Our flight out on Monday was pretty smooth and uneventful, if rather tedious. 8.5 hours direct from Heathrow into Goa and the plane was full. The Air India experience was a bit patchy – good food and plenty of it, some alcohol, vs my seat entertainment didn’t work. At least I managed to sleep for a few hours.
It was 330 local time when we landed and we were very quickly through the airport. Maybe 40 minutes from de-planing to walking out of the terminal. Eve Resort had sent their car for us and he was waiting outside arrivals with a board. Joe was on our flight, so we had arranged to travel down together and the car was plenty big enough for all of us and our luggage. It took about 90 minutes to get from the airport to the hotel. We were really tired.
Eve Resort has got a whole new third floor since our last visit and Marylyn and Clive have kindly allocated us a room on the top floor. In fact directly above the room we used to always have on the 2nd floor. Wow! It felt very much larger due to the new design and a great view of the tree canopy from the double patio doors. Of course it was still dark when we arrived so we couldn’t see much.
We unpacked a bit and fell into bed – super comfy, huge bed – and slept till midday. Got up and came downstairs and found Joe, Gloria, Joseph and Janet and Mark in the outdoor cafe. Much hugging and we were all so pleased to see each other again after the pandemic years. We had a fantastic catch up and it was as if we’d all been together last week. Bob and I had late breakfast – now included in the room price.
Bob and Joe went off to Chaudi by tuk tuk to run some errands – get money, get a local sim and a few odds and ends of shopping. I went back up to the room to finish unpacking. On the way, I met Candace who is Marylyn and Clive’s daughter. She is beautiful and adorable and nearly 3. Marylyn was pregnant with her when we were last here in 2020. Lovely to meet her – she is a livewire and very advanced for her age.
We dozed in the room most of the rest of the afternoon. It is about 35C here and sunny. We were too tired for the beach.
Met up in the bar at 7 and walked down to Sea Front for dinner. Apparently Salida, our previous favourite beach restaurant, is now under new hands and the food is terrible so we will base ourselves at Sea front. It was gorgeous to sit out under the stars and look along the beach at the twinkling lights. Of course I had Palak Paneer – my go to favourite. Bob had prawn massala. Prices are up a bit but having said that, my dinner was just under £4 including a drink, and Bobs was £6.50 and he had curry, rice, a naan and a bottle of beer. We budget at around £10 per day each for food and drink and we should still be on target for that.
Walked back up the beach road after dinner and so many of the traders recognised us and came out to shake hands and welcome us back and share covid stories. Some of them had been stuck in Goa when the pandemic hit and then many had been unable to get back to Goa to their shops for a long time. There are noticeably less Nepalis here in the restaurants it would appear as they got badly stuck in 2020 and fear to return.
Turned in about 10pm. Beach tomorrow . So wonderful to be back.