There is nothing like a spontaneous adventure, really, so that is what we did. The day before we decided a last stint at the beach would be optimum (defined: most conducive to a favorable outcome; best) and so to put this decision into pro-active action, we woke up at 6 in the morning one fine Tuesday and hopped a rattling, shaking, booming beast of a bus. We trundled onward for four and a half hours (with the roughly three hundred people who also decided that bus ride would be fun that day)– stopping only once or twice so the bus driver could have a cup of tea. Naturally. We arrived a little windblown, but otherwise intact and were picked up at the bus halt by our very own Bala – who, incidentally, was very wary of the idea of two airheads on a non-English-speaking bus. Oh ye of little faith.
Wending our way through the streets of Trinco, we related stories of our incompetent bus conductor, who, with a casual flick of the wrist misinformed us at every given opportunity (wanting to walk to a hotel, he waved in the hotels general direction, failing to mention it was 11 miles away), and presently found ourselves at a little guesthouse called “Guesthouse”. It was basic but such is the nature of spontaneous trips – more basic the better. It also fringed the most perfect beach I have personally ever seen. Private, clear, blue, warm, white sanded and tourist-free it really was absolutely flawless.
Now Bala trips are traditionally non-stop, tiring, an absolute blast and marked by house music, biscuits and milo – and this was absolutely no exception. We (Bala, Dan, Sumedha, Fado, Al and Steph) boated off straight away to Pigeon Island where we spent hours snorkeling in the deep blue and oood and aaahd – or bubbled enthusiastically– at the lobsters, fish, sharks and sea leeches of immense size swimming around the nether world.
6 hours of swimming and lemonpuffs later, we jetted off into the sunset…only to sit on the beach and enjoy it from there. We flew kites and walked and body surfed and had a general good time until the best dinner of all time. Our fisherman friends fished our dinner from the ocean and proceeded to cook it right there on the beach in a custom made BBQ. All it took was a grill over a hole in the sand, several prime sized fish and some salt and pepper. Add on fresh caught prawns and crabs and more lemon puffs and you have yourself joy on a plate.
The butt-crack of dawn came early the next day. Breakfast? You guessed it. Lemon puffs (let me just clarify – lemon cream holding two melt-in-your-mouth biscuits together make for the most addicting creation ever. We brought half a suitcase back.) We spent the better part of the morning looking for an evasive sea turtle that never showed its face but that was fine because we got to swim around with a guide who showed us everything else the sea had to offer. The man was apparently super human, didn’t have to breath normal air and diving 35 feet to casually observe mollusks on the ocean floor in nothing but flippers was seemingly commonplace.
Snorkeling was, in due time, replaced with an activity of the faster variety. We tied a body board to the back of the boat in lieu of water skies or inner tubes, seeing as we didn’t have those and then strapped ourselves firmly to the body board in question. Clinging with ardent determination to a bit of rope holding body-boarder to boat, the boat was motioned forward and lo, the adventures of the impromptu water sport session began. No one drowned, arms stayed on the body board is still intact. Absolute success.
After on last dive into the sea and a frantic swim to shore, we packed up the jeep and said goodbye to the coast.
On the way home we lunched on vast mounds of fried rice and visited the temple Thirukoreswaram – an ancient hindu temple on a cliff overlooking the sea. It was beautiful and very interesting. Shoes came off, shawls were wrapped around offending bare shoulders and legs and the view, the smells, the sounds, the drums, the prayers and the colors were taken in.
The drive home was a little cozy, but backstreet boys, house, westlife, mad bouts of laughter, biscuits and good company made it entirely worthwhile.
Best. Trip. Ever.
Alisa and Steph