Monday, 23 February 2015
Day 41 (India): Kovalam
My last couple of days in India were spent in the beach resort of Kovalam (pic), not far from the Kerala capital Thiruvananthapuram, and certainly not far from the end of the sign for it. My guesthouse was right on the beachfront, so I could easily enjoy a dip at any time of day. And for once I don't mean the tasty multicoloured ones you swab your rotis and chapattis in.
Though very touristy, with lots of middle-aged Europeans and Russians here to do yoga and meditation, and a beachfront chock-full with cafes, traditional massage and health spas, restaurants, souvenir shops and travel agents, it's also a real working fishing village (pic)...
...and every evening the beachfront restaurants put fish out on display right off the boats (pic). You choose the one you want and how you want it cooked (spicy, in my case, and baked in the tandoori, with chips and salad), and enjoy a huge delicious fresh fish supper for only a few quid.
If you want a beer to wash it down, it comes disguised in a tea mug, and you hide the bottle under the table, because the restaurants aren't licensed. Nobody would ever guess – except for the fact that every restaurant does it.
That's all from this blog. From here I fly back to Colombo to pick up my bike, then fly back home. It's been a glorious month of cycling in Sri Lanka, with a feeling of discovery of an underrated biking destination, and the fortnight's 'holiday' afterwards in south India was just as thrilling, culturally fascinating, and plain delightful as I'd hoped.
And, er, did I mention that I really enjoyed eating all that fabulous Indian food? I'll be pleased to get back to proper beer, though. Not in mugs. And not having to hide the bottle under the table.