Today we headed about 10km south to Talpona Beach to spend the day at the Peace Garden yoga resort which is where our friend Dinesh now works. We’ve known Dinesh for over 5 years and he used to work at the Salida but for the last two years he’s been manager at Peace Garden.
It’s a really nice trip. Suresh took us in 3 tuk tuks. You could walk there if the tide was low and it might take you 30 minutes plus a ferry across the Talpona River. If you go by road though you have to go inland a bit to reach a bridge across the river. All along the way it is quite dense jungly countryside with colourful houses dotted amongst the greenery. The bridge is tiny, just wide enough for a small car to travel across. If you’ve seen the second Jason Bourne film, they have a car chase over some of these bridges.
Dinesh was at market in Chaudhi when we got to the resort so we settled down for breakfast. The menu is the same as at Salida. Talpona Beach is nothing short of magnificent. Being a turtle beach it is illegal to have any structure or even a beach lounger or umbrella on the beach so it is pristine. The sea was very swimmable too and just the right temperature. It was quiet in the morning and we enjoyed the chillout cushioned areas and Bob and I had several swims and walks.
Dinesh arrived just before lunch and it was so great to see him again after two years. He always calls us Mama and Papa and it has been a running joke that we are his “English Parents”. He’s a really sweet man. He gave me a tour of the resort: very nice beach huts with great bathrooms, good beds – thick mattresses, mosquite nets. They have very good yoga facilities there and also treatment rooms. It had been very busy and there are a few quiet days now and then more yoga groups arriving from Switzerland. It would be the perfect spot to do that or to totally relax and recuperate.
On one of our walks we spotted a pod of dolphins literally just off the beach and they were visible for a long time. Sorry, no pix this time as the camera was not with me! I haven’t seen them that close in before on the beaches. Talpona is so unspoilt. It must have been what Patnem and Palolem were like 20 years ago. We liked it a lot more than Turtle Beach because you could swim safely.
Suresh came for us at about 4pm and we drove slowly back across the narrow bridges. Will definitely go back next week.
Tonight we had dinner at Namaste down on the beach. The usual beach night: candlelit tables on the sands; fire juggling; Chinese lanterns….. I had my favourite Palak Paneer washed down by a Pink Lady cocktail.