The naive traditions end with a rock solid hangover from Day 1 and the conses is usually reached and the mopeds ready and waiting outside the hotel room. This is the day where not everybody feels like drinking. So we make the most of it and ‘travel’ or ‘experience’ Goa as a lot would say. We just go to a new beach that we haven’t explored before. We had heard a lot about Arambol beach – a place dominated by foriegn tourists.
The place is about 40 kms from Calangute and makes for a nice ride through lanes covered with trees on both sides. You also pass the river where house boats – the kinds you would find in Alleppey can also be seen. The river serves as an alternate destination for a lot of tourists with some Casino’s also running on ships. The route is confusing and the signboards are not so prominent. So you could carry a map or ask the locals as the internet connectivity isn’t so good either for GPS. The first impression of Arambol is that it is like your regular beach with whiter sand.
On going further in we realized that the whole beach is lined with huts / cottages for lodging. These huts are temporary but well build wooden structures which serve as a cozy option to stay right on the beach. These huts are connected with shacks serving food and alcohol. On noticing this we started noticing the difference and understanding the tranquility of the beach. A realization dawns as to why this would be a preferred destination for long term travelers / settlers as I pointed out in my blog post on types of characters encountered in Goa. We settled for a few beers in one of the shacks and that is when as the sun started going down, Arambol rose like a Phoenix in its full glory.
The first thing we noticed is two musicians setting up their instruments for a live performance. On enquiring with the shack guys we found that there was even a camp fire planned for the night. Intrigued by the idea of campfire, live music and alcohol by the beach we decided to wait for the night. Then we went for a walk along the beach and realized why Arambol is so famous. There are people playing musical instruments, performing Yoga, performing Acrobatics and people just around encouraging them. Some of the moves were something to behold and a feast for the eyes. Further down a group of people gathered with different instruments and started playing hippie tunes. This magnet pulled the crowd instantly and people danced away on this tune and bid adieu to the sun. On research I found that they are called the Drum Circle, the play every night to celebrated life, love, freedom, nature and ocean.
The next part is something I will remember as foreigners turning in hawkers. Quite literally that was my first impression when i saw a number of guys and gals lay down their jewelry, clothes, artwork for selling on a cloth under the light of a reading lamp. On walking further down we found a sea of candles laid on tables for diners to indulge with their loved one/ones on the beach. The sight was comparable to the deep Pujan at Varanasi where you can see the sea of lights on the river.
By the time we returned back to Surf Shack the beach was empty! It was like a cemetery with only people sitting in shacks. The buzz of the beach was completely gone and it was not even nine in the night. The shack however has a bit of life left with the live performance. The night then was spent in the company of the camp fire and country music in peace in the shack.
To be fair we spent the whole day in Surf Shack. How you pick a shack which is good for vegetarians? I don’t know. That is pure luck I would say. The food here was good enough for us to pull through the whole day.
However, right next to this place there is Love, Temple and wellness center which is supposed to have good vegetarian food but does not serve alcohol. Only buffet and juices are available with a sea view. The place also has some different kind of wellness activities like dances, workshops and concerts. Their website http://lovetemplegoa.com/ details them.
The day was successfully spent exploring and breathing a hipper version of Goa. Activities on the beach like the Drum Circle where something that we never imagined before. The life on the beach pulled us and even wonder whether this was the place to settle. Probably, This is LIFE! On the next day we were in for the best food we have had in Goa till date and a lazy evening at Baga.