Monday, May 10, 2010

Puttering around Palolem

There wasn’t much planned for May 9th. Just hanging out around Palolem and enjoying a bit of sun and sand.

I woke up early and read in the hammock on the patio of our cottage. No one showed up for yoga, so I chatted with the instructor as he left. I used my bad stomach as an excuse for not showing up, and he suggested some remedies for India-belly. (Which, you should thank me, I’m not going to go into details about here, other than to say that it’s much better now. Thanks for your concern. And thank you Cipro®.)

Breakfast was at our place, which seems to be only semi-open for food. Kind of frustrating. Then we headed over to the travel agent’s to sort through our issues. We got them mostly resolved, although the trip to Ooty may be a bad idea. It’s a lot of time on Indian buses, including a “sleeper bus” without AC. We’re gonna stick it out though and see how it turns out – stay tuned.

We scootered to the next beach over – Patnem. It’s far less developed than Palolem and very nice. However the sand rises to a ridge and then drops to the shore, which makes for slightly “less perfect” beach. We stopped there for a read and a drink and considered a swim, but realized that the waves there are actually larger than at Palolem, where they’re already pretty damn big. Colleen did a little shopping to pick up some lightweight wraps and saris, and we moved on.

We went for a bit of a drive into a local town to hit an ATM. The traffic was a little more chaotic than we liked, and we decided to stick to the back roads on our little scooter. Only once so far have I tried to drive on the right side of the road, and I was going slowly at the time, but I don’t want to push my luck in traffic. You never know when 20 years of driving instinct is going to take over.

We also sorted through the problem of us being booted out of our room on the 10th. Apparently we needed to ask the guy at the front desk when someone else was around, who could tell him to just put us into another room instead of tossing us out of the place altogether. A much better solution. Although we’ll see what the new room is like.

We found a lovely little lunch place run by an English couple called Cheeky Chapatti, or something like that. We only grabbed a small bite there for lunch, but we returned later for a very big dinner including their fabulous mojitos, king prawns, eggplant masala, and apple and mango crumble. Not cheap, but fabulous.

After lunch we went for a swim off Palolem. The water off of here is the Arabian Sea I believe. It feels like bath water and may be the warmest water I’ve encountered in any of my travels. There’s a bit of an undertow and, after some unpleasant experiences in the past, I’m pretty cautious, so we never ventured too far from the shore. Regardless I, along with many others, had poor enough timing to be standing at the wrong depth when some massive waves hit. I got the full churn and burn experience, and a lot of water up the nose and sand in the ears. Some poor Indian guy had just gotten in the water at the time the first wave hit and looked just stunned. He turned to me and said “Wow. That was a big wave.” I told him to turn around, just before the next one beat him down. He got to his feet before the third and final one hit, then struggled his way out of the water. That dude had very bad timing. I doubt he’s coming back.

We also discovered the only WiFi in Palolem, in a hotel called The Oceanic. It had a pool for Colleen to swim in while I updated our travel journal. Unfortunately, the pool turned out to be a little skudgy, and my laptop had run out of juice, but we knew where to go in the future.

That’s about it for the 10th. Another day in a beautiful place. We have one more day in Goa with nothing planned. Should be perfect.

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