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‘If you have a heartfelt wish, the universe will grant it.’

(Renata, a German-American woman who fell in love with India whilst here on holiday many years ago and subsequently moved here after the universe granted her wish)

The monsoon is here.  I woke up at 4am Saturday morning to the sound of rain and stayed up reading blogs because it was too loud to sleep.  This rain sounded different, as if there were layer upon layer of rain falling so fast; as if each raindrop is falling faster than rain usually falls.  The sound was like listening to movie rain in a surround sound cinema, wrong as it feels to use something artificial to describe something real.

Lying in bed at 4am, I realised we needed to move.  Our previous guesthouse, lovely as it was, was surrounded by trees, a small river and a kind of swampy area which got wetter as the rains went on and the river overflowed.  The communal area became unusable due to the increase in mosquitos and our room, although safe with mesh at the windows, was dark and had begun to smell damp.  In the monsoon there are cases of fever and I just suddenly thought, let’s move somewhere healthier.

We checked out some places online and went off to look, on our way looking at other places we passed.  We were on our way to look at the last place when a man called to us from the very nice guesthouse next door.  We wouldn’t have looked otherwise as it looked way out of our price range, but he ended up giving it to us for our budget price as we are staying for a month and it is off season.

We have a big, light and airy room, complete with a desk for me to write at, a spacious private balcony and a bathtub.  The other day there was some hot water and I had a small bath for the first time since March!

We are up high and near the sea and are able to sit out on the balcony even in the evening as the mosquitos are far fewer here.  The view from our balcony is palm trees, a few buildings and the sea.  At night we can see the little lights of the many fishing boats out on the horizon, which intermingle with stars and planets and, dancing amongst the palm trees, many fireflies!

When we arrived here we sent almost all our clothes out to a laundry service to start afresh, including my backpack which had gone mouldy, and are waiting anxiously for their return as we have not got many clothes left!

We have a slightly new stretch of beach to explore, and went walking in bright sunshine, past two mosques and a Muslim graveyard, past many guesthouses and half finished developments, and all along the top of the cliff with the grey sea crashing against the black rocks with huge white spray.  Then the sky went grey and we got caught in the rain and arrived home completely soaked but utterly exhilarated.

We are a medium walk or a short rickshaw ride away from the temple area with the local shops and cafes.  This week we ate in a new local cafe.  There was no menu and the one person who spoke English just told us what they had.  We ate vegetable biryani, vegetable masala and roti, everything freshly cooked and delicious.  We have been back there twice for breakfast, masala dosas, theirs are spicier than usual- everywhere does them slightly differently.  We also went to a new little tea shop and had masala chai (my occasional exception to veganism) and delicious deep fried balls of banana bread, satisfying, sweet and delicious.

Today we got a rickshaw to the temple area and actually went to the temple.  We don’t tend to do much touristy stuff but after reading somewhere that the temple and beach area are the ‘Benares of the South,’ I thought we’d better go at least once.  Non Hindus are not allowed inside but we walked around the outside and admired the beautiful colourful carvings.

Afterwards we met Renata at a cafe and I had a real espresso and one cigarette.  Here you can buy one cigarette to have with your coffee; I love this country!

I don’t know if it shows but I am happy.  There is so much fun to be had.  Even though it’s raining a lot, there are still sunny spells.  There is a restaurant very nearby and the guesthouse has a kitchen we can make porridge in if it’s really raining hard.  We have all the little cafes in the temple area to visit and Varkala town by local bus to look forward to, which we haven’t done yet; the bus stop is outside the tea shop that sells the banana balls, conveniently!

I have only got one thing to worry about, but I hope by this time next week I will be able to report that that is okay too.

Writing update

I have just about completed a draft of Goa Part One which covers our time in Colva and Agonda.  I just need to spend another hour or so on it then I shall give it to my husband to read.  Next up, Hampi, which I am looking forward to.  Hampi is such an amazing place; so beautiful, so spiritual.  I really fell in love with India there.

Instagram followingthebrownrabbit for pics of our new accommodation!

Thank you for reading

See you next week