We were planning to spend our last days in Varkala, but our 2nd day there we learn that the Communist Party of India (official name) is planning a 48 hour strike and all public transport will be shut down. This strike is scheduled to happen when we will need to make our way back to Kochi, to catch a flight to Delhi which will take us home.
Because of Communism, we have no choice but to leave our beloved Varkala early and start heading in the direction of the airport. In case everything shuts down and we get stranded, we want to be as close as possible to Kochi. So we book new flights, figure out train times and pack our bags.
Kochi is 3 hours from Varkala, which really means 4 days. Amma’s ashram (the hugging saint) is right smack bang in the middle and we decide we will stop there along the way, where Bobby has a cousin and we can stay for the night.
We are hoping that once we get to Amritapuri, we will be able to hire a rickshaw to take us to the ashram. However we aren’t entirely sure this will work out, or what we will do if it doesn’t.
The train drops us off here –
Desolation?! So unlike anything we’ve experienced in India.
Bobby leaves us with the packs and sets off to find a rickshaw. We have no idea when we will see him again. We do this for the next couple of hours –>
Bobby eventually comes back with one rickshaw for 5 people. The boys sit on the seat, and Cerrie and I fold ourselves into pretzels to sit on the ledge behind the driver, facing the boys, all of our knees wedged next to each other. It took 20 minutes to get to our destination and I was pretty sure I was gonna break my spine.
We arrive at the ashram, and do our best to communicate to our rickshaw driver that we need him to come back to get us at 5am the next day. We watch him drive away, and it’s like I’ve swallowed rocks…there goes our one chance out of this hell hole. If he doesn’t show, we’re screwed. We sigh and turn and walk into the ashram.