The Fountains in the Arabian Sea

Something about Varkala stunted my ability to write. James is writing an epic piece on what is wrong with Varkala. He’s right on. And I am pretty sad that I stumbled – I was feeling so creative, planning the edits on my book, thinking through ideas for my next one. But not everything in Varkala was a drag. Here’s what I liked: Swimming. The Arabian Sea is big, though not like the Pacific (nothing is). It is a real body of water with real waves and wave-like reactions to the shallowing as land is approached. We swam on 3 of the 5 days we were in Varkala, and the experience was stunning each time. Black Beach is at the north end of the cliff, and we were very close to it – maybe 5 minutes from door to water. The beach is not broad, and there is very little sand that doesn’t get wet at some point during the day. We left our clothes and shoes on the rocks piled along the top edge of the beach and tiptoed down the dark sands to the cooled wet portions. The sea itself was chilly compared to the hot, muggy air, but I never felt chilled while swimming. Maybe that was because I was exercising so hard! See, the ground underwater had several ledges within a couple hundred yards of the beach. The first made the big waves – the crashing, almost surfable waves. The second was bowed, and it created a new line of peaking, tipping waves, smaller than the first batch but with great power. This is the farthest out we went. These waves actually pressed into each other because of the bow of the ledge, like a V the crashed into itself, creating an I. But of course, since[…]

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