Updated: May 31, 2020
Hello friends, usually we hear everyone say that the unplanned trips are always the best because the planned trips never happen. Not only a trip, but even a planned schedule also will never happen properly. I understood this in our recent trip to Varkala.
The day before:
My hometown is Sivakasi but I study in Coimbatore. So, having finished all my tough semester exams, I packed my things and decided to leave to Sivakasi with a little hope that I would pass in all my subjects. I had booked a semi-sleeper bus for the night's travel, in which I met some of my school friends. It was so nice meeting them all after a very long time. The bus journey from Coimbatore to Sivakasi takes more than six hours. After reaching Sivakasi, all of us went to our respective houses and rested for the whole day due to the tiring bumpy bus ride. In the evening, one of my friends called and asked me whether we could go to Varkala, the next day. I said "yes", knowing the fact that we wouldn't be going anyway. He told me that we'll be going in his car and that he will be driving it. I was afraid that my dad wouldn't allow me if he knew that my friend is going to drive the car. At night, I gently and slowly told my dad about the Varkala trip and to my surprise, he immediately said "okay" without any major enquiries.
Day of Departure:
My friend suddenly called and told me to book rooms in Varkala. I barely had any cash in my card, yet I agreed to do it anyway. And there starts the headache, there were hundreds and hundreds of hotels and I was clueless about the budget for our trip. At first, I had a look at Airbnb, they had many houses for rent. I shared many links to him but he kept on fussing about all the places saying that both of us could adjust anywhere but the others would want a nice place to stay. This got me very angry and I told him that I was tired of surfing about hotels and that he should do it by himself, after which he told me that any decent place for a stay is fine. Only then did it strike me that all of our friends stay in college hostels, so anyplace rather than the hostel room will look better to them. So, I booked the cheapest villa available on “www.bookings.com”, where there was no need to pay the advance online but we could yet block the room.
Travel by the noon:
Usually, people start their travel in the early morning or in the night. But we did something different, we started our travel in the noon after a heavy lunch. All of us hopped onto our friend's car, he drove the car all through the trip. He is neither calm nor a mad max driver and since he didn’t have much experience driving over the hills, we decided to go an extra 100 km in a round-about route which added more than 2 hours to our car journey. While we were already half-way on our journey, our hotel manager called to tell me shocking news, he told me that the rooms were not available due to some stupid reason. I didn’t want to inform this to my excited friends, so I spoke to the manager while we were having a short break to fill up the gas and to lose some liquids, he told me that he’ll arrange some other hotel near the cliff. During the car travel, suddenly one of my friends had a vomiting sensation, so we stopped the car in the middle of a single lane road. It looked as if we were in the deep woods, darkness lurked in masses amid the trees. After his successful vomiting scenario, we again continued on our way. But it wasn’t over, we had many successive dashes after that.
After passing all the narrow mud roads, finally, we hit the Trivandrum highway, after many km, our car again crossed the speed of a 100kmph. At this point, everyone started to starve. Many wanted to change the whole plan by staying in Kovalam and I started to see if there were any rooms. But our friend who was driving was so desperate to stick to the plan and hit the throttle so hard. The hotel manager started worrying about us and kept on calling us and enquired the estimated time of arrival. He told us to come to the Varkala helipad and at last, we reached our destination.
It was 11 in the night, cold and dark. We got down from our chariot and we felt the salty breeze on our faces. We were walking on the cliff and almost all the restaurants were closed. Thank god there was a restaurant open and we were the last customers. In that cold place, we had a low-lit candle dinner. It would have been very romantic if a couple had visited that place, but fortunately or unfortunately I went with a pack of wolves, who were waiting to get their stomachs full. The funny waiter told us to order everything that we wanted, as they were about to close their kitchen. So, we ordered more than enough. My legally major friends had their alcoholic stuff and some smoke through their cold lungs to heat them up. I and my other Tee-Totaller friends had a virgin mojito, which is the only drink that saves people like us. With some nice country songs and reminiscing talks, we finished the delicious dinner after an hour. Then our Hotel manager navigated us to his hotel, we drove the car into the narrow cliff road and finally arrived at our hotel.
We got a couple of rooms. The smokers were so keen on finishing the whole pack of cigars and so we gave them company. We gossiped a lot more than a group of girls and at 2 'o clock we all decided to hit the bed.
Sun rises at east/west!!!:
After a small extended nap of 3 hrs, my friend woke me up at 5' o clock, to witness the beautiful sunrise. We all took our camera's and went to the shore. The sand there was so cold. We waited for more than an hour, keenly looking at the horizon for a streak of the sun. We were sitting towards the sea and it was so bright, yet we could not see the Sun. Finally, we saw our shadow in front of us, only then we did realize that the sun rises at the east and we were at the western coastal line, where we can only see the sunset well. All of us were so frustrated. Then we had tea at a shop down the cliff. Then the DSLR guys started doing photo-shoots, and were clicking the so-called “candid shots”. The whole shore was filled with foreigners. Some were doing yoga, some were jogging, some were walking and some others were surfing and swimming in a specific area. We went to bathe in the sea in an area that was less populated. As we went inside a guy whistled at us and told us to come outside. We realized that it was the lifeguard and he started shouting at us as it was supposed to be a very dangerous place to swim. Only then did we realize why that particular place was not very crowded.
After a nice bath comes to the hungry stomach. I had thought of having a cheap breakfast, a half stomach lunch and a very heavy dinner. But my friends had other ideas. They wanted every meal to be very luxurious and a heavy one. As per their plan, we went to a nice restaurant where we tried many unusual dishes and we were very generous to leave many leftovers. We had noodles, fried rice, milkshakes for the breakfast which made our stomachs full. And after the heavy meal comes the nice nap. Three of us were in a state deep sleep, while the others were having photoshoots again. By that time my friend noticed that one of the tyre's of his car was flat. As it was a tubeless tire he managed to get the car to a mechanic and change the Stepney after which we all were set to explore the town. We were the only people in that whole region to go around in an SUV. We travelled along the coast road and went to the lighthouse. The path was so beautiful, as one side of the road was covered by the sea and the other side was covered by the backwaters. There was a bridge, where both the backwater and sea get mixed up.
The Tragic Supper:
After spending some time over there, all of us were so dehydrated, especially my friend who drove the car because he didn't have enough rest and he was hungry as well. So, we rushed to have a nice lunch. We took another route to go to the restaurant, the path was full of greenery and a small stream was running down the road. To cheer up our friend who was driving the car I, we had some funny talks, but it ended up heating him up even more. Then we understood that we should never mess with a sleeping lion, lonely elephant or a hungry man, then it would definitely have some bad consequences upon us.
We then parked the car and walked for some distance. We were searching for a nice decent hotel, but we couldn’t find anything like it. So, we ended up going to a small hotel. We all have a standard menu when we go to an unknown restaurant, which is Parotta and chicken curry. But our hungry, dehydrated, bad-tempered friend wanted to eat a lot more and so he ordered meals with fish gravy. There was only one man running that whole place, so he started cooking only after taking the order. So, we waited for some time. The parotta was more than manageable but my friend's meal was not up to his expectations. And moreover, his fish seemed to be rotten. So, he became so low and he went off to the car.
We were all very exhausted by the evening and all of us went back to the cliff to watch the sunset. We found a nice spot on the shore and all of us settled there to see the wonderful sunset. But my friend who was feeling low went to the room to sleep. We were all taking pictures and doing a time-lapse, I was also streaming a live video on Instagram. And there it was, the most beautiful moment I have ever seen. I felt so sad for my friend who had to miss that awesome moment. We stayed there until it was dark. Then we went up the cliff and started doing our usual window shopping. When compared to other tourist places in Kerala, Varkala was pretty cheap and the price of everything was quite reasonable. We started searching for a nice hotel to have our dinner and finally marked a hotel. Outside each and every hotel or shop there was a guy who was asking all the people to get inside and eat, Most of them came near us and whispered in our ears that they had cocktails with them. I was wondering whether my friends were looking like those people who were longing to get drunk.
The Last Night:
We picked up the friends who were in the hotel room and went to the restaurant. This night we ordered much more than the previous night, with various variety. The seafood was amazingly tasty though all the food there was very spicy. Again my friends had their cocktails while the rest of us had our mocktails. Then they ordered their second cocktail so, we ordered our next drink. I have to admit, it is the best drink I have ever had in my life, it was a mix of strawberries and cherries. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner after a disappointing lunch after which we again went to the helipad where we parked our car. Many people there were drunk, others were some couples and some gangs like us. Near our car, there was a Mallu car playing some Malayalam songs and they were dancing for it. So, in turn, we played some Tamizh songs. I was talking to my friend over the phone, while my friends were still playing songs in a very high volume at midnight. All of the sudden a policeman with lathi came approaching towards us with anger and angrily asked where our room was, one of my friend who always has bad luck facing the police replied to the police with a cool attitude which angered the cop even more and he started yelling at us. So, we went back to the room and fell asleep.
The next day, the plan was to see the sunrise again and to bathe on the beach. But all our plans were dropped as we woke up very late. The check-out time was 11 am. We didn’t even have our breakfast. We thought of going to a famous restaurant by the name “Border Rahmath” in Sengottai, which is near the Tamil Nadu – Kerala border. Unknowingly one guy told us that the hotel will be closed by 2 pm. So, we had to hurry in order to go there for lunch. My friend who drove the car took it very seriously. He changed the course of the route and decided to go through the hills. He accelerated very fast. Until the hill it was fine. After going up the hill, he got a lot more energetic. He changed into sport mode and drove like a racer. If our car had a set of wings and a propeller instead of an engine it would have been flying by now, as we were already in some high altitude it would have favoured it a lot. At first, all of us were so scared, then in the course of time, we started enjoying it. The view over the hills was breath-taking. Actually, it was completely covered by mist, much more than Ooty or Kodaikanal. We turned up the volume so high when we entered Tamil Nadu, and after an enjoyable ride, we reached the destination.
Google told us that we would take 3hrs to reach there. But my friend proved it wrong by reaching there an hour before then the stipulated time, though we had some stops for filling up the gas, to take pictures and to get some snacks. We had the most satisfying lunch and we were all set to go home now. We were driving very slow. After 3 days of enjoyment, we finally reached home and sadly our unforgettable trip came to an end.
In life, we will all have sudden unplanned trips like these. Yes, we might not be able to make it to all the trips. But, try to make most of the trips happen, because it may be the best trip or a new experience for you. These trips are once in a lifetime experiences. And sometimes in life, it doesn’t matter where we go or where we stay, with whom we go is the driving factor. So choose nice people to enjoy the trip. Be a nice person so that you can enjoy with others and make the trip enjoyable for others. Go with the flow. Don’t be the fun spoiler.
Moreover, there are people out there always thinking about well-known tourist spots or hill stations. It’s totally a waste of time. Surf the web well. There are many places in India to explore. While going with friends don’t spend too much money on hotel rooms, invest it on some nice, tasty, mouth-watering food. Get to know about the place before going there, at least know about it when you are on the way to that place so that you won't be wasting a single minute there thinking of what to do next. Pinterest is a very good app for that. Explore well!!!