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Stumbling Along After a few years or travelling and then a couple years of settling down in Sweden, I'm back on the road. 7 mths or maybe forever, in South Africa, the Seychelles, India, Nepal, SE Asia...

Stumbling onto Paradise

INDIA | Sunday, 16 March 2014 | Views [552]

On what would turn out to be our last day in Palolem, we walked down to the far south side of the beach so I could sit in the shade of the boulders that separated Palolem from the next beach, while Mikko sat a meter away and worked on his tan. Eventually, we got curious about what was on the other side of the boulders and decided to check it out.

We walked the path up and over the boulders and found a small little beach call Colomb. It was maybe 30 meters wide and had a couple of beach huts and a couple of restaurants. After being told by the restaurant on the beach that their bungalows were 1000 rupees, we decided to ask the owner of a small restaurant set up in the treetops. He offered us a much nicer bungalow than the one we had in Palolem for 600 rupees and this bungalow was set up on the rocks in the treetop with a great view of the beach a few meters below. And, it would only be a 10 minute walk to Palolem if we wanted to take advantage of their wider range of eating options. We told him we would take the room for the following night, but decided to keep walking to see if we could find an even better deal.

We walked about 10 minutes further along a sand/dirt path passing the occasional shops, restaurants and sturdier concrete homes belonging to locals and long-stayers and eventually came to Putnam Beach. We immediately knew that this was where we wanted to stay. It was everything that we expected to find when we initially set off for Palolem. It was about half the size of Palolem with the same golden sands and calm water (though a little murkier once you got in) but with much fewer people and an even more laid-back vibe. There were only a few shops on the street leading to the beach from the main road and the beach was dotted with the same beach-front restaurants (many with the same name as the ones on Palolem) and cabins but much less of both. We passed the first set of bungalows on the extremely quiet and almost deserted north side of the beach and the owner offered us a beachfront bamboo hut with attached bathroom for 500 rupees.

Since we had already paid for the night in Palolem, we asked if it was ok if we came the following day to stay for four nights. He said it was no problem, but we would need to pay a 500 rupee deposit to hold the room. We weren't 100% sure, so we told him we would look around and then come back. We walked about 20 meters and saw that the beach became more concentrated with restaurants the further down we went, and there were very few other beachfront bungalows. So we rushed back to take the room just in time to see him give the keys to two other girls he had just checked in.

We were disappointed and were about to head up the beach to see what we could find, when one of the girls asked the manager if it was ok that they were only staying one night. As soon as we heard that, we turned around and the manager was looking at us with a big grin on his face. We were about to pay the deposit when we realized we only had about 100 rupees on us, since we hadn't planned on going out hunting for accommodation. But luckily, he said that as long as we were there by 11am the next day it was no problem.

The next day we moved into our lovely bamboo hut, with a porch overlooking the beach and the waves breaking just 20 meters from our doorstep. We spent the next few days waking up, jumping in the water, grabbing breakfast, reading on our porch or on the shaded sunbeds in front of the restaurant that shared an owner with the huts we were staying in, jumping back in the water, eating lunch, more relaxing, one last jump into the water, then onto the beach for the amazing sunset and grabbing one of the tables set up on the sand in front of the restaurants to enjoy dinner on the beach by candlelight. Then off to bed to repeat the whole thing the next day. Truly living the good life.

On our last full day, we decided to take a canyoning trip that had been offered to us by a French guy handing out fliers on the beach. We met at a restaurant in Palolem at 10 that morning, got our equipment and a quick orientation and headed out in Goa Jungle Adventure's open-topped jeep with our guide Chris and another German guest named Flo. It was a bumpy 45 minute jeep ride through the small town Chawdi nearby, through stepped fields and small villages and finally winding up the mountain filled with thick jungle, enjoying the amazing views while holding on to the jeep to keep from flying out as it bumped along. We finally reached the edge of the national park that housed the canyon, Sauri, that we would be descending and picked up our local 'guide' Jay, whose main job was to watch the jeep while we were gone.

Once we were parked and in our wetsuits with our bags with water, harness and helmet we heading into the jungle. The trek to the river was about 25 minutes. The first 10 were up a steep incline, where we realized how out of shape we'd gotten during these two months of traveling. Once we hit the river we followed it down the canyon, wading through the waters, climbing along the rocks, abseiling down waterfalls and jumping (the highest jump being 8 meters) into shallow pools. Stay tuned for the video we made with our GoPro!

Afterward, we headed back through the woods (another steep hike) to the Jeep and on the way back stopped for a beer and an omelet sandwich.

We've been spending the rest of the little time we have left in Putnam relaxing and enjoying the beach before we head to the craziness of the Holi Festival in Hampi tomorrow.


Tags: canyoning, goa, patnum beach


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