In the winter of 1998, a friend and I embarked on a trip along the West Coast of India beginning at Honnavar (Karnataka) and ending at Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) 10 days later. It was a hop on, hop off trip, one of the best trips I have ever undertaken, and a trip that I remember for various reasons.
While in Thiruvananthapuram, we took a spur of the moment decision to spend the night at one of the hotels on Kovalam Beach. That turned into quite an experience—being the only Indians staying back, being the subject of countless stares and comments, and dealing with plate-sized spiders in our room. After a sleepless night (you didn’t really expect us to sleep with the spiders around, did you?), we stumbled out of our room at daybreak—all red-eyed and cranky—to see a glorious sunrise.
Once upon a time, ok in November 1998, a friend and I decided to travel down the West coast of India. We started in Honnavar in Karnataka and travelled all the way down to Thiruvananthapuram, hopping in and out of trains and buses. It is a trip that makes me nostalgic even thinking about it. One the places we “discovered” was St. Mary’s Island, off Malpe Beach near Udipi.
St. Mary’s Island, also called Coconut Island by the locals, is an uninhabited island with a shelly beach and clear, cool waters. This is how the local operator who ran motor boat services to the island sold the beach to us. What he did not mention was that the island was made up of columnar basalts, and that it was a geological monument.