Today we have a bit of a sleep in, a warm Western breakfast and then hop in a cab for a 45 min drive to Mandrem Beach. This is what Goa is all about! It is low season, so it is quieter than usual. It is mid October and everything will be in full swing within the next couple of weeks. I found an interesting hotel online and we arrive to find there are rooms available. Dunes Holiday village offers traditional huts or tree houses.
Awesome! We decide to take the hut closest to the beach and it is a deluxe room- 2 beds with large mosquito nets to keep us safe, a spacious bathroom and a tree right in the middle of the room.
Outside is a sitting area/patio and a few of the local dogs like to curl up on the couches for a snooze. A short walk over a bamboo bridge above the Mandrem creek and we have a white sand paradise ahead.
It is a tiny bit cloudy and windy, but I am totally ok with that. There’s no one around….so remote and peaceful. Bacardi Breezers in hand, we settle in to soak in the rays for a few hours.
Well, it didn’t stay peaceful for long because since we are the only ones on the beach, we are also prime target for hawkers. The problem is they are hard to get rid of because they need to make a living and sell their wares. One young guy is really nice, so I buy a handmade drum. The ladies come over with their jewelry and begin to lay out bracelets and necklaces on our legs. I tolerate this for a bit and then tell them to come back tomorrow. We have a few more visitors— birds that are possibly a type of crow, and they have no boundaries.
We keep a close eye on our belongings and snacks. At one point the bird grabs one of our towels! He doesn’t get far though; we think he’s just looking for food. Also, we have a dog that joins us- he just sits close by and sleeps in the sand. Unfortunately, it starts to rain so we head back to the hotel restaurant and spend the rest of the evening eating, drinking and catching up.
The next morning we decide to head over to Arambol beach, a 45 min walk through the soft sand with water lapping at our feet.
Made a new canine friend again; he followed us for awhile..hoping to snag some of Kim’s granola bar. Arambol is much busier; full of locals and tourists.
There are a lot of cows on the beach; we see a guy washing his cow in the water!
We manage to find a couple of recliners at a restaurant on the beach and order a couple of drinks.
We meet a couple of guys from Saudi Arabia and they invite us to a party later that night at a popular club. We decline. We’re not digging the vibe here, so we stay only for a couple of hours. Kim and I walk back to our beach and grab some more Bacardi Breezers and sit in the ocean. The good thing about this — no one can sell us anything while we are in the ocean!
This evening we sign up for Ayurvedic massage. Ayurveda means “science of life” and is based on the 5 elements of the earth and broken down into 3 Doshas that form life energy behind all of our bodily functions. Ayurvedic massage is meant to be deeply relaxing–for muscles, tissue, mind/nervous system, and helps with blood circulation. I look up all the benefits it offers and the list is long. I arrive first to the tent; it’s dark, quiet and relaxing. The lady that will be doing my massage doesn’t speak English, so it’s a lot of hand gestures and nodding. I hate to be mean, but she was a bit scary looking. Like good thing it was dark in there. She hands me a tiny paper thing with a string and my deduction is I’m to strip down to nothing but this paper/string thing. That’s not going to fit me at all, so I opt to leave my undies on and she can work around them. One thing about this massage….ALOT of oil. It’s special herbal oil that is great for your hair and skin. She makes me sit on a chair and we start with a scalp/hair massage…oil is everywhere. Then up onto the table face down…more oil. She does some moves and some feel good, some hurt, some tickle. Especially on my feet and knees. I giggle a little, and I can hear her laugh as well. Then I flip over…more oil. She massages my stomach and around my boobs and down my arms and hands. At one point she karate chops one side of my body top to bottom. That hurt. Then up to my face…more oil. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I walk back to the room, still oily and ready for a shower. Kim asks me how it was; I smile and say “you’ll see”. Well, she didn’t like it at all. Hahahaha.