Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Funky, Junky and Fun! - Devi's description of Goa

With two wheeled suitcases plowing troughs in the sand, we stumbled into the restaurant section of The Nest, a group of 16 beach huts along Palolem beach at the south (more subdued) part of Goa, also known as the hippie town.

Mohan spotted us and lead us down the sandy path to hut #10. He, with his wife Ellie and their 2 year old son Daniel, own and run the place which is open yearly from November to March. During the off season, the huts are torn down, stacked and stored down the road and they go to London to live until the next tourist season.

Rustic best described our thatched 12 x 12 foot hut which consisted of a bed covered with mosquito net and a small table. We paid the 2 dollars extra per night for a bathroom and hot water, bringing our grand total per night to 22 dollars! The bathroom is made up of a toilet, sink and shower head so you basically could take a shower while brushing your teeth or using the toilet. Hot water means that you flip a switch and wait for a small one gallon tank to warm. This style living is truly roughing it and it was an absolute hoot. Washing our clothes in a plastic bucket and hanging them to dry on twine I packed, existing with no lights, basically no power, no paper products of any kind, makes one understand the reality of a simple life. With it also comes the sound of the crashing waves of the Arabian Sea only a few hundred feet from our doorstep as well as the sound of palm frowns brushing together in the nightly breeze that grow all the way down to the beach. Amazing!

Dev is a beach girl through and through. After dropping off our bags, we went for cold drinks and to listen to the live reggae coming from the hut establishment next door. Once Dev's bare feet hit the sand, her perm-grin was immediate and remained across her face the whole 4 days.

Relaxing is what is done here. That is really it. The small lagoon is home to one set of beach huts after another and it is not unusual to watch new comers enter the cove on the only road that accesses it and wander with suitcases drug behind looking for a vacancy at one of them along the way. One might think they were in Mexico, as this is the one place in India where skimpy clothing is allowed, but there is still the ever-present salwar kameez clad woman who is here. There are also a vast assortment of beach dogs that call this stretch of beachfront home. They are friendly and wander through the open air huts and restaurants.

Our days would begin by waking a bit stiff on the coconut husk mattress requiring a short walk along the beach before heading back to The Nest restaurant for a bite. Fresh squeezed juice every morning, a fabulous cup of coffee and eggs to order. Devi was hooked on sweet lassi drinks. Then into the warm ocean for a swim. Once in, it was hard to get Dev out, but her shivering lips were the tell-tale sign that some sunning time was in order. Nap time came soon after, then lunch, more beach walks and swimming, then showering and walking the beach stretch looking for a place to watch the sunset and eat dinner. At night, the days catch are displayed outside each open air restaurant where one just needs to point, and that seafood would be prepared especially for you. Pretty simple.

I'll hit the highlights in the next post.

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