Palolem Beach, Goa

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Goa: A place to do nothing

We arrived in Goa on Jan. 14th after a one-hour flight from Mumbai.  We could have taken a train for half the price, but it would have taken 9 hours.  We opted for the “time is money” approach and flew here instead.
A lot of people refer to Goa like it is a city, but in fact it is a very, very small state.  India’s smallest.  In Goa, we have been staying in Palolem Beach, which is in south Goa.
First impressions of Palolem were: cute, small, hippie, touristy, relaxing.

See pics of our first impression:
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Beach huts… they sure look nice from a distance

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Beach cows 🙂

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More beach cows

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On our second day here, we decided to stay another two nights and switch from our hotel on the main street to a beach hut.  This might have been a mistake.  Palolem became less and less relaxing and more and more frustrating the longer we stayed.  Because of its touristy nature, we are constantly hounded when walking ANYWHERE to “come look my store, I give you good price” and “ma’am, taxi? taxi?” and “boat ride, miss? see dolphins?” and of course the occasional restaurant pusher trying to get you to come see their menu.  This gets old after a few days, but it’s effective because Maren bought a bunch of souvenirs and we did do the boat ride to see dolphins.

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More shops

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A spice shop

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A kid who goes door-to-door sharpening knives with this machine that he powers with his foot

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A popular restaurant that we liked

We also took an Indian cooking class (Rahul’s Cookery Class).  We made three entrees, rice, and chapati bread.  It was fun, but we learned just how much butter, cream, milk, and yogurt go into traditional Indian dishes.  Think Indian food is healthy?  Think again.
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After moving over to our beach hut “resort”, we realized it left a lot to be desired, as I’m sure most of them do.  The thing about these beach huts is this: During the 6 months of monsoon season, all the beach huts must be torn down.  Which means that they are rebuilt at the beginning of the high season (around October), resulting in quick, shoddy craftsmanship of hundreds of “hotels” built on stilts upon sand.  They are made of wood, floors are lined with plastic, an incredibly uncomfortable bed is tossed in, covered by mosquito netting, and, if you’re lucky, you have a tiny bathroom with the shower head right over the toilet.  Needless to say, six nights was too many in Palolem.
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Although, I probably have a more negative outlook on the place because this is where I got sick… (more on that in the next blog)  If I had been perfectly healthy, I might have better enjoyed relaxing on the free lounge chairs on the beach and swimming in the warm, clear water for a week.
Here a few more random pics from Palolem:
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The view from our beach hut front porch

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A shop keeper and his yellow eyes, unique down here

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Our last two days in Palolem were cloudy & gray

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