Apologies for a few days of radio silence – between a day in bed with dodgy tummies (all that delicious Indian food got us in the end…), catching up with friends and a flight to Goa, we’ve been a little tied up!
Before we left Mumbai we had the pleasure of spending some time with one of Dev’s family friends and his wife and son; they took us for a beautiful meal and it was really lovely to get to know them a little. The next morning we had a fairly early start and flew to Goa, India’s smallest state, for some much needed relaxation time after the hustle and bustle of the big cities of North India.
Goa is a part of India famed for its beauty, in particular for its stunning beaches, and the area we have come to visit (Palolem, hallway between north and south Goa) certainly has not disappointed. We’d booked to stay in some huts by the beach, which are basic but very clean, with a mosquito net and a toilet/wetroom bathroom ensuite. Although these little structures, which have tarpaulin rooves and a ceiling fan in place of air conditioning, could be considered more as shacks than permanent residential structures, we’ve found them to be perfect for our needs; just a 20-second wander to the beautiful and uncrowded beach. Plus, at just £85 for the two of us for 7 nights, we’re more than happy we’re getting good value for money! Seafront guesthouse rooms here, which have comparable interiors but airconditioned, can easily demand up to £500 for the same period.
Goa seems much more friendly and relaxed than other places we’ve been so far, with a slower pace of life. Even the hustle of the beach vendors (selling jewellery and henna tattoos) seems gentler here!
Lastly, and most importantly – Goa has less tax on alcohol than other parts of India, meaning a cold beer in a seafront beach bar costs around £1.45 per 650ml bottle (Kingfisher) and cocktail happy hour is…every hour(!), making 2 cocktails approximately £4.