Further South
at Palolem
Palolem Beach in the morning.
November 9, 2007

This beach has an entirely different feeling that Candolim. The beach town itself is entirely more rustic (as there isn’t even an
ATM – I had to take a rickshaw 5 km away). The beach is quite populated but even that is more rustic as it is lined with tons
of coco beach huts. Talk about a cool way to stay in this area. Well…cool for a lot of people. But not so much for me. I went the
room-in-a-guesthouse route. This includes my own bathroom and air-conditioning. I wasn’t viewing AC as a luxury – I was
viewing it as a necessity after sweating my butt off in my room in Candolim.

This area is a hippy haven. It is just obvious. I am trying to get in touch with my inner-hippy. The problem? I don’t really have
an inner-hippy. I have tried to find it. It’s just not working yet. Maybe I’ll give it another day and something will emerge. A
yoga class near the beach, possibly?

Speaking of the beach, it is far more atmospheric down here than it was up at Candolim. There are lots of palm trees that are
at a 45-degree angle to the beach – gives it a cool look. There are also big rock/boulders towards the end of the beach. Kind of
reminded of a really bad replica of a beach in Seychelles. But things I won’t find on the beach in Seychelles are cows and bulls. I
know this stuff turns a lot of people off…but I love the piece of India that comes with this place (as not too much else about it
makes you feel like you are in India).

November 10, 2007

A pretty cool day was had.

I woke up early and went to the beach. What a change…feeling like I had it to myself. It doesn’t hurt that there was no
sweating up a storm, either, since the sun had barely come up yet. A good amount of restaurant-shacks along the beach were
open so I grabbed a seat facing the ocean while I fueled up with some breakfast.

I only had one thing I had to do today – my 11:00 appointment for my Ayurvedic massage, facial and head massage. Most
appointments like these would take place in a spa. Not here. Here they take place in a little coco hut. But let’s face it – when
your eyes are shut for the 75-minute duration of the treatments, you can really tell yourself that you are anywhere at that
moment. All that mattered was that there was a fan so I was beyond comfortable. And they had a CD playing some nice spa-
like music.

I experienced a spa-like Ayurvedic massage in Bhopal. Here I experienced a
true Ayurvedic massage. I kept my bikini
bottoms on and the girl went to town on me with her Ayurvedic oil. She moved my body in all sorts of positions. In between
applying more-than-I-am-used-to pressure to my limbs while rubbing them down, she also did lots of karate-chopping action
that made a cool snapping/clicking sound. Thinking about it – I don’t really know that they were karate-chop motions as I
wasn’t watching. I am just imagining that is what it looked like. I’m digressing. Everything that was done to me – including
lubing up my fair, head and hair – was beyond relaxing. Even when the power went off a couple different times during the 75
minutes and there was no fan, it was still nice and relaxing.

I made plans with the guy who runs the guesthouse I am staying at for tomorrow to hop on the back of a scooter and go along
the coast and check out the different beaches. Perfect!

I am almost embarrassed to admit what I did next. It starts off okay – I hopped on the back of a scooter. And I had it take
me…to the InterContinental resort that is just a few kilometers away. But this isn’t the worst part. The pool looked really nice
and relaxing. So nice and relaxing that I decided to pose as a guest. Not the first time I have done this. And let’s face it – I
knew I was going to be doing this (as I dressed the role to be a ‘guest’ by wearing my black sundress over my bathing suit).

While I was there, I had a genius idea. I am taking a night bus (yes, you read that correctly) to Bangalore in a couple days…yet
I need to check out of my guesthouse at 11am. I will be out and about for quite some time with no access to a shower
throughout the entire day. Well, that was going to be the case before I booked a spa treatment at the InterContinental which
also buys me sauna/steambath/Jacuzzi and gym access. Oh…and obviously shower access! As I said, I am a true genius.

November 11, 2007

Since today was my last full day in Goa, I wanted to get as much out of my day as possible.

It didn’t really start off this way as my breakfast-looking-at-the-sea (that should have typically taken about an hour) ended
up taking three hours out of my morning. Talk about giving new meaning to the term ‘lazing the day away’! I did nothing more
than read a bit of my book, journal a bit and watch the waves. Where does the time go? But does it really matter? Not in Goa, it

I made plans with the owner of my guesthouse to take me out on his motorbike to go along the coast and see more of the Goan
beaches north of here. So up my alley!

We stopped off at Agonda Beach first. This would win the award of being my favorite Goan beach. This was a contrast to the
other beaches I have seen – it has minimal people, minimal development and lovely scenic touches like scattered big boulders
and palm trees. Perfect place to spend time reading my magazine. Oh. I also had another form of entertainment once I tired of
that – it involved running after a cow. It didn’t start off that way. I simply went up to the cow so I could take a picture with it.
But then he started running away from me. He wasn’t going to get off that easily. I decided I would run after him. I am a bit
embarrassed to admit that a cow is apparently in better shape than me as it won the race and I never saw it again.

The rest of the day took me down winding narrow roads surrounded by palm trees, across a vehicle ferry and to several other
beaches. It was a beautiful way to see the state of Goa. There is a tropical-ness out here that reminds me a bit of Hawaii. I
have never been to Costa Rica but maybe it’s a bit like that? Anyway, each time we arrived at a beach I wasn’t happy just
because I got to see the sea…but also because it meant I got to walk around and have my butt off of that motorbike! Don’t get
me wrong – I love riding on motorbikes as much as the next person. Actually far more than the next person. But my longest
motorbike ride probably consists of 20 minutes or so on the thing. Today I spent approximately four hours on this thing – the
last half of that was in the pitch black. Going 60 km/h. Without wearing a helmet. And having the driver repeatedly saying that
he ‘couldn’t see the road properly’. What I would have done to be in a car or rickshaw during the last hour of the ride! Finally
Palolem Beach was reached.

When I got off the bike, it felt like I had just gone horseback riding for the day. I’m just hoping that I don’t feel any of the pains
that come the day after horseback riding…
Back to India.
Chasing a cow on Agonda Beach.