Bob and I went our different ways this morning. I walked down to the beach around 830 to get breakfast, secure our beach loungers and take some Earl Grey teabags to Freddie. She had run out and found it difficult to get any at April 20. We’d come out with a box so no problem sharing some. I had breakfast at Salida del Sol. The boys say that it has got very quiet again now the New Year is past. They feel the Indian money crisis has affected business a lot. I’m not so sure. There still seems to be plenty of people around. I’ve seen it quieter.
I had my usual two soft boiled eggs on toast for brekkie washed down with copious cups of black tea. I always try to lose the autumn/Xmas weight when I come out here by eating and drinking more healthily and walking far more. It generally works so fingers crossed for this year when the flab gain has been worse than usual. There’s a definite roll to shed…… Breakfast cost 100 INR which is just over a pound. Not bad.
Bob headed off into Chaudhi, our nearest little working town, to sort out some essentials. You could go by tuktuk or bus but he likes to walk. It’s a pleasant country walk which takes about 20 minutes. No doubt he will also take the opportunity to call in at the Krishna Hotel (café) and get a South Indian breakfast of masala dosa which is a massive super-light pancake stuffed with a filling not unlike that in a vegetarian Cornish pastie. About 60p. The main reason for his visit is to sort out a local phone sim so that we can make cheap local calls. It will take about 3 days for it to be approved and come through. There is some sort of security check around the process which we don’t have at home. He’s also going to pick up a few supplies for our room. Nay, essentials: a bottle of gin, tonics, limes and some nuts. He got back to the beach around 11ish fully successful in his mission. It was market day in Chaudhi so very busy. He said there were quite long queues at the ATMs so he didn’t bother getting any more cash. We’d picked up 24000 INR at the cashpoints in the Marriott at Mumbai so we are pretty ok for a while. Salida and Eve Resort both take plastic money as do most of the shacks. The cash is really for paying small amounts like tuk tuks and odd items in small shops. He said that the new block at the Tubki which they were building last winter is now finished and it looked as though they were starting on another. We believe that these blocks are for purchase/residential rather than holiday rooms but of course whoever buys them may choose to let them for holidays. He also noticed that the Octopus restaurant on the way into Chaudhi was all boarded up. I can’t say I’m surprised. You’d need a really good reason to go that far from the village/beach and I didn’t think their food was quite good enough. We went a couple of times last winter but it was very much British pub food and in all honesty that’s not what I want when I come here. Anyway, it is no more….He met Dinesh anind old landlord of ours on the way in. Dinesh owns a lovely pink guesthouse where we stayed for two years when we first started coming to Patnem. We had rooms up on his roof with a really lovely covered roof terrace just about to ourselves. Very fond of Dinesh, he looked after me very well when I was there on my own for some weeks. His mattresses were about an inch thick though….. It would have been more comfortable to sleep on the floor! Still he only charged £8 per night for the rooms which was a total bargain. He is always so pleased to see us, it doesn’t matter that we don’t stay there anymore. He has let the roof terrace go for hire to a yoga school and his rooms are always full of yoga enthusiasts. They probably don’t mind the “bed of pain”.
Bob and Gloria kicked off their Scrabble tournament today with a game after lunch. Freddie and I returned to the sun loungers and reading. Still feeling tired from the journey so an after lunch snooze is also quite nice. It’s so lazy here.
I noticed today that the SeaView Hotel in the village centre has put in quite a large swimming pool in their front garden. They’ve spruced the place up a bit too. I guess they are responding to the increase in competition. Tonight we went in search of Rocky. Last year Rocky and his brother were running Roundcube a previously very unsuccessful restaurant/shack on the beach. It was always empty, year after year. Through amazing customer service, great food and initiative, they really turned it around and packed it out. We ate there frequently. Anyway, this year the shack owners decided they would take back control again. Result: empty again due to indifferent food and poor service. Rocky, his brother (who’s the chef) and Rocky’s new wife have taken over Sea Front, further up the beach past Kranti Yoga Campus. He was so pleased to see us! Food was excellent, service was excellent. Looks a nice place. We will be back.