I am currently in a beach called Ezhara near Kannur. The pictures below is my current status. Unshaven, salty showers, and beach enjoyment during the past 2 days. We were very lucky to find it as we had not seen it in the Lonely Planet [even though is highly recommended] and had not read about it on Trip Advisor [even though it is #1 place to stay in Kannur]. Coming to Ezhara was a last minute random suggestion that we decided to take (see previous post!).
Not only is the beach and surrounding beautiful, but we are staying at Iris’s daughter’s (Haysan) homestay: Ezhara Beach House. I think because it’s in Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor with so many great reviews that it attracts a backpacker, social crowd. Meals are eaten as a group where you get to hear stories from people from all over the world (it reminded me to our International House experience back at UC Berkeley). We met Suzanne, a girl from New Jersey who lived in Jaipur to learn Hindi. We also met a couple (James and Jenni) that owns a tea company in the Bay Area, rented motorbikes here in India and are looking for spice plantations to do business with. Andrew and Jen, a South African couple that work for Green Peace in Johannesburg and do amazing work in Africa (who got engaged while staying here!). Yesterday we had new comers, a pair of Brittish friends (Alexandra and Caroline) who went to boarding school together some years back and now they live thousands of miles apart (one in NYC and the other in a small town in Western Canada) with fun careers (costume designer in the film industry and environmental consultant); but now travel together.
It is always nice to meet people with interesting lives and similar goals/values as you. All seem to share a desire to learn, explore, and enjoy life with simple means. As the days passed, we bonded over meals, swims and sharing personal life stories.
The homestay is small enough where you can socialize if you want to or big enough to go wonder by yourself and enjoy solitude with paradise. At any one point you can go walk the beach and swim (almost always by yourself), or go for a walk near the rocks to find lobsters or crabs, or some “secret” beaches. Our hosts, Iris, George (Iris’s husband), Salam, and his wife are amazing at hospitality. Today in the morning George took Alex, Caroline, Sara and I for a rowing experience in the open waters. We rowed for about 1 km into the open Arabian Sea hoping to swim with dolphins. We were unsuccessful with the dolphins but enjoyed a beautiful sunrise and a tranquil swim in the open water.
Yesterday George took some of us to a nearby beach to play soccer with the local kids, unfortunately our team lost 4-2 but it was tons of fun.
The homestay is not the luxury type, it has simple rooms with a mosquito net, a working fan, and a good hard bed. However, you fall asleep listening to the sound of waves and wake up to the same (although sometimes the 5 am prayer from the nearby Mosque has woken me up). There are four hammocks to relax on and the food … amazing!
I should have be writing everything we’ve had these past few days … mussels curry, fried fish, okra curry, potato curry, puttu, egg curry, prawn curry, and so much other stuff I cannot even describe! Def. want to stay in more homestays!
Without knowing it 4 days ago, we are here in Ezhara Beach from a simple conversation with some travelers, and now we’ve made new friends, learned more about Kerala, and had an amazing time with our hosts!