Saturday afternoon we headed south, once again, to Mahabalipuram. I wanted to get out of the house, but more importantly, Chris wanted to go for a surf. It was my first time surf-spectating. Usually I am on board with at least getting into the water and giving it a try instead of just watching, but at this point a surfboard is way too hard of a surface for me to lay on my stomach on, it would feel pretty similar to laying on a bowling ball.
It was kind of bizarre to watch Chris go off to do some fun activity and be left behind watching. I know that it is just for a short time and that there is a good reason for it, but it made me feel like a boring, lazy, slug. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself.
At first I decided that I would walk around town a bit. Although we have been here before, I had never actually walked through the town. We spent both trips hiking around mazes of ancient sandstone carvings and had completely neglected to check out what was reputed to be a cute little backpacker enclave.
Ultimately, I was exhausted by walking around in the extreme heat and being hassled by an endless line of shopkeepers wanting to sell me stone carvings, sarongs, handmade leather sandals, and air-conditioned meals among other things. I made my way back toward the beach to a rooftop restaurant to settle in for some surf-spectating. I wasn’t really hungry and we were supposed to go out for dinner afterwards anyway, but I felt like I had to order something anyway if I wanted to sit on their roof. I decided on a bottle of water and a fruit salad.
Unfortunately, this was the first food that I have ordered in India that I felt unsure about eating! The fruit was peeled and all, but the establishment did not look especially clean and the fruit looked like it may have been cut and peeled several days ago. Um, no thanks.
Upon further inspection, it was probably correct to be concerned. When I got up to use the restroom, I noted that not only did it lack soap, but it lacked a sink entirely. It is pretty common here to find bathrooms without soap, but no sink brought my level of alarm with eating there to a new high! Not surprisingly, when Chris headed back on Sunday morning for another surf, I decided to sit tight at home instead.
More on surf-spectating. It kind of reminds me of watching a running race. There are a lot of really boring parts where Chris and all of the other surfers lay or sit on their boards waiting for sets of waves to come in. Now and then, things would get exciting and Chris would catch a few waves, hopefully close enough for me to capture with my zoom lens.
Ultimately, I had mixed feelings about watching Chris surf versus actually making an attempt at it myself. There was a lot more going on at this beach than just surfing, which did make watching more exciting, but began to make me question if I really wanted to get into that water. More on that another day!