A Boat Excursion to Chola Beach

We had a very full and lovely day today.

It began with a breakfast at Rangoli, a simple restaurant opposite the Patnem Chai Shop. They happen to make really excellent Marsalla Dosa – the large crispy pancake filled with a potato, onion and herb spiced mixture. Bob and Lisa had one each and Daisy and I went for the more conventional mushroom and cheese omelettes.

We walked down to the beach to pick up our boat for 10am. There were 10 of us in our party and we had the boat for the whole day for 800 rupees (£8) each. We set off around the northern headland, stopping to chat with some fishermen on the way. Then across Colomb Bay, Palolem Beach and then into the small coves of Butterfly Bay and then Honeymoon Beach. We pulled into Honeymoon Beach for a 20 minute swim break. It is only accessible from the sea and is very small with interesting rock formations. One looks like a massive turtle. Had a lovely swim there.

Then, back on board and across the long bay of Agonda and then into Chola Beach. The boat has to come ashore at the northern end of the beach as the southern end shelves off very steeply. We could see the hotels there have developed a lot in the last 3 or 4 years. Some very smart cabins now built into the cliffside.

We came ashore and tucked into our snack sack of vegetable samosas that Joseph had kindly picked up from the Patnem Chai Shop. They are just outstanding, so crisp and well seasoned. Delicious and only 12 cents each.

We made a base camp there and split up to do our own things. Some people walked to the far southern end of the beach where there is a large river fed lagoon. There were lots of kayaks there – maybe 80. There are also 2 restaurants at that end. We stayed at our camp and had lots and lots of swimming and sunbathing.

We walked to a new little restaurant that was serving a lux tent resort. Had some cold drinks but weren’t overly impressed with the place so we didn’t eat. We were still full up from the samosas anyway.

We wallowed away another couple of hours, living out our “they came in search of paradise…………” fantasies. The boat came back for us at 3pm and we made our progress back to Patnem by about 410. A fantastic day out, really enjoyable.

Tonight, Bob and I, Janet and Joseph and Daisy and Lisa went to the Nada Brahma cinema night to see “The Whale”. Blimey a very heavy and intense watch, not easy at all. The acting performances were all tremendous but it was difficult….. very thought provoking and I will have to give it more thought. Food was good as usual. I had Thai vegetable rolls with a peanut sauce.

Walked back across the moonlit beach and then had a last nightcap at Eves. Pretty tired but we had such a good ay.

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