Kerala - Strike...

On Wednesday I decided that I really needed to start moving more. I woke up in the morning just in time to catch the sunrise over the backwaters (I am taking far too many of these sunset an sunrise pictures!).

And I started my day with some Bharata Natyam training on the veranda.

Then I grabbed a piece of toast from the breakfast buffet and went to the beach for a swim and some attempts a body surfing that mostly resulted in me being covered in lots of sand since the waves break so close to the shore.

So I first had to try and wash the sand out of my hair before getting a proper breakfast.

This was followed by some reading and napping.

After 2 PM I walked towards the village. Around here, my umbrella is my best friend! Especially when I meet some Westerners with serious sunburns, I am glad to be wearing long pants and that I always have my shadow with me like a good Indian girl.

I soon noticed something strange: all the small shops were closed and 90 % of all vehicles on the street were motorbikes. No cars, no motor rikshas... First I thought that it was siesta time or something. But then I turned into the street to the next bigger village and got to what might be described as downtown: Many shops and businesses. And all of them closed. It looked like a ghost town... The only open shop was a pharmacy and there I was told that all of India was on a general strike for two days!

So I walked back to Beach Road but instead of going straight back to my resort I walked in the other direction to check out what other hotels there were. Not many - and mostly the simple kind.
I managed to get hold of some bisquits and two slices of pineapple. This was going to be my lunch...

Since I had a lot of time, I entered the gate to the resort next to mine and walked around a bit. It's a new, nice but more conventional structure with several 4-room buildings and some bungalows.

I went to the reception to ask for prices and a little tour. An employee showed me several rooms of different categories. They even have a house boat and a tree house! But most importantly, their cheapest room costs nearly 4 times as much as mine! So I decided not to change but to prolong my stay at the same resort. By now I had given up my vague plans of going somewhere else on Friday for the last 4 days of my vacation.
Why leave paradise if you don't have to?

Unfortunately the strike also meant that my massage was cancelled which I had booked for the early evening.

So I did what everybody does after 6 PM: go to the beach. The sky was not as clear as the last two days and the sunset not as spectacular. I joined a group of Indians for some wave jumping fun - as soon as your clothes are wet from the first wave, the rest is easy...
I had given my iPhone to one of the Indian girls to keep it dry and she took dozens of pictures, mostly in strange angles!

During dinner I noticed that there were a lot of Indian couples on their honeymoon. You can easily spot them: The newly wed women are always wearing loads of bangles and have their hands and arms covered with henna paintings. It looks kind of odd when they are wearing t-shirts and short pants.

When the neighbouring resort finally stopped their loud music it was a very quiet night - or at least that's what I thought. So I went to sleep without my earplugs. Only to wake up a dozen times from strange noises.
In the morning I determined that most probably there had been birds hopping on my palm leave roof. But it's still quite unsettling when you wake up from something in the night and your caveman instincts tell you to watch out for a big, bad predator!