From the bustling cosmopolis of Mumbai we headed down the coast to Goa, to unwind with a few days of sun, sea and sand.
Goa is one of India’s major tourist destinations, popular for it’s beautiful tropical beaches and relaxed vibe. Perhaps even more significantly, it also has the lowest alcohol tax of any Indian state! We headed to the quiet town of Mandrem on the north coast in an attempt to escape the crowds, and stayed in a little beach hut settlement overlooking the sea. By chance we arrived on the first day of the post-monsoon season, and so to start with we literally had the place to ourselves.
We’ve spent several chilled days here now, alternating between swimming in the sea, relaxing on bamboo beach loungers, and eating delicious local food in the on-site restaurant. The menu changes each night depending on the day’s catch, which the waiters are keen to bring out on a tray to show you. We tried some delicious fish curries, made with freshly caught mackerel and tiger prawns. The only downside has been the expense – we have spent a whopping £5 ppn on accommodation, and another £5 each on our 3 meals each day at the restaurant…! We were expecting inflated prices to the rest of India, but this hasn’t seemed to be the case.
As those of you who know us will be aware, we are not natural beach bums, and would never usually consider a beach holiday, instead preferring something more active and adventurous. Because of this it has been an interesting experience to spend time at a world class beach destination. We’ve tried hard just to laze around and relax, and we think we’ve done a fairly good job. It’s been really enjoyable to swim in a warm sea (in stark contrast to our holiday in north west Scotland before leaving the UK!), and we’ve both enjoyed laying in the balmy breeze reading our books, and listening to music.
However, after 3 days here we both feel that we have just about reached our threshold and need to get moving again. Even though we’ve been eating light meals and not drinking lots (we seem to be the only ones), we are starting to feel sluggish and lazy. It’s been a lovely break from the cities, but we’ve both concluded (as thought) that beach holidays just aren’t for us!
We are excited to be boarding a train tomorrow morning to Hampi – our first climbing destination!