Last time I wrote I was on a 32 hour pilgrimage from Delhi to Arambol. Around eleven days, two bottles of sun cream and countless hours spent on the beach later, I find myself about to leave! I have so many things I want to say about this unique hippie haven but I know that my last blog went on for a while (I was bit over excited) so I have decided to just do a quick run down of the things you have to experience while you are here.
1. Beach huts are the only way
How ever you arrive into Arambol you will have to drive down the infamous Glastonbury Road. There will be countless people trying to entice you into their guest houses by shouting prices at you. Don’t fall for it. The best and cheapest way to enjoy Arambol is in a beach hut. For a standard hut with it’s own toilet and shower you should be paying about 450 rupees per person (roughly £5). All of the ones I have seen are very basic, this means; one fan, one light and a shabby looking mosquito net. However, none of this matters when you can wake up to the sounds of the waves and a view of the ocean.
The places listed below can be booked online and all take walk ins if they have space. In low season just turning up is usually fine, however is you are visiting from Dec-Feb it is advisable to book.
Om Gangs Guest House
2. Haggle to your hearts content
The shops that line Glastonbury Road sell the usual tourist stuff, but the vast size of it is what makes it special. You can literally get anything here from a real leather backpack to hashish to the waviest garms you can think of, for whatever price you can haggle it down to. Always start with half of what they ask and then find your price from there. You’re not being rude it is just a different culture. Enjoy!
3. Escape the sun
Even the hardiest of sun worshippers are humbled by the Indian sun. From around 1-3 it is blistering and the sun will laugh at your factor 30. Don’t make the mistake we did and try and lay out in it. However, Arambol has an abundance of places to chill like nowhere else. The countless cafes serving up great chai and chilled drinks (order a lemonana and you will thank me later) decorated with comfy cushions and beautiful wall hangings that billow in the breeze. Who needs a deck chair?
A couple of good places to check out are; Cookie Walla, Lamuella Bistro, Coffee Shop (located on the cliff by Arambol Hammock) and World Peace German Bakery.
PS. None of these places really have a working website but if you ask anyone they will know where they are, alternatively check Trip Advisor.
4. Sweet Lake is the sweetest of all
I don’t know how to start explaining this place. It is without a doubt the most beautiful place I have ever had the privilege of swimming, being, breathing, just everything. It is set back from the quieter Paliem beach, located north of the busier Arambol beach. It is a lagoon shaded by palm trees, surrounded by hill covered in wild green jungle. Fruit Wallas wander around offering you fresh fruit and coconuts for pennies and the bird sound from the jungle is just glorious. Oh and if you though this place couldn’t get any better, you can paraglide for 2000 rupees (£20) over the picturesque setting. If that didn’t persuade you then these pictures should...
5. Get mucky
So this is not exactly a secret but its certainly not well known. If you walk round the cliff face at the north of Arambol beach past Sweet Lake and into the jungle. After about 10 minutes you will see an opening in the foliage which allows access to the river that runs through. You might see people scraping the high walls of the bank with stones, they are sourcing healing mud. Now I know to you this may sound bizarre, but trust me, this isn’t some tourist scam. Like most mud that is used in this way it is full of healing minerals and all sorts of goodness for your skin. It even managed to sort out my sun burn!
If you don’t fancy a wander into the jungle you can always ask one of the beach guys to fetch some for you. Although, why would you not want to sit in the serene river waters waiting for the mud to dry while watching butterflies play.
Regretfully I am going to have to stop gushing about Arambol as its time for me to go and enjoy a thali and chai in Goa’s scenic capital of Panji. Although it looks like I will have to try and wake Yusef up from his siesta first!