Some of my holidays in Goa are set inland, in and around the quaint city of Panaji. Most holidays are set along the beaches. And beaches imply long walks. Sometimes 2 to 3 km, sometimes 15 km. A quiet breakfast by the pool at Pristine Resort is followed by a walk on most days. A long walk has become routine on every holiday, sometimes to Colva about 8 km away, sometimes south of Varca about 14 km away. The hard sand on South Goa's broad beaches is extremely conducive for long walks.
Setting off by 9am enables you to watch the beach wake up. Shacks start to get cleaned and set up for the day.
There are always a few moments to gaze at the sea.
It's fun to splash along the water's edge, at the same timne offer a bit of relief to city feet not quite accustomed to walking many kilometres bare feet.
More people appear on the beach as time goes by.
Spots such as Betalbatim, Colva and Benaulim are crowded, at least by South Goa standards.
Gotcha! A picture of a winter migratory bird!
Taj Exotica on Benaulim beach passes by about 10 to 11 km south of Arossim. Memories of having stayed there about 15 years ago.
The broad beach of Varca appears shortly, a couple of kilometres south of Benaulim. A familiar area after several trips and walks, including an official trip around the year 2009 and a trip with my nephews in the year 2011.
Beach shacks we had been to all those years ago still exist. Evisha...
Finally, a kilometer south of Varca, I arrive at Sea Pearls Shack. I've known the family for many years, and have walked over to visit them during my trips to Arossim. A long walk, about 14 km, worth every step of the way. The daughter of the owner is now in high school, nice to see her grow up over the years and study in an English medium school.
Once again, the hours melt away as the sun heads westwards.
Caju drink, a book and salad to munch on.
Tasty Beef Chilly Fry to complement the Caju drink.
The afternoon has flown by, and I'd rather take a bus back. So I make it to the local bus stop, walking a kilometer along quite lanes.
The local bus stop has interesting graffiti conveying loyalty to soccer clubs in the UK.
Some parts of Goa have not changed, probably stayed the same for decades, like this home by the bus stop where the old lady is getting her hair soaked in coconut oil.
The bus stop in Varca clearly does not want commuters to sit on the walls as they wait for the buses to arrive.
After a long yet pleasant ride to Madgaon and another bus ride to Utorda, it's time to settle down in Balton's Beach Shack for sunset.
It's been a pleasant day, a long 14 km walk to Varca, chatting with the family that owns Sea Pearls shack, and the meandering bus ride back to Utorda. This is what holidays should be made of. (Old Jungle Saying!).