Tag Archives: palolem goa

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

OK, first, I realize this post is a bit delayed getting out since I spend the past two weeks in a Palolem beach hut and this is when I spent my holidays but I promise to catch things up for all of you who have been keeping up with me on this journey! Getting access to WiFi across the world is not always the easiest to achieve while traveling so I just try to do my best! Stick with me though as I promise to catch up this blog to my present travels in the next two weeks so stay tuned for many more posts to come!!

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

Taken at the far end of Palolem beach

The local Indians at the beach wearing all their clothes...

So after my first week in Goa, I had the holidays coming up and was torn with a decision to either spend the time in Thailand or just to remain in Goa. Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach HutSince I’d been traveling almost five months by now, I decided maybe it would be best to just sit tight where I was and I figured a small Palolem beach hut would be perfect. I liked to think of it as a vacation from my travels. But wait, isn’t traveling a vacation? Well, no, not exactly. At least not all the time!

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

Friends I met in China that I randomly ran into again two months later! They were sitting next to me eating breakfast in Goa at my favorite restaurant spot!

It’s easy to pack it up for a weekend and head to the beach or mountains but its a whole different thing to plan out a trip country to country and deal with the airports, taxis, languages, currencies, border crossings and visas, hotels, and all the other fun stuff. Obviously I still think it is all worth it to deal with this if you truly want to travel but eventually, you’ll want a bit of a break from it all and Goa seemed the perfect fit. While you’re here, you realize how much different it is than the rest of India. Sure there are still cows on the beach and touts on the streets but things are just much more relaxing here so it wasn’t too hard a decision to stay through New Years day.

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

Knocking down the coconuts. This guy would make his rounds about every week to keep the trees free from coconuts from falling onto the beach (and to a lesser degree the poor saps lying under the trees on the beach). Apparently coconut trees are responsible for killing 150 people every year, far more than are killed by shark attacks! Just a random bit of trivia...

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

Anyone in the mood for pizza?

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

"The Ice Machine Man". Start with an empty bottle, fill it with water and freeze it. Wait one hour, then remove from freezer and beat it with a spoon until chunks of ice have filled your glass. The result? A proper Red Bull & Vodka on a sandy beach.

I found a beach hut right along the shore for slightly more than it would cost me for a tasty sub sandwich from Jersey Mike’s back home and I became a local of sorts at the neighboring restaurant and bar.

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

Sunset from the restaurant I frequented at least twice a day

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

My Palolem beach hut for the next two weeks...

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

My friend I had been traveling with all through India up to this point was unfortunately headed home for the holidays so for a short time, it was back to just me, the sand and

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

The Nepali gang from my restaurant. After spending every day at the same spot, you'll get to know the staff pretty well and you'll also rack up quite a hefty tab after three weeks! Like 8,000 Rupees worth!

an awesome sunset every night. After a few days I had met some friends, one of whom had actually been living right here on this very beach for the last two months! And I thought MY three weeks here was a long time to spend on this sandy beach!

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

My Palolem group! At this table we are representing England, Slovenia, Norway, Sweden, Brazil, Holland, Jordan and the U.S.

Since I was getting a bit ‘stir crazy’ just sitting on the beach, we decided to rent kayaks on one of the days and paddled around one of the islands right at sunset. Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach HutWhy had I not done this sooner? It was a great way to spend a couple hours on the water…

Christmas in Goa

Yes, you can still have a Secret Santa party while in India!

On another day, we had all set out to hike that very same island I had kayaked around. It was actually nice to get away from the beach for a while and we spent a few hours there on the rocks. We even found out there were monkeys on this small island though not much else. While there, I realized what the date was and felt utterly foolish when I realized it was actually a few hours before Christmas Eve! Maybe it wasn’t quite ‘Eve’ yet back home but it definitely hit me how crazy it would be to spend the holidays on the other side of the globe in a small Palolem beach hut instead of my hometown with my family after all the years I’d spent doing that.

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

That night, we didn’t do too much to celebrate but I did rock out a santa hat most of the night and most of the restaurants and bars had things going on for the occasion as well as many decorations as well as fireworks up and down the beach.

Losing an iPhone on the beach

What happens when you lose your iPhone on the beach? You end up like this poor old sap at 8 in the morning in front of a restaurant of folks eating their breakfast and providing free entertainment. I felt bad for him... He ended up putting up flyers all over the beach for the next two days for the lost phone...Not sure how it turned out

Getting my 'Indian' pants custom fitted for the big night....

Getting my 'Indian' pants custom fitted for the big night....

Making Chapati bread at the restaurant

Making Chapati bread at the restaurant. Basically, you shape dough into a pancake form and then you stick it to the inside wall of a fire pit barrel. And its hot in there! It took me three attempts for a successful Chapati sticking! It kept falling into the coals...

Fireworks every night in Palolem

Fireworks every night...

For New Years celebration, things were similar to that of Christmas in regard to the fireworks that were set off during the night as well as the bars and restaurants organizing their own type of celebrations. Since it was such a festive night, I convinced all my friends to get into the Indian spirit by dressing up. For us guys, we sported white pants with a white top (traditional dress for men on certain occasions) and the women went shopping for their ‘Sari’ dresses which are worn by Indian women. It definitely made the night more festive although my shirt didn’t make it after an unfortunate incident of orange Fanta ruined the outfit by some random beach goer. For New Years night, there were definitely fireworks going off as mentioned before but unfortunately, the power along the beach had went out right before twelve and had been out the rest of the night so things still did go on but it definitely put a damper on the night since the music came to an abrupt end everywhere as did cold drinks later in the evening.

Sunset in Palolem

Market right off the beach

Street view of the market off the beach. And I'm sorry but I don't know why this guy appears to have a trash can on his head...

Since leaving Goa the day after New Years is never recommended due to the maddening amount of people trying to do the same, I decided to stay just one more day before having to head back to Mumbai for my flight to Thailand. That crazy experience, which was done by bus, is going to have to be put into an entirely different post! My Palolem beach hut days have come to a close!

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

This was taken on the far end of the bay. You have to cross some large boulders to get there but it is likely the best place in Palolem beach to catch the sunset and I had only discovered it after almost two weeks of being here.

Monkey island in Palolem

This was taken from a small island we hiked to next to the beach. Apparently, there were monkeys here but no cows in sight.

Two Weeks in a Palolem Beach Hut

OK, way too many sunset shots on this post but what else can I do? I caught the sunset every night for three weeks straight!

facebookgoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

After our time in Udaipur, we were leaving to go backpacking in Goa. When we arrived to the airport in Udaipur, it might have been one of the smallest ones I’ve been in but when you get in there, you realize how few flights there are in and out of that airport. It would almost be hard to not to find the gate for your departure without ever looking at your ticket. And I think because it was so small is what made it so ironic the amount of security measures they have there.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

Just some of the many teas and spices you'll find in India...

For some reason I am always intrigued with the differences in security between countries. Here, they first they check your credentials at the entrance door, then you throw your bags on a conveyer and have all your bags tagged. Then you actually get to check in before once again going through another security checkpoint. Aha, but wait. There’s one more… you need to show your tagged bags to security once again before getting on the plane. I love it…. the process is simply crazy. We actually had a connection in Mumbai and even though we flew into the airport, we had to go through security all over again when we got there! In fact, we almost went through twice because we ended up at the wrong security checkpoint on the first go round. Awesome.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

This is a small stretch of Palolem beach taken from one end of the bay.

When we eventually landed in Goa, we were on a mission to get straight to the beach. However, we had no plan about where we were going and where we would be staying. And sometimes, that is what makes traveling so much fun… We ended up grabbing a cab from the airport and decided to check out Palolem which is a stretch of beach in south Goa. I had a friend that had stayed there a few weeks earlier and she said it was nice and ideal for what I was looking for and not too overcrowded like North Goa can sometimes get.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

It was good this was a 24 hour ATM because it was the only one in town!! Not only that, you still had to take a Tuk Tuk to get there! Being the only one around for miles, it eventually ran out of money for about 3 straight days while I was here...

So after about an hour taxi ride, we ended up staying in a small resort beach hut that sat right on the beach. It even came complete with an attached bath, a 2nd floor balcony overlook and a restaurant with wifi just outside our front door. All for about 500 Rupees each. Somehow I had the feeling I was going to like this beach and my time in Goa.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

This was taken near the beach hut I was staying. The ones off to the right in this picture are very similar to what I was in.

In this post, I can’t really go into much detail about what we did everyday because to be honest, we didn’t do a whole lot! Much of the time we spent sitting on the beach or floating around in the Arabian Sea (in the bay of course).

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

First dinner the night we arrived. There is a fish hiding in this dish....And all the seafood they had on the beach was fresh and inexpensive. You would be crazy not to eat it almost every night...

The place we were staying had some floaties (a.k.a. Lilo’s if you’re from South Africa and England) so we took those out quite a few times and just let the current carry us down the cove that made up Palolem Beach. The fun part though was paddling all the way back after drifting out a kilometer down the beach. Other times, we would just play beach bats or just lie around. Yeah, it was a tough time here…. To be honest, I think after almost five months of straight traveling, I needed a break from it all. After a while, you just need to take some time away from all the crazy  issues you encounter with buses, trains and planes, language barriers, crazy food and chaotic traffic (and livestock running in the streets).

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

Her name was Daisy and she came around to say hi, lick women on the face sleeping in the sun and steal a bit of fruit where she could find it. Essentially, she was free entertainment from my beach front bar and she came around about every other day.

For a bit of geography, Goa sits on India’s west coast about midway up along the coastline. If you swam straight off the beach heading west, you’d eventually hit Oman. And unlike the many other places in India, this is likely the most visited destination, apart from maybe the Taj Mahal and Mumbai. And for good reason, the beaches here are amazing, the food and lodging is extremely cheap and the water is warm in the middle of winter. While I was here, I actually only met two other Americans but I did meet several Russians and Brits and to a lesser degree, Germans. They all seemed to make up the majority of tourists here and I would imagine most were here only for the winter holiday.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

The street markets just off the beach...

Although my friend and I didn’t do everything there was to do here, there are actually quite a few things to do beside sitting around on the beach. They have boat tours you can do as well as the option to rent kayaks by the hour. And since there are so many other beach spots to the north and south of here, many people rent motorbikes and ride to the nearby beaches or nearby towns to visit the markets.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

It just wouldn't be right being in India without running into a cow or two on the beach!

There is also windsurfing and kiteboarding (my favorite) available but for the most part, conditions are best in north Goa where its most popular and conditions are best. Aside from day activities, the nightlife here is also great. My First Week Backpacking in GoaAnd out of all the time I spent here, not a night went by when someone wasn’t setting off fireworks. And I’m not talking about your basic bottle rocket here. Most of the ones set off were what I would call ‘official’ fireworks. The kind that have a 1/4 stick of dynamite in them. And on many nights, there would be fireworks getting set off at both ends of the beach’s cove. It was a sight to see, especially when you are sitting on the far end of the beach. And the beach itself transforms itself at night. All the resorts and restaurants pack up all the beach chairs and umbrellas right before sunset and start setting out tables and chairs and by nightfall, there are tables lined up from one end of the beach to the other decked out with candlelight and fresh seafood on display ready for grilling. However, after a few nights spent on the beach, I realized the candle light dinners were less about a ‘romantic’ atmosphere than they were for putting out some light. It was not odd for the whole beach to lose power and be pitch black on an almost nightly basis as well as during the day. It is something you just got used to so at least at night when you’re eating dinner, you can still find the food on your plate no matter what.

My First Week Backpacking in Goa

The sun would set right in the middle of the bay every night

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
facebookgoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail