A River Trip!

Patnem, India


Today we began by having a trip up the river and into the mangroves at the far end of Palolem Beach. But first breakfast! We took that at a very atmospheric shack called Cozy Nook which is at the end of the beach just where the river comes down to the sea. Great breakfast. I had poached eggs on toast but Bob, Mick and Maureen had poached eggs on rosti potatoes and Maureen had the extra spinach. Delicious. We had never done this river trip before. No idea why. Joe and Janet told us about it though and we decided it sounded great. It was. The boat captain met us at the restaurant and guided us round to the boat landing. The tide was just on the turn from being fully out so probably not the best time to begin. We had to wade a bit to get up to the boat which he punted along in very shallow water. The bird life was amazing and the only sounds were the birds calling to each other particularly the sea eagles and red kites who were there in abundance. We also saw bee catchers, various wading birds, cormorants and kingfishers. But the eagles were the stars. At one point we pulled up in a slack bit of the river and the boatman thew bits of chicken out and the eagles just came swooping down from the trees, so many, time after time, scooping up the meat in their claws. There were lots of them. It was a stunning sight and well worth the £2.50 each we paid for an hour’s trip. We will do it again with Stuart and Fi next week. I shall never forget the experience.
After our river trip we went back to Cozy Nook and had cold drinks and I had a swim. The beach at Palolem is a very lovely one but it is far busier than at Patnem. The bay is more sheltered though and it was idyllic to wallow in the warm, still water. Maureen wanted to do some shopping so we had a look in various handicraft and pashmina shops there. So much to choose from. It was very hot by then. Maureen and Mick headed off back to the Tubki as they had a cookery class tonight and wanted to rest up before then. Bob and I headed down to Salida and spent the afternoon on the beach. Joe and Janet and Gloria and Jean were there. Had some good swims.
So tonight Mick and Maureen went off to Chef Rahul’s cookery school. Bob and I have taken his class 3 times before – it’s excellent but we will hear how they got on tomorrow. Joe and Janet came up and had g&ts on our terrace and then we had dinner at Café Fiesta down on the beach. Really hot and still tonight. I dropped some mending off at one of the clothes “alterers” on the beach road. Came back afterwards and had brandies around the pool and reminisced and giggled about old tv shows. Looked at our watches and Stuart and Fi must be just about landing in Mumbai as we turn in. They will be here by about 830am we estimate. Can’t wait to see them.. It’s going to be a lovely time having them here too.

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