KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The weather has definitely changed here in Varkala. Each day we have noticed the temperature creeping upwards, but the most obvious change was the humidity that has settled over us and caused a mist over the horizon. We no longer see the clear blue sea meet the sky as we did before. The other great change we have noticed is the sharp decline in fellow travellers; the beach seems deserted compared to just ten days ago.
We have decided to move on too; tomorrow we will drive up the coast to Alleppy and enjoy the backwaters of Kerala for a few days. The temperatures have also increased in the Nilgiri Hills so we are now willing to brave the cooler temperatures (the lows have been as low as four degrees there).
I did a little shopping here - it was my sister's birthday on Feb 21st and I have a tradition of buying her new hats - I found a very unusual one, but the woman I bought it from was even more unusual. I have included photos of the woman, a tribal woman from the neighbouring state, Karnataka, and the hat. I couldn't resist one for myself as well. No two are alike - I told Donna that they will be our Edmonton Folk Festival hats for 2007!
The other day a film crew invaded the cliff tops of Varkala - they too are from Karnataka and are here to film a commercial. I'm sure they are disappointed with the misty skyline and we find they are mostly filming interior shots inside the small shops that line the top of the cliffs. The first day, I snapped a photo of them filming right along the edge of the cliff. They had a rather unsafe looking crane with the camera and two crewmen perched at the end, jutting right out over the edge. The other end was loaded down with iron weights and, just to add extra ballast, another crew man had climbed out to sit on top of the weights. It looked pretty precarious to me, especially when I noticed another two men sitting on the base of the crane. I was worried that the whole lot of them would go tumbling off the edge right before our eyes. Happy to report that nothing happened, it was interesting watching them film the scene with two young actors making eyes at each other at a makeshift stall along the path.
We thought about traveling in the backwaters on one of the famous houseboats, like we did with Dilip and Alaka Kembhavi in December 2000. We decided that the experience back then was so perfect that it would be hard to recreate it, so we are thinking that instead we will try going in one of the small canoes on a day trip, rather than an overnight trip, as we should be able to see the villages more closely and learn about some of the traditional work that is carried out along the shores. Stay tuned for more photos and stores in my next update.