Thursday, December 10, 2009

Goa’n To Kerala

Travelling with Paul, we’ve had to put up with shit ‘Goa’ jokes like that for weeks... “we’re Goan’ to the beach”, “How’s it goa’n?”... the list is endless. It had always been our master plan to end our 6 month trip in a relaxing, beach-like way, so after racing around the chaotic Northern half of India, we made our way south to the beautiful beaches of Goa.

Our first stop was Arambol, where we stayed for a week. It was quieter than we’d expected but we quickly became accustomed to the low-key atmosphere, spending our days lying in the sun and our nights eating seafood at beach-front restaurants. It was just what we needed. We did manage to tear ourselves away from sun baking for a day, to indulge in our other favourite pastime – shopping! The weekly Anjuna flea market provided us with this opportunity. We don’t think Paul particularly enjoyed this, his 75th shopping trip with 2 girls, although he certainly got the last laugh by buying a bongo drum and tormenting us with it for the rest of the day (until it was put into his bag and thankfully forgotten about).

Arambol beach.

From Arambol we headed to Palolem in Southern Goa. This idyllic beach is a little bigger than Arambol and a bit more lively due to a younger crowd... It’s no party town except for Saturdays, when a bunch of foreigners organise a ‘silent noise’ party. We’d heard of these but never been to one – for anyone who doesn’t know it’s basically a night club with headphones. Weird concept, but really fun! The Palolem ‘silent noise’ party is held in an awesome spot – in a cove beach under the stars. In a town where noise restrictions close most places down around 11pm, this allowed us to party on to 5am – something we hadn’t done in India! It was really well organised and the headphones allowed us to switch between 3 different DJ’s who were playing on site – even better was that none of them played any Goan trance music!
Silent noise party.
Our week in Palolem was just as relaxing as Arambol, but sadly (for our tans) a cyclone passed along the coast, making things a bit wet and windy for a few days... we passed our time playing a lot of cards and talking about how we wished is was sunny... and then it was... sunny, that is, the day we left for Kerala.

Palolem beach.

After a 16 hour train ride, we checked into an awesome home-stay and organised a little houseboat trip in the Keralan back-waters. The next morning we and 2 Finnish girls boarded the most amazing houseboat we’d ever seen. A brand new, 2 storey, wooden, spacious dream boat complete with 3 staff (including a chef) that was all ours for the next 24 hours. As we sat in swinging chairs on the boat watching life go by on the back-waters, we were all brought snacks and coffee while our 9 course lunch and 7 course dinner of traditional Keralan food were prepared for us. We stuffed ourselves like it was Christmas and felt like we could stay on that boat forever. Did we mention all of this cost us under $40 AUS per head?!


Lunch on our houseboat.

Keeping up with our newly found level of relaxation, we checked into another beautiful home-stay by the beach just out of Alleppey. Again we were waited on hand and foot and served the most amazing home cooked meals. We really couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish off out trip. From here it’s just an overnight train to Bangalore where we catch our plane home!

Beautiful beach just outside of Alleppey.

Our wonderful homestay.

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