Oh Goa….*breathes* *sighs* ….and relax.
Arriving at the Marriott Hotel and Spa right on the sea front was wonderful. The open reception looked directly onto the sea, the warm sea breeze gently brushing our hot sticky skin was welcome relief. I took a deep breath of the sea air. My lungs filled with the freshest air for well over a month – it was welcome and needed. I could immediately sense myself relaxing after what can only be described as a very stressful move to Bangalore at the end of September.
We were welcomed with a cold Kingfisher beer (lemonade for Zahra) and we sat looking at the sea whilst the welcome team got us checked in and briefed us on the facilities. They hurried around us whilst we relaxed with a beer. We were escorted to our sea view room – and what a seaview – right on the beach front – a fantastic view to wake up to each morning.
Oh my gosh this place is wonderful. Zahra was super excited – the beach and a pool to enjoy – but which to enjoy first? After what seemed like tortuous minutes she decided on the pool first. Within half an hour of arriving we were in our swimmies poolside with a bag of pool toys. She was ecstatic.
Dinner was at the fish restaurant sat outside between the pool and the sea. No menu, a permanent board lists the fish that may be available, the sauces it can be cooked in and the accompaniment vegetables. Price was by uncooked weight and the fish available from the catch of the day. We all chose something different and each dish was delicious. Zahra fell asleep in her chair after dinner. Rez and I sat and enjoyed the sound of the waves lapping against the shore and the warm night air, broken only by the sound of banging tunes ringing out from the passing party boats!
Zahra woke early on Sunday morning and we headed down for breakfast. (We are such cruel parents making her eat breakfast before going to the pool!). The morning was spent lounging by the pool before heading out to Bay15 for Sunday Brunch* with the lovely Vimal. Vimal lives in Goa and was introduced to us by my brother Ade. Ade met Vimal 9 years ago when he trekked the Himalayas in aid of the National Austistic Society. Vimal was the local guide and helped them complete the trek as well as guiding them through it.
Vimal is an amazing person. He has met so many people and knows so many more. He has trekked and cycled the Himalyas week after week and month after month with groups of celebrities and ordinary folk for 7 years. He ‘retired’ from it a few years ago and moved to Goa to set up a new business. He’s a very interesting and informative person who puts you at ease as soon as you meet him – what a wonderful gift. We chatted for hours over a leisurely lunch before heading onto the beach to explore with Zahra.
To be continued…
*Bay 15 is a small hotel and restaurant by the beach. Sunday Brunch is a bit of a thing to do here.