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Published: January 19th 2009
12 Dec to 27 Dec - from Benaulim I decide to head to Palolem which is further south and more lively...according to the Lonely Planet. Yup, this is more like it, much busier, young people, lots of restaurants and a great beach. I pick the Palolem Beach Resort, again pot luck which turns out to be a good choice. I'm staying in a cute wee orange shack! It's basic but for Rs1000 per night (approx GBP13) I get a big room, double bed and my own toilet and shower, what a bargain...I expected to be staying in hostels for this price. The shack is surrounded by coconut palms and I can hear the ocean lapping against the shore while lying in my bed 😊 The resort has it's own restaurant overlooking the beach where I spend most of my time.
By day, the beach is full of sun worshippers, dogs, cows (they get everywhere these holy cows!) and fishing boats as well as people playing cricket, volleyball, football and frisbee. By night, although the entire beach is lined by bars, restaurants and accomodation there are noise curfews due to the high security levels following the Mumbai terrorist attacks with Goa
Home Sweet Home
For Christmas 2008
officially declared on high alert as a possible target during the Christmas and New Year period...oh great! So the beach is relatively quiet by night but it means there's lots of great spots to peacefully watch amazing sunsets.
For the first 5 days or so I'm on my own, only talking to the bar staff. I spend my time (again) updating blog, reading loads of books and walking along the beach. However, then I meet 'Goa Guy' aka Sachin. He 'accosts' me on the beach one afternoon and within 10 minutes of meeting him I'm being whisked away on the back of his motorbike away from the resort wondering where the heck I'm going to end up. Not the most sensible thing I've ever done in my life...I'm a bit apprehensive at first but gut feelings tell me he's an ok guy despite his wandering hands, lol. We watch the sunset from the countryside and he returns me back to the resort safely and in one piece. From then on we spend time together every day. He's 30 and living with his parents while he finishes studying ecomonics at uni. He's funny to be with and helps take my
mind off thinking about it being Christmas and missing Liam. His incessant singing, if you can all it that, is highly amusing. It's nice to spend time with someone and he's enthustiastic to show me the real Goa. We explore Palolem and the surrounding area as well as Cotigao Wildlife Santuary, Margao (the main town of South Goa), Chaudi and Turtle Beach (a paradise-esque, remote beach with white sand). We go everywhere on his motorbike, it's a great way to explore and I love the freedom of driving along the country roads with the wind in my hair (no helmets worn here!). Through Sachin, I also meet Jojo who runs the fab Sunset Bar at the end of the beach - THE place to be for a sundowner and also discover Cafe del Mar, the liveliest place in Palolem open 24 hours!! We also visit lots of local cafes rather than tourist restaurants...much more authentic although there's only so much veg thali a girl can take 😊
At my hotel there is a massage shack. I have an amazing Ayurvedic Kerala massage during the first week of my stay, 75 minutes of pure bliss, top to toe massage and
I'm awash in oils...full body massage, head, neck and face massage all for less than GBP8, cannae get that at home! It's so good I decide to book another one for Christmas Eve as a Crimbo present to myself.
Christmas Eve - in the middle of the night I phone the girls Gel, Luce and Gill who are in Tiger Lily having our annual girlie Xmas dinner, only this year I'm being represented by an empty wine bottle at the fourth seat. They seem delighted to hear from me 😊 I have a relaxing day and have my massage, just as good as the first one. Meet Sachin and spend Christmas Eve in Cafe del Mar...until 6am. Extremely drunk, trying to forget that it's Christmas and that I miss Liam so much. Drunkenly phone him on the way home...makes a change as it's normally him calling me in a drunken state after his numerous Christmas parties!
Xmas Day - VERY hungover, have a quiet day and don't surface until 4pm. Meet Sachin and the two of us just sit and chillout for hours at our fave restaurant Dropadi's, people watching for hours. Speak to mum, dad and papa
Sandbags on the beach for the Indian Army!
after their Christmas lunch - I'm certainly having a different Christmas sitting on the beach, in the heat, eating tomato soap watching the army and police in the bunker in front of us!
Boxing Day - Sachin and I explore more of the Goan countryside amid beautiful hills and scenery. Spend my final night at Cafe del Mar with him, Jojo and Andrew, a fellow Scot.
27 Dec - checkout of my hotel at midday then have a lovely lunch at Dropadi's before Sachin takes me to the airport. Fly Goa to Jaipur to Delhi with Kingfisher, and again, no need to change plane. Arrive at the Delhi hotel about 10pm which is the starting point for the GAP trip. It's great to see Bhupindra again. We quickly get the GAP paperwork sorted out then I need to wake and quickly meet my room mate Lesley. Straight to bed as it's an early start the next day for our train to Jaipur...
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