We’ve been relaxing on the beach ever since returning from Hampi on Wednesday. It’s been really hot. 37/38C and as usual, cloudless sun, so being in the water, under a sunshade or playing games in Salida is the best way to spend the day. Gloria continues to make steady progress. She made a big breakthrough last night when she managed to get out of bed by herself to use the portable loo. And she is back to her cheery feisty self. So determined to be able to get on the plane back to Kathmandu on March 3rd. So many people from all around are helping out with her, bringing her meals, chatting, ensuring she is comfortable. It is very much a tribute to what a wonderful woman she is and how much loved.
Last night we ate at Ciarans on Palolem Beach, all the Eve gang (except Joseph who is a little hors de combat) plus Eddie and Pamela. Such a nice place. Rather a romantic setting and excellent food. They have live music every night and last night there was a French folk duo playing. They were fantastic. I especially enjoyed their rendition of the Nick Cave/Kylie song “Wild Rose”. I had a pan fried king fish fillet with roasted asparagus, veg and nutmeg mashed potato. Delicious! A very fun evening. Would have stayed later than we did but we were on Gloria Tuck In duty!
Today Stuart, Fi, Bob and I had an excursion to Turtle Beach. We were all meant to go but Joseph is still not quite back to full strength, so the others stayed local. Bob and Stuart walked from Patnem across the beaches. Took about 75 minutes including the river ferry. Said it was a brilliant walk.
Fi and I had breakfast at the Capital Organic restaurant (French omelette and real coffee). Met up and had a nice chat with Kate who was our neighbour at Dinesh’s 3 years ago. She was getting Gloria’s breakfast! Then we got a tuk. I have to say our driver was the worst. It is about a 20 minute drive to Turtle Beach and one of outstanding beauty. However, our driver was clearly attempting the unprotected sneezing and mucus spitting record en route. He must have spat about 40 times, a strange sideways motion out of the tuk cabin. It made me very nervous as I was downwind of him in the rear and I fully expected to be “blessed” with one of his offerings. Escaped that though.
We passed by the digging of the new Mumbai-Kerala National Highway which is going to run along behind Talpona and Turtle Beach. Very very close. It must be going to affect that area which is really sad. Some beautiful houses that were in extremely secluded locations are now more or less under or up against a multi lane highway/flyover. These beaches are designated nature reserves, you can’t even have a sun lounger on them currently but I wonder how long that status will last.
Anyway, just as we arrived, there was a shout from the waterline and there was Bob and Stuart, so perfect timing. We had a cold drink at Santosh’s shack and then made our way to the lagoon at the south end of the beach. The swimming at Turtle is a bit like north Cornwall. The rollers are straight in and you need to be a strong swimmer or a surfer to really enjoy it. Sometimes its ok. But the lagoon is just heaven at all stages of the tide. We wallowed there for some hours and set up camp against some rocks.
Wandered back to Santosh’s about 130 for lunch. We had a coconut, herb, oyster fricassee, rawa fried oysters, fresh shrimp tacos and Fi had dal fry and a garlic butter roti. All washed down with ice cold Kingfisher beer. The oysters come from the river/lagoon area where they are farmed along with mussels and shrimp. Incredible value. Each plate was about £1.30 and had around 9 oysters. The fresh ones are also good and the same price. Must go back again before the end.
Came back around 4 and Bob and I chillaxed at Eve’s. Stuart and Fi went back to Patnem Beach to maximise their beach time. Can’t believe they go home next Thursday. It’s going so fast. Tonight was Paul and Jane’s last night. They leave in the early hours of the morning. Such a pleasure to get to know them. Poor Paul has been an absolute star, never complaining even though his stay turned into a bit of a busman’s holiday as he has had to doctor to all sorts of complaints, nearly every day. I must pop round in a minute before he leaves and see if he can do anything about my……. LOL Anyway, we had dinner on the beach at Tantra, 12 of us. It’s getting a bit like that old rhyme ‘and they all rolled over and one fell out…. there were x in Patnem……’ We have exactly 5 weeks left. Going so fast……