So Varkala is a tourist trap. For sure. However, it is a nice tourist trap.
The layout of the place is as follows. All of the backpacker guest-houses are on a cliff, 4km from town. There are a few beaches below the long cliff. Your time is spent hanging out on the beach, or relaxing in a cliff-side restaurant, or walking past the shops interspersed amongst the restaurants and guest-houses.
You are, effectively, a captive audience... the prices for everything are higher up here... a meal costs 60 rupees (1.5 dollars), as opposed to the 20 rupees in town. However, for this minor increase in cost, it does mean you get to see the beach from your room, and smell the surf..
I've been firing off bottle rockets every evening - much fun, hanging out listening to music, drinking a bit, and making the most of the fact that there are other foreigners here.
Admittedly, it does get a little bit lonely travelling by yourself in small towns after a while, surrounded by only Indians, and so it is nice to go somewhere with a few other native english speakers...
I've spent the last day and a bit with a very cool Lebanonese woman, and we may decide to travel north together (to another beach). We'll see - the great thing about travelling alone is that if someone pisses you off, you can just leave, and never see them again. But for now, we get along just fine - although our conversations are making me miss Lebanonese food.. Mmm. Fatoush.