After bedtime last night, there was a major electrical storm in which the power came on and off several times. It was a bit bizarre, because for a few hours we were the only two in the entire hotel, with the staff having also gone home. We had managed to get a meal by going on the back of a motorbike (both of us plus the driver!) in a terrifying 10 minute bike ride to the nearest restaurant – which ended up being very good and very cheap. Mahmoud can speak Hindi which has been really useful on several occasions, but he had managed to convince the guy who was looking after the hotel (Yogesh) to take us to the restaurant – we may have had to take a taxi otherwise. The food was excellent, and although we also paid for Yogesh (plus he had a beer!), it was our cheapest meal yet at 198 rupees – a bargain at just over £3!
Thanks to the storm, we both had trouble getting to sleep. The thunder was so loud that you could hear it over the noise of the electric fan (which was really loud on it’s own). It seemed like it should be pouring with rain but it didn’t start until after we fell asleep – and when we woke in the morning it was raining steadily.
By about 11am it had stopped raining, and we made our way to Arambol (hippy-ville) to find a more central place and convenient place to stay. I had some reservations, as the place sounded like a bit of a hippy/drug den, and was imagining stoned hippies wandering around with manky dreadlocks, all spaced out on magic mushrooms – but there weren’t THAT many of them (there are some!). Actually, Arambol is really lovely and I’m enjoying it so far. We’re staying in a wholly decent and clean hostel right next to the beach and restaurants for a mere 350 rupees per night.
Being in such a great location, we sat down by the beach as the sun came out for the afternoon, and watched the world go by. Walking along the beach a little way, we came across a washed up dolphin carcass being eaten by crows, and a well full of toads and a turtle – lots of animals! The beach has a lot of dogs living on it which is mildly irritating – I think because there are so many westerners here they get fed pretty well, and they stick around for the food – but they’re still mangy horrible creatures that snap at each other constantly and look like they each have a flea colony living on their backs.
I had the best mango juice ever today – pure mango pulp. Mangoes are in season at the moment, and they are so sweet and juicy – better than any mango you will get in a western supermarket! It was so tasty; I will be going back for seconds (and thirds!). We went back to the same restaurant for dinner, and we watched the sunset from a table on the beach, accompanied by a refreshing but warm sea breeze – beautiful and very relaxing!
Arambol is a great place to relax and do nothing, and we’ve decided we want to spend a few days here. It’s relatively quiet at the moment, but I can imagine it getting very busy during the high season (I’m glad we’re not here then!). No doubt in the next couple of days we’ll come across some amusing sights here in hippy-ville – I’ll let you know!