Kovalam was an experience for all.
Another beach stop (apologies to readers in almost freezing dark England), first impressions are great. As you roll down the steep hill into Kovalam, it really is quite picturesque, with rolling waves and a lighthouse perched on the edge of the headland. It’s quite small and very touristy (mainly Germans and French). Tourism reliance was quite an overarching feature of Kovalam and noticably high, so much so, the floods and the associated negative press which i have spoken about previously, has accentuated the need to sell the visitors something to make a little money. Restaurants and shops are so happy to have your business, they are beaming and are quick to show their gratitude with a warm Keralan smile for spending money with them. Kovalam is a very popular domestic destination, and whilst it is just the start of the season, few people were around. I would be interested to know if the street selling is as repetitive and persistent in other years past. I absolutely realise this is a sad western view, but it took the relaxation out of the beach for me. Tan on the other hand, complained, yet bought shit loads of stuff! Job done from the Kovalam Beach Seller Team!
Our hotel was a short walk down a small lane from the main road in Kovalam. When we arrived, we were greeted and escorted to our room. It’s at that point i was questioning my own balance organ. The stairs thew me at first and i thought, ‘Nah’, it’s just the weight of the bags. Once we hit our landing it became clear we had actually entered a fun house. Wonky floors, beds on angles, it feels like you’re walking down the stairs, when you are actually walking up the stairs. Waking up in the morning and the mattress has started to slip off the bed. You have a slightly sore back, im guessing from trying to retain position on the bed all night. Not sure what we expected for £20 a night all in. We were treated to a fire fly (beetle) display on the balcony one night though, amasing.
The season at the moment is, unfortunately, one where a swarm of Jellyfish, who having been having sex at sea for the last few months, come into shore do die, from exhaustion im guessing? Anyway, this freaked the boys out, as we all got stung! Kit first (massive drama) then Jago and I. It was just a mild irritation that disappeared after 15 mins. It put the boys off going in the water though. well, for a few minutes anyway.
There are some quite strong currents at Kovalam, and a number of people die each year from being sucked out to sea. However, never fear as there are a couple of lifeguards there to keep everyone safe!!
Now, you will be forgiven for recognising that these dudes are not buff young chaps who look like they would be at your side in a second, should you succumb to the peril of a rip tide. The basic modus operandi, is to smoke as many tabs as possible while not looking at the sea, where the people are! If, for some crazy reason, someone goes in above the knee an odd sensor triggers and a whistle blows from one of them (looks a bit like a choo choo), its like a sixth sense which is not in keeping with the rest of the get up. I can only imagine this response is because neither of them can swim. It’s like Chief Wiggum and Boss Hogg meet the sea!