Kovalam, India – Travelling Slowly

Kovalam is a great place for travelling slowly because things seem to just move slower here. It’s probably mostly due to the time of year. It’s the beginning of monsoon season, although you wouldn’t know it from the weather. Since we’ve been here ( 3 days now) it has rained twice. And not what I would call monsoon rain, where it looks like a white curtain has been pulled across your balcony. A little sprinkle in the afternoon one time, a little bit of rain at night the other time.

The big effect we have seen from the monsoon is the change in ocean currents. The Arabian Sea feels more like Lake Ontario, but with twelve foot waves. The over-sized waves cause riptides and other weird beach currents, so there’s no swimming. There were still 4 or 5 people out surfing yesterday, though. 🙂

Chilly surfers
These guys are surfing with no wetsuits!

Another way things feel slower here ( and it’s my favorite thing about the place) is that there are NO MOTOR VEHICLES!!

“How is that possible?” you ask? How can there be a place in India with no auto-rickshaws ( tuk-tuks, three-wheelers), taxis, motorbikes, scooters, busses honking at each other?

Light House Beach, where we’re staying, has a decent hill at either end. All the hotels and restaurants are in a little cove between these hills. Somehow during the growth or expansion of this little town, no-one ever graded a road down into the cove. It’s awesome!

Instead of roads, there’s an elevated boardwalk along the beach lined with the usual assortment of hotels, restaurants, and shops. Back from the beach, there’s even more of the same but to find them you have to navigate a labyrinth of tiled footpaths. Whenever we go anywhere we ask the question “Do we take the beach or the maze?”

Beautiful Kovalam maze
When I took this shot, we were legit lost

Most of the restaurants on the beach have open fronts with the chairs lined up so everyone’s looking at the waves. Beautiful incentive to just sit with a pot of tea or some coffee mugs full of beer ( nobody pays for a liquor license) for a few hours. Sloooowwwww.

I keep trying to imagine what it would be like to be here in high season and failing. If all the hotels, shops, and restaurants were open and busy… I just can’t imagine the chaos.

Today we goofed around in our hotel all morning, went for lunch by the beach, and then walked up to the lighthouse. That’s our whole day. Now we will have a beer on the balcony and go for dinner. Travelling slowly, good times.

Bonus toilet instructions:

How to use Indian toilet
Vero shot this in the bathroom at lunch


I am a world-travelling, long distance runner previously disguised as a high-voltage engineer and now masquerading as a travel blogger.

4 thoughts to “Kovalam, India – Travelling Slowly”

  1. Wow! Profitez bien de cette accalmie. Au nord les moussons sont habituellement à partir de juillet et apparemment le mois de juin est le plus chaud (45-50 ° C). D’ailleurs le congé scolaire est en mai-juin à cause de la chaleur. Bonne continuité! Gros câlins!

    1. Thanks for the comment Thais! Some days our “to do list” consists of 1. Buy Fruit. 2. Eat fruit. That’s it!

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