The next day Richie and I caught up and went to Mandrem beach: ‘The number one beach in North Goa’. It was about an hour drive away so I organised a cab for the day to take us there. They hang around until you want to leave and then they pick up up again and take you back. It cost 1500 rupees so about $30 for the whole day.
To get to the beach you have to cross a rickety bamboo bridge because there’s a little river. Richie absolutely loved it…he was buzzing from the look of it and said he’d never seen anything like that before – said he could just imagine it being put together by the locals. Richie’s never been travelling before so lots of these things are a feast for his eyes – it was nice to witness such enthusiasm. It was a pretty cool bridge to be fair.
In Goa there are these beach shacks – they’re all rugged with lots of charm. We picked one and chilled out under the shade, right by the shore line. It was lush.
The water is so warm here – really really warm. The only other place I’ve visited with water like this is Paraty, Brazil. It’s warmer than the swimming baths, I love just jumping right in and not doing the whole: ‘you can do this Deb, you’ve got this’ pep talk to when it’s cold like in Victoria.
A couple of guys walked up to Richie and asked to shake his hand. One of them had never seen a foreigner before, never in his whole life! He shook hands with Richie three times, was really cute. He was staring at Richie with great affection, with a child like look in his eyes…curiosity.
We got back to Candolim around 5pm and Richie had left his scooter at my hotel. We organised to meet up for dinner and he left. I was relaxing on my bed when my phone rang. Richie had been in an accident.
Immediately I asked if he was ok and thankfully he was. Think his pride was a little hurt though…and his bank balance. He had to pay off a taxi driver as he had damaged the side of his car. I kept asking loads of questions and he said ‘Deb, I was just calling to say you have to pick me up in a cab’. I was all shocked and worried and he was just concerned about me picking him up…boys hey.
That night we went to Baga, it’s the night life area of Goa. It was crazy, mad, crazy! Big lights, ticket touts, banging music – it was an assault to the senses. We walked around in a big circle and ended up choosing Brittos restaurant. It was super nice and right by the sea. The whole restaurant was on sand and led towards the sea shore. Was pretty romantic and kinda felt like a date! We chatted like old friends all evening. I learned that:
- Skelmersdale has the second largest roundabout in Europe, next to Paris
- There are zero traffic lights in the town
- It’s a factory town
And just think, Richie had the cheek to rip Blackpool 😉
CANDLE LIT BLACKOUT
When we first walked into the restaurant Richie took the mic and said there’s clearly a big candle budget for the place, we soon found out why. There are several power cuts in India everyday and when there was an outage that evening, the place glowed with hundreds of tiny lights. Usually the power comes back on within a few seconds but this time it was a minute or so, it was beautiful. The ocean waves were rolling in and the whole effect was pretty special.
SOMETHING WORTH LOSING
Took us ages to find a cab back. When I got in I messaged Alex, my best friend. Was telling her how great everything was and how happy I felt. When I got settled for bed I started to feel insecure, started to think ‘What happens if it all goes wrong, what happens if this is the best it gets and I’m leaving?! What if something terrible happens?…’ When I last spoke to my counsellor she mentioned that sometimes people feel vulnerable when things go really well and everything is great because they get scared of losing it. I couldn’t connect with it at the time as I’ve never felt like that but right there in that moment I felt scared of losing it all, losing all the amazing feelings and happiness. I managed to relax, practiced self compassion and drifted off to sleep.
Although I’d prefer not to feel insecure about losing my good feeling, at the same time, I’m also also pleased I did feel that way. It’s comforting to know that I have something worth losing. Sounds odd but it’s good to feel the vulnerability. Sometimes in my life I’ve felt numb and pretty average about lots of things, this is kind proof to me that I’m cultivating an existence that’s valuable and would be awful if I lost it. I now believe it’s best to feel awesome and nervous, than to feel desensitised to life.