Saturday, December 23
Off Lighthouse Beach, 16:52
After breakfast our rickshaw driver, whose name I will spell as Tangarat, arrived at the door to tell us he would remove the bags from the lake in the quarry. We looked out of the window as five teenagers jumped from the cliff into the water and swam around collecting the seven bags. They dragged them to the shore and piled them up. Needless to say the soaking wet bags refused to light when they tried to start a fire.
They hid them under leaves instead.
Anu phoned Naa, or whatsapped her, or whatever, asking if she would like to go for a drive to Varkala. She said yes and he turned up with two friends: one local guy called something like Vishka, and a guy called Simon from Manchester. Off they went.
They kept in contact with us on Whatsapp throughout the day, sending photos of their progress on what turned out a two hour motorbike ride, followed by wandering and eating, and a two hour ride back.
We took Tangarat’s rickshaw to Hawa Beach, and walked the length of the seafront, stopping to buy a wooden cow’s head that Irma had wanted since our last visit. We said a long hello to the Tibetan woman in the Yak Boutique, where Irma bought some gifts to take home. Finally we exchanged some money at the booth behind Leo and sat there for a beer and an apple juice.
We look at EB Beauty while we sit at Leo, notice that its frontage has changed, and decide to see if we can find Hari. First, though, we visit Udaya in his tailor’s shop. We ask him to make a bag for Naa.
Hari’s hotel venture, The New Volga Hotel, stands next door to Udaya’s shop, We walk past, turn and see the red house and restaurant, another of his new schemes, and then turn the corner to The Village, the shop he started three years ago with Christine Winberg.
We find Christine and Hari stocking the shop, having finished redecorating it. Hari goes off to deliver some things to someone, and we spend half an hour or so talking to Christine until I spot a potential customer outside and she races out to capture her. Christine and her customer both come from Sweden so we say hejdå and I take a photo of the outside display after they have gone inside to inspect the stock.
We will walk back and get our rickshaw home. Naa will arrive back about 20:45, and will have decided that she likes riding on the back of motorbikes.
We will sit on the balcony chatting. We will hear Bruno howling and leading a gang of dogs in the distance but he will not appear at the house. Nobody will feel hungry so we will eat plates of fresh fruits and carrots, before going to bed.