!
Sunset from our balcony
Night time view of beach from the balcony--literally right below us.
For the moment,kids could care less that the Arabian Sea is 10 feet outside our window, and guys are fishing from the cliffs below us. Grandma and Grandpa are reading a book to them via Skype, and that's all that matters.
And chasing, lots of chasing.
And splashing with baby bottoms.
And ice cream, there's always got to be ice cream.
We saw some absolutely amazing things on the beach as well. Such as Carla:
"You won't forget me, right?," Carla asked, after requesting her photo taken. "I'll be back tomorrow." Weaving her way up and down the beach, Carla sells mangoes, bananas, pineapples, papayas, and coconuts from a basket on her head. Incredibly deft with a small rusty knife, she can extract an inconceivable amount of fruit from a mango- serve it on a small silver plate- and then open a coconut in the air, throwing it up and miraculously cutting a concentric ring around it without losing a beat. "Remember, I'm the one with the missing tooth," Carla told me as she headed down the beach.
One morning we were eating a phenomenal breakfast at "Beatles" restaurant off the promenade...
I mean seriously, look at those veggies! You don't find broccoli much in India, much less for breakfast! And the view, oh the view.
When who would walk by us? But a woman carrying a pot full of swordfish on her head!She drops it off down the way, and then goes back for another, and another. After breakfast, I follow her, and find out that she's carrying the sword fish and squid to a curb side market.
Not surprisingly, the lighthouse was a major tourist attraction, and the kids were super excited to go up it. Countless rounds of spiral staircase later, we finally made it to the top, and the view was simply incredible. One thing that was really neat to see were all of the small fishing boats, and even fishing kayaks up and down the coast. Another really cool thing was a very large mosque that had perhaps the most amazing real estate I can imagine. See if you can find it in the photo.
We took one weekend day and headed out to a wildlife sanctuary. The entire experience was fairly gimmicky, and given that it took an 1.5 hour rickshaw ride somewhat underwhelming. But the kids did get to see two lions on our “safari” (read riding in a crowded hot bus with 40 other people to see two possibly drugged lions sitting in the road
It was a pretty amazing four days at Lighthouse beach. If this part of the research takes off, and we find ourselves back in Trivandrum, I can guarantee you we'll be making our nest at Lighthouse beach.
Already missing these sunsets.