After 5 days of Bombay hustle the white sandy beaches of Goa beckoned.
These days, Goa is a major tourist destination, and I believe (having never been there before) that some say it’s not what it used to be. I’m sure that if you spent enough time there, working and living you would see past the commercialisation, but you can’t help but wonder what it must have been like 30 years ago?
We stayed in Palolem, a quiet stretch of beach right on the southern tip of Goa. Idyllic in so many ways, it was just what the soul needed to unwind after 5 days in Mumbai.
Think white sandy beaches, relaxing in the sunshine by day and candle-lit dinners of fresh fish and cold beer at night. Lights and music out at 11.30pm (due to the quiet nature of that part of Goa) followed by a noisy night of insects, wild dogs and confused cockerels!
We took a trip to watch the dolphins at sunrise, ate more calamari than I could ever imagine and I even had time to read a whole book – bliss.
THE HIDDEN GARDEN
If you ever go to Palolem , I couldn’t recommend The Hidden Garden enough. Owned by the lovely Nitesh and his family; it’s a private, sheltered sandy area with only 5 huts. One thing though, make sure you know exactly where it is before you arrive. It’s called the Hidden Garden for a reason and we managed to lose it a couple of times!
OUT & ABOUT
The beach in Palolem is small and you can easily walk from one end to the other in 15 minutes. There is an array of restaurants all the way down mainly serving the catch of the day. My favourite dish was the fresh fish tandoori; baked in a clay pot with herbs and spices; served simply with salad and yes… cold beer!
To be fair, we didn’t see very much of Goa, but after 4 blissful days by the Arabian sea we were feeling recharged and refreshed. It was time to take a deep breath and dive back into the real world so we caught a train and set out for the ancient city of Hampi.