After the initial piña colada and amazing dinner in palolem, I had a great sleep (of course after my heart rate went down due to previously mentioned centipede incident)
My cankles needed some attention so Carrie and I caved to some high pressure sales tactics and got a “massage” for swollen ankles. We were taken to a sketchy back room in a hut covered in a blue tarp. The nice lady disappeared and left me and Carrie at the mercy of her brothers one of whom decided to massage my legs the wrong way and push the fluid down more; I think resulting in further aggravation. My feet are finally back to normal today. I’m so old and embarrased about that. But not too embarrassed to tell everyone. Then for some reason I let them talk me into a head massage which was actually just an oily head scratch.
Trip advisor told us to visit a spice farm a 40 minute cab ride away. Tanshikar is a 40 year old family run farm growing a host of spices including vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, birds eye peppers, betel nut (more on this later), cashews and others I can’t remember. The man who runs it and who gave us the tour is a real sweetie. Half way through the tour we were joined by an overly sincere English couple and their precious little boy Nathaniel in a baby carriage. On a path in the jungle. “Should we leave the pram here?” Ya think? The toddler started having a hissy fit and tearing up some of the precious spice plants and Dad asked Nathaniel if he wanted to talk about his feelings. Carrie laughed. I think the dad was actually sincerely asking his toddler to talk about his little feelers. In the jungle surrounded by fire ants and banana trees.
At the far end of our beach sits Monkey Island reachable only by boat or treacherous scrambling over rocks which are covered when the tide comes in. Also I was in flip flops. We decided maybe we shouldn’t risk maiming or death or the tide coming in so on the advice of a local guy we climbed the hill so we could get a good view. Some scrambling in flip flops and bare feet, crashing through dry thorn bushes, dodging used condoms and broken beer bottles resulted in a decent view but no monkeys. Also I got impaled by a thorn and Carrie got bitten by a fire ant. We got lost on the way down. That was enough adventure for the day. At the bottom some locals were very interested in posing for a photo with us. One pervy guy was breathing heavily and pressing himself against my boobs during the photo. I’m like “Carrie. . Time to go!”
That night we had the most delicious dinner of malai kofta AKA creamy balls at a beach side table. And eggplant curry. And garlic butter naan. I just about died with delight. Best indian food ever.
Next day we ventured out to Patnem beach which is closer and much quieter. I found a nice bench in the shade and had a beer. Then made a sand shark. It was a tough day.
Middle class Indians now take their holiday at palolem… westerners were far outnumbered by frolicking indian families. However they all disappeared at dinner time.
We watched a movie one night in a cute outdoor theatre consisting of a row of tables and a movie projected onto a bed sheet. It was the new jungle book which I saw already but love so much I encouraged carrie to watch with me. Some drunk old ladies were having a singalong behind us. Forget the raves… this is where it’s at!
When we got back our front desk guy was sleeping behind the desk on a mattress. He seems to live there.
There are tons of friendly dogs here which seem very healthy. Some fixed ones have a notch in their ear to show they are acceptable beach residents. Also there are cows on the beach. I’m getting used to seeing cows around.
Some irresponsible parents left their baby in a baby carriage while they cavorted in the waves. Its wheels were being swallowed up by the sand like a casualty on Normandy beach.
Then there was tightrope walker kid. Irresponsible man making his 6 year old kid walk on a tightrope above a lit torch … with sunglasses and sandals on.
We were serenaded by Santa singers while having the amazing dinner. local kids with Santa hats on singing Christmas carols.
Also guys stripped down to their knickers pushing the tourist boat onto beach. it was fun watching them. we clapped after.