Archive for February, 2007

Palakkavu Festival

Monday, February 26th, 2007

We happened to find out about a festival with loads of elephants very near to where we’re staying a couple of days ago.
Festivals are a funny thing in India… it’s quite hard as tourists to find out about many of them and what happens in them. Most of the tourists in Varkala were in total ignorance of the biggest festival of the year here. This one was really well organised, and plenty of money had obviously been sunk into it.

Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Elephant Eye
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Elephant Eye
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival
Varkala Festival

We might make our way to another festival on the 3rd which involves 3 million women cooking and offering the results to a deity… should be interesting.

I’ve been slowly relaxing and releasing the irritability which was building up from the North of India. Lying around beaches not doing much is not usually my idea of a good time, but I’ve needed a bit of a break and Kate has really been appreciating the change in pace. I relished the chance to get stuck into photographing a festival though, I ran around like a madman in tropical heat with no water or food for hours… many of the photos were taken at 10mm so the photographers reading this can appreciate how close I got myself to some of the action. Really rewarding.

More Varkala

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

The beggars here can be shameless… we were approached by one saying he was a poor man and could he have some money to help fix his broken mobile phone?

Anyway, some more photos from a couple of days ago atarting with a Yoga on the Beach session.

Yoga on the Beach
Yoga on the Beach
Sunset Fish

Varkala

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

After a 48 hour train journey, we arrived in Kerala! We had no idea where we were going, so we chose a destination the night before our arrival on the train. We’re now in (very) sunny Varkala, quite a shock getting on a train in what was almost English february weather and arriving in tropical paradise weather.
To give you an idea of how far we travelled, we went directly south for 2800km.
The distance from London to Rabat (Morocco) is 2000 km, so you can see how good a job we did in tracking down some good weather! I feel like a much better traveller, a squat toilet on a moving train now feels more hygienic and comfortable than many of our hotel bathrooms! We also now know that Kerala is a huge state, and not a town! Now we understand why the man at the ticket office gave us such a hard time when we asked for a ticket to Kerala.
Varkala is a resort on a cliff looking out over the Arabian Sea… it’s packed with bikinied tourists which is a shock after the rest of India! There’s not much life in these tourists though, they’re all too busy posing and they don’t quite seem like they’ve left the worries of home behind them. If you wander away from the cliff and follow the beach as far north as you can, the scenery is stunning, and you rarely meet any non-Indians. It always amazes me how reluctant travellers and tourists are to go anywhere not recommended in the Lonely Planet. Nobody seems to explore.
Anyway, here are a few shots of Varkala, but I’m putting the camera away for most of the time as I need a bit of a holiday from photo taking!

Beach
Beach
Beach
Beach
Beach
Modern Hairdressing
Yoga on the Beach
Yoga on the Beach

More Taj

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Some more photos of the Taj!

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal