• Sorry our pretty design with the map is broken.

The triumph of hope over experience

Of all the excuses as to why we haven’t updated our blog for aeons the one we give most often is the difficulty of finding reliable (cheap and/or free) internet access. Obviously if we were to be completely honest, the most valid excuse or rather reason would be that we’re just too damn lazy. I find that too much honesty can be rather uncomfortable however so I’m going with the unreliable internet angle or at least I was until now…

When we were planning the South American leg of our trip my only request was to be in Buenos Aires for the world cup. John, being the lovely man that he is, acquiesced without too much pleading on my part (malbec, empanadas and alfajores figured quite prominently if I recall correctly) and we set about finding an apartment to rent.

It wasn’t long (a google search here, a thorntree search there) before we alighted upon the website for San Telmo Loft, a quick read and we were sold and promptly sent off an email inquiring about availability. It may not have been the cheapest of apartments out there but it was certainly the most interesting in our price bracket, in a great neighbourhood and packed with great amenities. Including, yes – you’ve guessed it, free wifi.

So with free and reliable wifi for the next month it would feel churlish to not at least attempt this blogging lark one more time before we throw in the towel and resign ourselves to a lifetime of blogless shame. I therefore promise you dear reader (I think we may still have one or two kind souls who haven’t thrown us off their feed), to attempt to post daily whilst we’re in Buenos Aires.

As my last post was about our Californian homes and this post comes courtesy of our Buenos Aires home I shall leave you with pictures of a couple of a favourite homes of the last ten months.

The Chillout Flat, Mexico City.  Beautiful space, fantastic hosts, great breakfasts!

Chillout Flat - Mexico City Chillout Flat - Mexico City

Skylark Guesthouse, Varkala. Go there, stay there, never want to leave!

Skylark Guesthouse, Varkala Our room, Skylark Guesthouse, Varkala

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Slowly heading home

After five weeks of lazing on the beach and hanging out at the Skylark we have finally left Varkala. It was an odd feeling to think again about the best way to pack the bags.

Travelling by train feels like we have returned to the real India. A man on the platform at Ernakulum Town approached and whispered “where are you going? Want tuk tuk?” assuming we did not know about the prepay booth in the station entrance. It feels good to return to somewhere where people remember you, it’s not quite home but almost feels that way. And home is where we are slowly but steadily heading. It’s now that we realise that we won’t see all those places we intended to visit before we left. No momos at the Tibetan kitchen.

- a Momento from 26 Feb 2010

Chinese Fishing Net, Kochin

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Its ok to stay put

We’ve been in Varkala for a few weeks now, finally accepting that its ok to stay put and do little. We’re into a regular routine of brunches, reading books, on the Internet and swimming.

So now an issue has come up. It means we really should head home early and sort things out before the next leg of the trip. It’s funny how comfortable we are with it. It feels like the wheels have come off the trip, but we are happy to let it happen. I guess on an 18 month trip you can’t do the same thing, at a constant momentum, the whole time. That would drive you nuts.

So we need to rearrange things and we suddenly no longer want to visit places, just stay here until we fly home. And it doesn’t feel wrong – Its a good thing.

- a Momento from 13 Feb 2010

The Hungary Eye on Varkala cliff

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Ebb and flow of visitors

Staying in one place for a while allows you to see the ebb and flow of visitors. The turnover of holidaymakers on Saturday and the dwindling numbers as the season starts to come to a close. In the last Week or so we’ve seen a change as sun-seekers on a week’s holiday give way to spiritualists coming down from their ashram experiences – chatting excitedly with new found friends.

Nationalities seem to arrive in clusters. English, then Germans, now we seem to be surrounded by the the sound of Italian accents – rolling and syrupy.

- a Momento from 5 Feb 2010

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Struggling with inertia

We’ve been struggling with our inertia for the last few days – putting off the planning for places we can’t miss in south India. After traveling for so long it just seems wrong to miss out places while we have the time to go there.

The re-planning has been feeling like a chore and keeping within the budget increasingly hard. So we eventually admitted that we didn’t want to see much more in the south and were more than happy to stay put for the next 3 weeks in this gringofied beach community. It’s taken a while to get used to the idea – and once we did we realised this is exactly what we talked about doing in Goa: a month living on the beach not spending much. Well Varkala is a quieter, cheaper, more real location than Goa. We’re not in a beach hut but Faith’s place feels like home and at a great price too.

So far from giving up on our trip, we’re doing exactly what we planned to do. Result! Now it’s time to pay our breakfast bill and think about when to head to the beach.

- a Momento from 4 Feb 2010

Black beach reflection, Varkala

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Notes from Varkala

We got chatting to a fellow guest at the skylark and it turned out that she lives near our old neighborhood of Crouch End. Not only do we frequent the same haunts, but she is a copywriter for ad agencies – I’m surprised we haven’t worked together.
– a Momento from 31 Jan 2010

Had a nice sunset paddle at black beach yesterday. The surf had got up bit since last week. Seems like the waves get bigger round full moon, which makes sense. So my sore back and skinned knee are on the mend just in time for another bashing.
– a Momento from 1 Feb 2010

Dusk at Black beach, Varkala

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