A summary of things that have happened this week:
1. Sunday 7th February, day 31 since leaving the U.K., day 16 since the Funballers left and we’re still in Goa. This place is very hard to leave. The whole “no return date” thing takes some getting used to, it can feel quite overwhelming and requires a bit of deprogramming, but I’m losing myself in the bubble. Taking my time to enjoy the surprises, the twists and turns, the tales of the unexpected. Just sit back, and wait.
2. Renting a moped, exploring the area, so that means Mandrem, Ashvem and Morjhim beaches, all of which I would highly recommend. Arambol is a long stretch of beach that attracts the most crowds/events. The beach is very long – I prefer the comforting embrace of seeing both headlands at once, I realise. Mandrem is smaller than Arambol, quite sparse and with a few high end hotels. Riding through Ashvem village you get a taste of a surfy vibe, and the beach is smaller still. Morjhim, the most deserted of all the beaches we’ve visited, is populated by small, independent beach shacks and no beach sellers. The bike gives us freedom, a different sunset spot each day and a taste of Dumball – back on those mental roads with mental traffic – and only costs us the princely some of £2.50 a day to hire!
3. Learning from our Guru, Prana, about all kinds of stuff: acupressure massage, Chinese zodiac, Indian Sanskrit, the cards of life… All food for thought, even if taken with a pinch of salt. Just fascinating listening to a man who can reel off stories, and anecdotes of his time as a Monk over the last 40 years. Just don’t ask him what his tattoos mean unless you have two hours to spare.
4. Arambol feels like a home from home – we’ve made some lovely friends who are normals/PLU, and they’ve gifted us an “in” into the community here. Most of them are musicians working the season, so we’ve been invited to places we’d never have known existed: under the motto of “Arambol never sleeps” we’ve dined out on festivals, cafes, gigs, open mic and private after party/jam sessions in the back streets t’boot. It’s been wonderful. Such a joy. All because we made friends with Heather on day 1. Sliding doors… Arambol’s a magnet for musicians, yogis, bikers, fire throwers or freelancers who keep coming back year after year, and we can see why. We didn’t know any of this when we selected our destination, and it continues to surprise us.
5. Recent purchase I’m enjoying: my ickle geetar, a jen-you-ine Godson, “little moon” model, straight off the production line from China. Prana kindly replaced the crappy Indian strings and messed about with the action and now she’s not a bad little guitar! We’ve called her Steve, like all the dogs we see in India: it brings a smile to my face every time and can’t be taken seriously, so the name seemed apt.
6. Getting propositioned by a 59 year old, during a full.body.massage. I took it as a compliment, but didn’t acknowledge it in the slightest. Not awks at all. Cough cough. Also being told I look old enough to be Denso’s mum, 45 apparently, by a stoned rasta, was another plus.
7. Writing this from my bed at 2pm, as we both nurse some sunburn. Aloe Vera, coconut oil, A/C and ibuprofen have all been administered, but today is about being horizontal and catching up on the six nations Rugby.