After leaving bustling Bombay on Wednesday afternoon we flew down to South East India to our new location for the next five days which is a long coastline full of beautiful sandy beaches and little villages called Goa. We arrived just in time for sunset, which we thought was perfect timing until we checked into our ‘eco-hotel’ and realised that our room was more outside than inside and as the sun went down the creepy crawlies came out – eek! It was made out of sticks arranged in a room shape with curtains for privacy, a bathroom with no roof, a hole in the floor for a loo and a tree growing in the middle of it!
The next morning we woke up to the sounds of monkeys running across our room shaped sticks and full of excitement (and relief to leave behind the insects!) headed out to explore our new location. We found the nearby beach which is called Palolem, it is a large sheltered cove of yellow sand with the cool blue Indian Ocean, and all the way along the beach are coconut trees with little restaurant & hotel coco-hut shacks nestled between. The atmosphere was so relaxed compared to Bombay, there were people doing yoga on the beach, lazing and sleeping in the sun and even some dogs and cows had joined in with a nap on the beach.
The next couple of days we spent in pure relaxing indulgence. We spent some time swimming and a lot of the time eating pancakes and drinking banana milkshakes (we must have been craving the blandness after so many currys in Bombay!). As you might have guessed we were not hippie enough for our eco-hotel so we changed to stay in a coco-hut on the beach. The guy who was looking after the coco-hut was quite a character, he used the word ‘full-powered’ at the start of everything, we had a full-powered shower, we got some full-powered laundry, we were told how lobsters are full-powered prawns and were told many times to have ourselves a full-powered day. Every now and then we would overhear a conversation in Hindi which of course we couldn’t understand but then the words ‘full-powered’ would crop up hear and there, it turned out he was quite the influence!
On Friday our friend Katya who we had been staying with previously in Bombay flew down to Palolem to join us. We had quite an action packed weekend together, we swam around to another beachy cove, kayaked as the sunset over the ocean, Rach & Katya tried some yoga under a serene canopy of coconut trees. On the Saturday night we found some really awesome live music and listened over dinner whilst enjoying fireworks going off on the beach and Chinese lanterns passing by in the starry sky. We got really into the spirit after dinner and had a dance (even Paddy was persuaded to after a couple of tequilas!)
The final day we went on a day trip to a waterfall, this involved the bumpiest jeep ride through some streams, past some deadly black cobras (we saw one jump across the road!) and a small walk through a jungle. We realised why the waterfall was so popular when we arrived, it was so beautiful. The water was really clear and ice cold – literally breathtaking at first but great when the temperature is 30+! There were baby monkeys hopping around the waterfall munching on stolen lunches and every now and then a little coal train would trundle by way up above the waterfall, just adding to the idyllic setting.
We were sad to say goodbye to Goa on Sunday evening, and even more sad to say goodbye to Katya after such a lovely week with her. If you are reading this Katya, we miss you already! Well onwards we go, on to our next adventure in Cochin Fort.