First Day in Paradise


First Day in Paradise
Patnem, India

Patnem, India

Slept pretty well and woke up about 845 when there were bird and animal noises outside. Finished off the unpacking and got it away. We have travelled pretty light here. Made Bob a cup of tea as he was still fast asleep.
Mick and Maureen came down about 10am, a bit unhappy with their room as it looked out on a building site next door which had been crawling with workers since 8am. The Tubki are building a new block which will be ready next year. Patnem is growing. Anyway, the hotel have changed their room to one looking out over the little farm to the rear so that ought to be quieter. The suite rooms are huge and furnished in a very modern style. Very stylish.
We walked down to Salida passing and greeting a lot of old friends along the way. Big hugs from all the Salida staff when we arrived. Dinesh is not there of course but we will see him next week when we visit his new place a few miles away. We managed to get a couple of sunbeds under umbrellas and spent the rest of the day moving between the beds, the sea and the shade of the shack.
First breakfast was good. Bob had a South Indian special: Baji Puri which is a mild veg curry served with sambal and large puffy Indian fry breads. I had two boiled eggs on a piece of toast. Going to try very hard to shake off some of last year’s blubber. Washed down with gallons of tea.
Had several swims. The water is just delightful. So warm. I say swims. We don’t really swim, we “bob”. Albeit bobbing with arm movements!
Gloria arrived at about 1130! We met Gloria a few years ago here and she is a delightful lady who is originally Canadian but has lived for over 20 years in Kathmandhu. She is the Exec. Assistant to one of the very top Tibetan Buddhist leaders and she is a source of many stories and much entertainment. we will have a lovely time with her.
Salida was as chilled as ever. Prices have barely changed in two years. My eggs on toast was about £1. Bob’s breakfast was £1.60. He had lunch too (the pig!) which was momo soup. A savoury soup which comes with 3 or 4 veg momos (like steamed dim sum) floating in it.
Mick’s back was hurting him so he had a massage with the resident masseur at Salida. He said it was pretty forceful but hopefully it will have released some of the locks. Fingers crossed. We called our lovely tuktuk man, Shuresh, at about 430 so M&M could go back and move rooms. We had another swim with Gloria and then Bob walked back across the beach to get some stuff from the shops and I walked the road way with Gloria to her studio at Ishmael’s where we stayed in 2014. Its a good place and he has built 4 more 1 bedroom apartments now. As I walked past Eva’s house (also where we stayed in 2014), her daughter in law, Marylyn, came out to say hello. They are building a large block of apartments next door and it will be ready for next year. The external building is already in place and is very nice looking. It will be another great location when it is finished.
It is so nice to come here and be welcomed by the local people as returning friends. One of the special things about this little village. I hope it never changes.
Tonight we walked down the lane, meeting Gloria at her garden gate and went to the beach for dinner. Dinner on the beach is the moment I really look forward to all year. There are candlelit tables the entire length of the beach with bonfires dug into the sand at intervals. Sometimes, the restaurant will have taken a table all the way down to the waters edge to give a couple a special romantic dinner and you can just see their twinkling candles. There are occasional fireworks and also those floating Chinese lanterns…. Tonight we went to Café Fiesta which is an old favourite. Nothing special here, just a varied menu, well cooked. Three double g&ts, one beer, fish pollichatu (massive fish steak in spices cooked in a banana leaf) with salad and veg., and Bob had chicken tikka masala and a potato kulcha (like a potato stuffed paratha). Came to about £12. We also had a visit from the dvd guy and I bought 10 for about £11. Bone Tomahawk, 400 Days, Legend, Joy, The Hateful Eight, The Danish Girl, Suffragettes, Spectre, The Revenant, The Heart of the Sea. They will be cloned from award copies. Useful for Cyprus. So…. to bed……