End of the Line!

7.1485971917.salida-and-cuba-from-the-seaEnd of the Line!
Patnem, India

Patnem, India

Our last two full days in Patnem! It’s gone so quickly…. We’ve had such a great winter. So many different people coming to stay here for short or long visits. It’s been like a series of different holidays. Thanks to all of you for such good company and good times. This last 10 days we’ve been on our own… and that’s been great too. Luckily we still enjoy each other’s company even after 28 years.
Yesterday we went to Cozy Nook for a last visit to Palolem. Beach was very quiet. Had a lovely breakfast as usual and then settled down for swimming and reading. In the evening we went to April 20 in Patnem for dinner. I was going to have the Dal Balti but was tempted by the tempura king prawns and they were delicious. All their food there is really first glass and served with a bit of style.
Today of course we spent at Salida. The boys were very glad to see us back. They knew it was our last day. The swimming today was exceptional. The water was really really clear – glassy clear. It’s unusual because of the very fine, almost silty sand that churns in the waves. Anyway, today there was none of that. At lunchtime Dinesh and his lovely girlfriend came over from Agonda and they treated us to lunch which was very kind of them. He’s such a nice chap and a brilliant restaurant manager. She is from Slovakia and they tried last year to get him a visa to go there for the summer with her but no joy. They are going to try again this summer but not hopeful. Hopefully after Brexit we will be able to offer the Nepalese more visas again. They are very hard workers.
A sad farewell to the dogs too. They all go off and live in the fields during the summer as the beach is too wild in the monsoon for them. Then apparently they watch, and when the shacks start going up again in October, they come back, to their “own” shack just about at the same time as the staff roll up. It’s amazing really. A very sad farewell to the Salida staff. Lots of hugs. They have been brilliant.
Set off to Chaudhi about 4 by tuk to pick up our glasses. Delighted with them. They’re really stylish and nice. Then back to the room, showered off and began to pack. We have to pack the checked bags light for the Mumbai flight – only 15kg each. So more stuff in hand luggage than usual. Then when we repack for home, we will add more stuff to the checked baggage including — ULP – our laptops, kindles, IPAD and my digital camera. Going to get the cases shrink wrapped as a bit of extra security at that point.Tonight for our last dinner we went down to the beach and ate at Namaste. Just LOVE their margarita cocktails. So delicious and an absolute steal at 100 INR ie £1.20 each. That’s a happy hour price but happy hour lasts all night!!!! They’re not weak at all. So good. For dinner I had king prawn masala which was yum. Bob had chicken tikka masala and we had rice and a butter naan which we shared. The whole thing with 3 margaritas each came to about £12. Really enjoyed our last meal under the stars. Had a good laugh at a couple trying to launch a Chinese lantern down on the water’s edge. They got in a heck of a mess with it, running and trying to launch and then falling over and starting again…. in the end it caught fire and crashed.
So many good memories of this trip…. special times. Hampi with Stuart and Fi and the gang. Bob’s 68th birthday and the fireworks. Eddie’s 70th birthday. The night Jane and Lee turned up to surprise him. Our ceremony for Janet, launching the lanterns, Ye She chanting and the amazing distance they flew…. Joseph and Janet being here…. Gloria’s accident…. not all good times…. People are so friendly and we feel a genuine mutual affection. Despite being ready to go home and longing to see the girls, I always feel a genuine sadness to leave. We have such affection for the place. Despite its untidiness and idiosyncrasies, it is very special to us and has crept into our hearts. Certainly we know more people here than we do in Hawkinge. I think just because we walk and talk, rather than leap into our car and drive past. We go back feeling and being a lot fitter. I think I’ve probably lost a stone in weight, none of it through delhi belly btw. Just better eating and more exercise. We feel fitter through being more active. And of course, it is so chilled here that stress just melts away. It’s been great. We will be back again and again. Maybe not next year, but soon.