Palolem, Goa

Palolem, Goa

Arriving in Goa and hastily rearranging the train back to Mumbai meant that our holiday effectively ended in Goa, rather than the planned day in Mumbai. It also meant that we had an extra day in Goa to put to good use.

Even if the highly-acclaimed author William Dalrymple states that the true definition of Paradise is a walled garden I think most people would rate a palm-fringed beach a little higher up the list.

So for our final day of a fantastic month long trip we decided to spend it in Paradise, at a beach named Palolem, which is right at the southern tip of Goa. When I visited Goa fourteen years ago this beach was locally named Paradise Beach and whilst they seemed to have dropped that name now the word paradise does spring to mind as soon as you set foot on the sand.

Jane, Emilia and Amy on the fairly deserted beach
Jane, Emilia and Amy on the fairly deserted beach

Even the cows come here for their holidays
Even the cows come here for their holidays

I expected to find big changes in Palolem since I was last here in April 1996 but the beach itself had changed very little, with the exception of seemingly more hawkers. As it’s monsoon there were none of the cocu-huts – simple huts made out of coconut palm leaves – as they were just starting to be built in preparation for the coming tourist season. There were no shacks on the beach either as these are taken down in April and put back up in September or October after the rains have passed. The beach however was still gorgeous.

Without surprise Jane still had some more shopping to do and there wasn’t a shortage of people trying to sell her lots of stuff. Each hawker asked us to look at their shop by which they meant the jewellery stuffed into a bag. Once Jane had agreed to look at their ‘shop’ they laid a sheet on the sand and thoughtly arranged their jewellery for Jane to view. Unfortunately Jane hd agree to view the collections of more than one hawker at the same time, something quite unadvisable as it got a little heated – between the hawkers – at points.

Buying from the 'shops' on the beach
Buying from the ‘shops’ on the beach

In Hampi Jane missed out of having some henna done, opting instead for a relaxing massage, and once the hawkers noticed she didn’t have henna, whereas the girls did, it was no surprise that this was also something they offered, albeit at an inflated price to Hampi. Jane decided to get a simple design done as it was her last chance to do so. Suprisingly it was the first time she’d ever had henna painting done in any of her five visits to India.

Jane's simple henna painting
Jane’s simple henna painting

Finding a palm tree that wouldn’t look out of place in anyone’s imagination of a tropical beach we couldn’t pass it without taking a photo or two. Here’s one of Amy:

Amy on Palolem Beach
Amy on Palolem Beach

And finally – yes here they are, the words you’ve been waiting for – the holiday is over. This is the final post of the blog that I’ll do whilst we travel as we’re currently on a train to Mumbai and we fly home tomorrow. I’ll do a few reflective posts later on, especially about how we got on with the travel, the trains, the diabetes management, but for now that’s it.

Ironically we’ve faced no real problems here in India, whilst at home our fridge/freezer blew up and two freezers of food and all of Amy’s insulin bit the dust. Thanks to Dad, Bev, Paul and the team at Winchester Hospital for helping sort all this out, especially the insulin.

Thanks to each and everyone of my friends in India, new and old, who’ve helped make this trip as excellent as I always hoped it would be. It’s been a pleasure meeting you, eating and drinking with you, sharing stories and jokes and meeting your families. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we meet again.

Finally, thank you for reading the posts, I really hoped you’ve enjoyed reading the posts, viewing the photos and watching the videos as much as I’ve enjoyed documenting our trip.

Kev.

Me in Paradise
Me in Paradise

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