Welcome to the golden sands of Palolem. An unspoiled oasis in South Goa.
Home to expats and local fishermen living in shacks amongst the palm fringed bay.
On my first day in Palolem the charisma and energy buzzing around took me by surprise as this is not like any other beautiful beach I have been to. There is so much more on offer than the calm warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Yoga, Kayaking, Waterfalls, Nature Hikes, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Dolphin Tours and live reggae music as the sun goes down are just a handful of things that are impossible to miss during a short stroll along the beach.
Amongst the palms colourful bamboo beach huts dot the coast line. I learned that each year they are pulled down for Monsoon season (June – September) and rebuilt better than before to take on Palolem peak season (October – January) where the beach is bursting with life.
I visited mid May just as things started to die down in preparation for monsoon. Every day I watched as more and more huts were pulled down but there was still enough going on to enjoy all of Palolems offerings. The great bonus was that we essentially had the beach to ourselves and enjoyed the discounted accommodation rates that come with any low season travel. I have decided when I am back in Goa, it will be mid may again. Call me selfish but I enjoyed having the waves to myself.
My only regret is not staying longer. I have said over and over that Palolem is the type of place I could easily spend an entire month (or year). That would be the dream wouldn’t it? Waking up for sunrise yoga, have a play in the waves, enjoy a big fruity breakfast, read a good book, blog a little, find lunch, blog a lot, play in the waves again then get a little active by kayaking with hopeful dolphin sightings. To finish it off seek out the perfect perch to admire a golden sunset over the bay and get lost in some reggae music over dinner, Sleep and Repeat. Every day.
My favourite beach activity was Kayaking. We would skip the snooze button to go out to near by islands in the hopes of finding some dolphins. We were tipped by locals who briefed us on some hotspots. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins but it is hard to be disappointed in the slightest as the sun rising over the Indian Ocean is a spectacular sight to be appreciated alone.
The population of stray dogs seems to be larger than most places I have visited in India. They all have their own packs and patch of beach to defend which means unfortunately they do not always get along. During the night fights can be heard from your accommodation which I’ll admit is so unsettling for me as I have a tendency to live in a fantasy where the world is all Kumbaya and every living creature just gets along. *sigh*
I found that their attitude towards humans is much different and I quickly relaxed knowing that I was not in any danger around the beach dogs. They are the sweetest little things who just want a friend. They would follow me out to the waves and accompany me for a swim then we would lie together on my beach towel and they would edge in as close as they could get. They loved a chin scratch, belly scratch, back scratch or just being loved and cared for. My little darlings, if I could take you home I would. Yeah yeah, save me the lecture about patting stray dogs in India. I’m not going near anything that is frothing at the mouth.
My stay in Palolem fell just before my Yoga Teacher Training commenced (more about that here) where I have a strict yogic diet to live by. This means no spice, no caffeine, no oily foods and no alcohol so I spent the entire time indulging in everything with no regrets. Palolem has wiggled its way into my top beach breaks and holds a steady title. A little piece of me will stay here waiting for my return.
Have any of you guys been here during peak season or perhaps even the middle of monsoon? I have heard that during monsoon the beach returns to its most natural state which is something I need to feast my eyes on. I cant imagine what it must be like but I would love to know about your experience. I am curious about visiting in September just after monsoon, I anticipate there would be lively waterfalls and lush greenery however perhaps the noise of the construction would dampen the experience? What do you guys think?
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