India Photo Diary: Varkala

Varkala, India, Kerala
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Finally part one of my India photo diary is here!
Today’s post is focusing on just one of the many places I have visited in India: Varkala.

Varkala is a small town situated on the coast in the state of Kerala. The unique cliff top boardwalk and layed back beach vibe coupled with the stunning ocean views draw many tourists to the area… Some never leave! I have visited Varkala a few times in recent years and have to say it is one of my favourite places in India. Perfect for a chilled out break from the seeming chaos that is India!

For anyone planning a trip, I have put together my personal guide to Varkala!

Place to Stay: Akhil Beach Resort is a luscious tropical resort at a very reasonable price. The rare luxury of a pool makes this a must stay in my opinion, especially if you are travelling with kids! They also have an Ayurvedic centre, daily yoga classes and a restaurant.

Place to Eat: Pretty much all the food in Varkala (or India for that matter!) is amazing and you can get all types of cuisine along the cliff top. My favourite eatery was Abba Restaurant, which we unfortunately only discovered on the last day! Everything we ate was so divine and I highly recommend the momos!

Place to Drink: No holiday is complete without cocktails at sunset, right? Luckily there is a place that delivers both of these at the north end of the cliff. Sunset Restaurant has the best mojitos around and the endless view of the ocean provides the perfect setting.

Must see: Take a walk up the end of the north cliff, near the helipad, to watch the incredible sunsets India has to offer. We actually made an effort to catch the sunset each day as it was always so breathtaking! 
Special mention: If you, like me, can not function without a daily dose of caffeine, then you must visit the Coffee Temple. Home of possibly the best coffee in India!

So there it is Emily’s guide to Varkala!! Hopefully I have helped anyone planning a visit.

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India ’13

 
Ok, that’s it… Holiday mode is officially over! I have finally snapped out of it and as promised here is my photo diary from our recent trip to India.
As you can see, most of our time was spent hanging by the beach! Being the first trip overseas with our little one, we chose not to be too crazy and adventurous. We pretty much stayed at Kovalam Beach the whole trip with a quick stopover at Varkala (also a beach location!!) for a few nights on the way down. It was so great just to chill out, eat indian food, and of course enjoy plenty of cocktails! 
The thought of travelling to a third world country with an eight month old was very nerve wracking in the lead up to the trip, so we made an effort to plan ahead as much as possible. I think having been to India a few times already meant that we knew what to expect so could plan accordingly. Luckily for us everybody stayed safe and well and we had a nice, relaxing holiday. 
 
For anyone planning to travel to India or somewhere similar with a baby, I thought I would share with you some of my tips for an enjoyable holiday:
– Take a kettle with you (or buy one there).  
– Stay in accommodation with kitchen facilities. (I have never loved a microwave so much in my life!!)
– Anti bacterial baby wipes (these were the best thing ever).
– Snap lock bags for everything from food to bottles to dirty bibs etc.
– Milton tablets for sterilising when there is no microwave or stove.
– Breast feed if possible. 
– Mosquito nets for the cot and pram.
– Baby harness for car travel.
– Lots of sunscreen and sun cover.
 And most important of all.. enjoy yourself!! If you are careful and plan ahead there is no need to be anxious.
What are your top tips for travelling with a baby??
 
 
 

India Wedding


As we get ready to head off on our annual India holiday, I thought I would flashback to our Indian wedding ceremony in 2009.
We headed to India with 12 of our friends and family and travelled through India together, ending the holiday in Kovalam, Kerala where our wedding ceremony was held. The extreme highs (cruising around Allepey in a houseboat ) and extreme lows (the realisation that the return trip from Delhi to Agra by car took over 10 hours.. which we stupidly did on the same day) made this trip the most memorable yet!


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My Trip to India..












So.. This is what I have been up to for the last three weeks. Travelling around India and experiencing the amazing sights, places and people. We visited gorgeous old palaces in Jaipur, cruised the backwaters on a houseboat in Alleppey, relaxed on the beach in Goa, met some lovely locals in Kovalam and of course, stuffed ourselves on delicious Indian food! This trip was a lot more relaxed than previous trips as we decided to spend a bit more time on the beach doing not much at all.. instead of the usual rush to cram as many places as we can into such a short period of time!! However, we did manage to visit a few places that we haven’t been to before and so we got to experience just a little bit more of Incredible India!!