We decided to skip Mumbai and head straight for Goa. Charlie had already been to Mumbai before and we weren’t really sure what we actually wanted to see there, we kind of just added it as it was a place people went. I had wanted to see the slums but by this stage I’d seen enough poverty and slums already. To fly from Udaipur to Goa we had to have a layover in Mumbai, whilst the first plane landed and the next plane took off we got to see the slums anyway.
We arrived in Goa and had to get quite an expensive taxi (1700 rupees) to the beach we chose to stay at (was all worth it after arriving and seeing Palolem). We’d heard that south Goa was full of much nicer beaches than the north and that the north was mostly for partying and raves. Whilst we like a good night out as much as the next person we aren’t the raving type and the idea of listening to trance type music for the 5 nights really didn’t sound relaxing at all. We were pretty happy with our choice once we arrived.Our arrival to palolem didn’t really go as planned. We arrived around 4pm and headed to La Alegro which appeared on the map as beachfront accommodation. When we arrived the man said that our room was at the other building and we had a garden view. He offered to walk us so off we went back behind the beach, through some messy area to a building that had the most pathetic excuse for a garden and loads of bugs flying about. On arrival the owner seemed confused as she didn’t know anyone was checking in and when we told her we booked on hotels.com she said she doesn’t allocate any rooms to them. Did I mention we had already paid online? It wasn’t ideal. She then said she had availability but wanted to charge us more than the price online so we put our bags back on our back and started searching for something else. It took a good hour or so before we found something. Every year in palolem they take down the beach huts before monsoon and rebuild them after. This can be the only explaination for why most of them are so crap. Don’t get me wrong there are some well built huts in beautiful places but they weren’t in our budget. We looked at so many of the newly built basic beach huts and they all looked like the big bad wolf would hardly have to huff or puff to blow them down. Oh and they were way overpriced. We ended up at cupids castle guesthouse for a small 600 rupees a night. It wasn’t that nice and very basic but it was the best of the bunch and cheapest we had seen. We figured if we were going to stay somewhere crap we may as well pay the least for it. We headed out for dinner and a much needed beer before turning in after a full day of travelling. Oh and hotels.com refunded our money for La Alegro so all wasn’t too bad in the end.
We spent the first couple of days resting as I had come down with a cold and wasn’t feeling great. We had leisurely brunches and found a secluded beach we would go to for a splash about and read. Once I was feeling better we didn’t really do too much more. We had a great little routine of a lay in, brunch, an afternoon at the beach, relax and shower at the room and then dinner. We were in full relaxation mode which was great after our fast paced travelling through the north.We also managed to some good sunsets in while we were here. We had two places we visited for breakfast. One was on the beachfront where you could sit on the edge of the restaurant and watch the waves crash whilst you ate.This was great and we went here the first two days but then we discovered our favourite place! Not only did it have the most fun breakfast consisting of eggs, homemade warm bread rolls, little posts of mezzanine that you got to select of a menu (chilli eggplant, tatsziki, roasted bell pepper, baked beans etc) but it also had great coffee! Out of an actual barista machine! We ate here every breakfast after that.
On our final day we hired a kayak to go across to butterfly island. We were told you could sometimes see dolphins and we assumed we’d see some butterfly’s (I mean it’s in the name?) but we didn’t see either. We did have fun though, lots of boats with Indian families on holiday would come past waving and taking photos of us.The waves in Goa aren’t massive but they are decent enough in size that when Charlie told me we’d have to surf the kayak into shore on a wave I wasn’t totally thrilled with the idea. Charlie pointed out we had no other options and although I suggested letting the kayak surf in on its own and that we could swim behind it, I knew that really wasn’t an option. So whilst Charlie is excited as this big wave builds behind us I start instantly regretting our decision. Charlie insists he will keep the front of the kayak straight and we just need to paddle really fast. As soon as the wave hit us the front of the kayak turned and over we went. We capsized. Luckily it wasn’t half as bad as I imagined and because we were in deep water to just duck down. Charlie being the adventure seeker in this relationship he then continued to surf waves in whilst I swam to shore with my paddle.Palolem was a great place to relax and we liked it so much we are heading back there!