happnin' varkala, India - coming down from the sky

Yolanda’s bit
Bubble wrap man behind, the two hours train trip to Varkala was an easy one.
A less spoilt version of Kovalam but said to be going in the same direction, Varkala is hilly and life runs along the red rocky cliffs. From the top, there's a fifty meters drop to the beach. Two weeks package white tourists and weekend Indian tourists are gone, there's much less beach trade and hassle and there's a travelers' laid back feel about it. Three or four days of more beach life.

We had our first encounter with cockroaches. They are huge and brown and have a hard skeleton like crabs' and run like little devils. After the first hysteric fit, we managed to Time magazine one of them to death in the bathroom. We'd deal with the corpse in the morning. The ants were faster than us. On their neat organized line they managed to carry it across the floor and on to the wall up to the sink top and through the minimal crack between that and the wall. Next morning, only the end of one of the legs was sticking out from between the water tap and the wall!
At 4am I was awaken by Miles's scream when another another little beast who had managed to crawl somehow inside the top of the mosquito net had jumped down to his chest. After some disturbed sleep I decided to adopt the "I'll pretend it's all normal" attitude and it was, just normal.

At sunset, on one of the beach ends, a group of mainly Indian and some white people gathered and trained some variation of Sotokhan Karate. The instructors were English and were there by accident. We watched through the session and missed our Kung Fu. Next evening we went practicing our forms on the beach and attracted -again- some Indian tourists who had a picture taken with us.
Along the cliffs there were always a few paragliders jumping off into the void. It looked like fun.

By now we know the actual Vaio situation after three weeks of calling Bombay DHL. It's being held by Indian customs and excise as well as thirty other packages and we would be lucky if it got released before we leave India.
As nothing was holding us south anymore, we would start our way up to Bombay, the last leg of India.

From Quillon we took an eight hours boat trip to Allepey through the famous backwaters of Kerala. The crowd on the boat ranged ranged from an always talkative French group, an Israeli man taking pictures of everything and explaining to an English lady what everything we saw was (learned a lot about coconut fiber "cuor", Chinese fishing nets -like huge wooden legged spiders popping out from the water with their open trapping nets-, land protection against the monsoon and cashew trees), some western women dressed in saris -who look the same as all the other western women dressed in saris- that we picked up from a meditation Ashram on the way and a lone real tough traveler who smiled ironically or madly at everything and smoked spliffs at the back of the boat.

All day water canals which lead to still more water canals, intertwined in a net, twisting around rich tropical land, narrowing sometimes, other times meeting a lagoon. Repetitive wavings from Indian kids at the banks of the river asking "one pen?" "one rupee?". One of the French girls threw a pen which for everyone disappointment landed on the water.
There were hundreds of jellyfish hanging around in the water near the surface. Different shapes and colors, some fluorescent.
There was a strange waterlilly effect on the water surface. Just before the ferry got close to them, they would shrink and drown very fast and resurface after we'd passed. Very intriguing. The boat man told us it was the water sucking effect of the engine.

We stopped for one of the typical thali lunch meal served on a banana leaf as a a plate and eaten with your fingers. Delicious.

Miles’s bit