The beach deserves a post of it’s own, just because it was so beautiful and was definitely a massive part of our relaxation. Luckily the ashram placed us in accommodation across the road from the main building, even closer to the beach, so we felt like we had our own separate little beach escape, in a luminous green hut.
We’d been recommended the beach for good seafood, it’s beauty and for its lack of tourists. Some of the locals refer to it as turtle beach and that seems to be the reason that it’s kept it’s serene simplicity. It’s a recognised turtle breeding beach, so the government has forbidden any further building, or at least definitely nothing near the beach and it has a team of litter pickers and lifeguards. Very different from the lax approach to areas of natural beauty and endangered species in other places, so pretty refreshing.
In total there are five small restaurants set back in the trees off the 1km of golden sand, in comparison to more classic touristy destinations this is minute. Because it’s heading towards monsoon time two of the restaurants had already closed down, literally packing up everything, including the palm leaf walls and roof, leaving a concrete slab that the rains won’t do much damage to. Our hut belonged to the owners of one of these two. All that was left in the trees by the beach were a few ragged, but strong, hammocks and random chairs and tables which we used some days. Lying in the shade of the trees in a hammock, with the beach breeze, in between yoga lessons was perfect. And during the two allocated days off we spent a lot of time here!
At the other end of the beach from us, three small restaurants remained open and seemed to be where tourists exploring Goas quieter beaches by scooter would end up. Santosh, the place we had been recommended for great seafood, was one of these. On the blackboard in front it lists all the things they catch, to be cooked on request, and at the bottom it says ‘recommended by Jamie Oliver’. Wow, that guy gets around! As we sat down we saw that on the bottom of the sign for the restaurant next door it says ‘recommended by Gordon Ramsey’. Hahaha! The Celebrity chef war continues, even in India. We went to Santosh for a lazy lunch on both of our days off and the food didn’t disappoint. Neither did the shandy or the cold coffee.
One afternoon we did the class on the beach, which was beautiful. They called it Upāsanas and it turned out to be more of a full on workout, revolving around the idea of playing, rather than yoga. It started with head stands, handstands and cartwheels, (all incredibly difficult the way they wanted you to do it), moved on to the wheelbarrow and the caterpillar (not the way you picture it – we’re not training to be in a boy band) and finished with lots of jumping. Needless to say we all ran into the sea afterwards, sweating and covered in sand. Luckily the next day was a day off because we were very stiff!!