This last weekend was spent with the Ardee gang at Patnem beach in Canacona, on the southern border of Goa. It was a weekend of fun, frolic and endless mojitos…well, it was for me 😉 We were nine families from Ishaan’s class in school and we took over the Cuba Patnem Resort where we were staying, almost entirely for the duration! For my part, this was a much needed break away from home, the computer and books – yes you heard me right – books 😛 My Booker project has been keeping me decidedly busy and the getaway offered timely relief. I took my helper Pushpa along, to give her a holiday and of course to handle Ishaan, which she did with much aplomb! She’s really good with children and they can tell. They flocked to her like ants to honey!
The Patnem beach, is in the manner of most South Goa beaches, much better preserved than those in the north. The sand quality is better and the number of tourists is still minimal, a rare sight in Goa these days. Consequently the beach is cleaner and more inviting, although there were an inordinate number of stray dogs around – not all of them friendly 😦 The journey from Panjim to Patnem took about 2 hours, but after we had got rid of the heavy traffic at Margao, the ride was scenic and enjoyable. The Cuba Patnem Resort where we stayed is a small resort with 15 cottages (both AC and non-AC) located smack bang on Patnem beach. They are rather dear to look at the cottages, painted in different colors with hammocks on every patio 🙂 Mine was sunshine yellow & overlooked the Arabian Sea, which occasionally obliged with a glimpse of blue waters.
The Sea can be deceptively calm here, so swimmers beware! We spent the evening of our arrival frolicking in the waters and discovered the strength of the current, quite unexpectedly, landing often on our tushies 😛 Not very pleasant I can tell you 😉 The beach is lined with shacks and resorts fronted by the ubiquitous beach umbrellas. Home is one such I strongly recommend for its great food and ambience. They have an excellent vegetarian menu (their veg panini and pastas were a huge hit with our gang) and surprisingly serve no fish!! Sacrilege for a beach shack in Goa methinks 😛 They do however serve up tender coconut water from freshly plucked fruit on their property 🙂 I also recommend Dropadi (yes, that’s how it’s spelled!) at Palolem beach. The only problem here is the extensive menu which can make choices difficult. We had some honey shrimp & fresh strawberry daiquiris here that were spot on 🙂
There isn’t much to do in Patnem itself which didn’t bother us coz we went there to do exactly that – Nothing! Palolem beach which is a few minutes drive away, is much more developed with the mandatory touristy market, completely uninteresting to us locals 😛 I last visited Palolem in 1991 during my internship, when it was undiscovered and virgin and we felt like we had truly arrived in Paradise 🙂 Now it’s a sad shadow of its former glory, such are the ravages of time 😦 C’est la vie! Our first night at the resort we had a power cut – this is Goa after all – so we took the opportunity to lounge on the terraced roof of my cottage, sprawled on dew-laden mattresses and bean bags, playing cards and placing bets! Although the heat was pretty unbearable at first, a cool sea-breeze soon fanned our sweaty bodies and when the lights came back on two hours later, we were so engrossed in our game that we just stayed up playing until the wee hours of the morning! I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until 4 am – stayed up having fun I mean 😉
Day two was more relaxed and we just lounged around at the resort and Home next door. On the whole – a wonderful time was had by all – good food, drink, and company. The children were exceptionally well behaved (for a bunch of hyperactive 4-yr-olds ;-)) and we not only survived but emerged refreshed 🙂
Can’t wait now for May, when I’m planning a trip to the Hills up north with friends! This is fast turning into an addiction!