My 6 Year Old Is a Goan- Exploring Arambol, Mandrem & Anjuna on a Budget

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#Trip #Arambol #Shiva #Boom Shiva

Music on the waves of Goa

It’s 7 am, I am a lil hung-over, and the only voice I can hear is “daddy let’s go to the beach”.  I try to gather my thoughts, get out of bed to find my slippers and opened the door to welcome in the sounds of the ocean, and say good morning to my super excited daughter. It is at this moment that it truly sinks in that i am going to be waking up in Goa for the next 7 days.

Arambol is a long smooth beach, which ends onto a cliff covered with shops, restaurants and guesthouses. Unlike other beaches, Cliffside has great variety of spots to watch sunsets each day. A small walk or a hike can take you away from all distractions to be one with nature. Just the place to celebrate my daughter’s 6th birthday. If you do choose to stay here, remember you’ll have to walk a lot for everything.

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Arambol Cliff Side

Day 1

Delhi – Goa direct morning flight by Spice Jet

The very charming air hostesses in newly designed uniforms introduced very recently welcomed us. The flight took 2.5 hrs. And was bang on time, and what really surprised me was their large selection of items on the menu. Though most of the items are only available with a pre order, next time I am definitely not eating at the airport if I fly with Spice Jet.

Goa Airport has been swanked up and has become really clean and organized. With the ever-increasing tourist, it was much required. Totally loved it.

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#SpiceJet- Delhi – Goa

Transport – There are three ways to reach Arambol

Bus- 650 -850 | Taxi – 1200 -2000 | Self Drive- Patrao & Rent a Bike

We chose an Innova for an almost 2 hr. drive due to traffic for our trip. The ride was great, but on our way to the guest house, we realized that one of my friends left her wallet in the car, and though we were able to get in touch with the driver through the helpline number on the receipt, we never got it back. It did not pull our spirits down though.

OM Ganesh

It was an almost 600 meter. walk thru the narrow lanes lined with shops and cafes to our cliff side rooms. The guesthouse was in the middle of a big plot, with stairs leading up to the Greece style white solid huts with doors and windows painted in blue. It had a small outdoor sitting with a couple of chairs to watch that perfect sunset each day.

Tip; Carry your own bed sheet or buy one from the main market

Just managed to reach in time for our first sunset on the beach. Not in too many places in the world can you see the glowing orange ball face to face, and you get present to the space between earth and sun. Nonetheless, it is one of the most calming and peaceful feeling you’ll ever have.

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Our first Sunset

Our day ended with some lovely conversations and just being happy for life bringing us all here together.

DAY 2

Exploring Arambol

We all woke up super excited to spend a day on the beach listening to the sound of waves and enjoy the sun away from Delhi winters. Santana Beach Shack right next to cliff side was our spot for today; they have a great service team.

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Muesli with fruits, curd and honey

Ohanna got her first temporary tattoo and she suddenly realized she’d have to wait sometime before she enters the sea again. It was the panic situation and we had to come with ideas to dry the tattoo. We entered the sea after 10 min and finally, she let us breathe. We ordered a round of fresh fruit juices (orange, watermelon & pineapple), everyone chose from all the set breakfast options like American, English etc. which are quite similar with slight variations.

By afternoon we decided to take a stroll down the main market, exploring various shops, cafes and transportation (taxi stand, bike stand, bike rentals and bus stand. Arambol Main Street has quite a few cafes on various levels and shops selling clothes generally bought by backpackers.

My friend Raj booked an appointment with GUJU Rasta, Ohanna and I found fresh ice cream at Hippy Gusto, cakes at German bakery (open till 1 am), and a very cool Ninja shoe store. What makes this walk in Arambol really interesting is the fact that you are among people of various nationalities like Russians, Israelis and Indians.

Day 3

We got Dreadlocked

Sun shines on the blue door and pushes it just enough to let itself in to wake us up. Come what may Ohanna was up at 7 in the morning for her 5 hours at the beach. We had to take shifts while she went crazy. Yoo-hoo! What energy.

Raj told that he would be back in few hours and was not finished even by evening. So we had no choice but to chill at Arambol.

As the sun was about to set we took a path leading to the top of the cliff with a huge flat area. An Aerial view of Arambol with the setting sun from here is to die for.

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Post vegan snacks at Organic Vibes Café, which has a gig almost every day; we went to Anjuna for Shack hopping for some insane music and food under the stars.

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Day 4

Sweet Water Lake

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Sweet Water Lake looked like a green ruby last evening from the cliff, and I convinced everyone to spend a day there. We stopped en route for breakfast at Aroma Café, which has a live kitchen on the street run by two Russian ladies. They serve savoury and sweet pancakes, sweet potato fries, vegan brownies and much more.

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A small walk leads us to the exotic sweet water lake. It is surrounded by cliffs covered in vegetation and has that exotic feel to it. Check out Paragliding on the cliff above and also a 20 min walk on a trail from here leads to the old Banyan tree. Look out for Psy parties near the lake, which sometimes happen here during the season.

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We headed out for dinner at Umbrella Café, situated on the main street. It has a huge terrace sitting with a place for gigs and cuisine ranging from Nepalese to Russian.

Day 5

Ohanna’s Birthday

It was finally the Big Day. My daughter had turned 6 and we had to make it special. Morning by the beach, brunch at Oasis with cake cutting, followed by shopping.

Shopping is not easy at Arambol, hardly anyone accepts credit cards, they don’t care about Paytm, and Atm is good 3 KM from here. And so it was decided, that the ladies will chill,  Raj and I will fetch money. As we embarked on that journey we discovered quite a few places of interest, like  Yoga village, Old Mount church and captain coco.

We saved the best for last while walking on the beach in the moon lit night we followed the music down the beach to ASH. We were in luck as Avi Adir was playing flute live, followed by Russian village songs and a play to stir your emotions out.

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Day 6 –

Mystery of Sound travelling on the waves

Last few days had been very tiring with walking all around and sleeping late. So today we dedicated to just chilling. Late afternoon I went to check out Yoga Village in Mandrem. As the name suggests a full range of yoga and meditation classes happen here, and a full schedule is neatly written on a black board placed at the entrance gate. If not yoga, then do check out the cafes they have. Sat down for Ginger lemon & honey tea, which lead to some intense conversations related to life with people I had just met.

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The night has come and the land was dark, and the moon was the only light guiding us. We could hear a beat continuously; excited to attend a psy party we started walking towards it… after almost 3km of doing so, we realized that the sound was bouncing on the water to travel this far from Vagator Beach. Tired we took a cab to reach the crazy Jungle party.

Day 7

The day we found the Dark Chocolate Truffle ball

With sloth mode on, we did not move away from the beach until it was a little cooler. The sunset in Goa stirs something up in you to explore and connect with people and the place. We chanced upon Roundhouse beach shack: where people were jamming live around a huge bonfire under the starlit sky. We couldn’t have asked for more.

As we were walking back after the gig, took a pit stop at Disha super market store near the Sea horse cafe. Stepped in for water and came out with Truffle balls. They were insane and if you like dark chocolate don’t leave Arambol without eating them.

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Day 8

Anjuna Flea Market before we bid adieu Goa

Anjuna Flea market has become massive, with people coming from all over Goa. This was by far one of the most interesting days for us; we found some amazing stuff to shop. Apart from locals, foreigners put great number stalls with very cool designs for clothes and accessories. It is super expensive, and the prices could match that of a swanky mall.

The 2-hour drive took us back to the Airport for our flight to Delhi.

Goodbye Goa we’ll be back soon

Any further tips to share from your own experiences? Any questions?

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