Today our schedule was completely dedicated to just one thing. Visit to Palolem Beach. Palolem Beach, located in South Goa, is almost the southermost point in Goa. Go just 10 kilometre further south and you will reach Karnataka. I had come to Palolem in 2012 with Lekshmy, during which time it was very underdeveloped and was afar from the crowd and rush typical of many Goan beaches. Even though the crowd is still not too much today, it was not recognisable to me as the same old one.
From Angels Resort, where we stay in Goa, to Palolem was a two hour drive. During the entire length of this journey we engaged in Dumb Charades. We reached Palolem at around 12. We had booked 2 rooms at a beachfront resort and our lunch was also scheduled there. After having lunch, one by one, we slowly proceeded seaward.
My new waterproof camera was put to test during this time. We were able to click a lot of in-water pictures, which otherwise would not have been possible. We stayed in the water until atleast 2:30 after which the lunch was served.
At 4 PM we proceeded for watching dolphins in the sea, in 3 local boats. At Palolem, you can see two islands jutting out of the beach into the sea. These islands known as Monkey Island and Honeymoon Island can be accessed via boat ( and by land also, I think). Our dolphin spotting needed two-three round in circles in the sea following which we were able to spot a huge dolphin emerge from the water. Another very interesting visual was that of huge packs of seagulls in the sea.
Once we spotted the dolphins, our boatspeople slowly turned towards the islands. We circled the monkey island where I could see a very serene beach. There were only a few local people on that beach. A perfect spot for lovers, I should add. Moving forward, we saw the Honeymoon island, which also had a rocky beach. We alighted there for sometime and then proceeded back to our resort.
We waited in the easy chairs outside the resort to see the beautiful sunset and soon proceeded towards our stay at North Goa. Today was better than yesterday, where the cruise in Mandovi ruined it for us. This opinion was shared by most of us. I was reminded of the “duration neglect” and “peak enjoyment” principles that Daniel Kahneman talks about in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow” as far as our perception of yesterday’s experience goes.A good day got a bad name, just because it ended badly.
The beaches in Goa, when compared to Kerala are comparitively more rocky. Peppered with granitic rocks, there are considerable amount of cliffs along the Goan coast. Besides, the beaches are not straight as you would see in most beaches of Kerala. Palolem is a relatively calm beach with not so strong waves, and is comparable with Kovalam in Kerala. Kovalam, however has a better cliff which is topped by a beautiful lighthouse. And compared to the shacks that you find near the beach in Palolem, in Kerala you have even a five star property that is beach facing.
Another noticeable thing about Palolem beach is that it is a drive-in beach. Kerala has only one drive in beach, which is Muzhuppilangaadu. I do not know if there are other drive in beaches in Goa, but Palolem definitely is one. Though, there seems to be some restrictions in taking the vehicle into the beach for safety reasons. I saw only a jeep coming into the jeep, which I suspect belonged to one of the locals.
Overall, Day 2 of the Bharath Darshan was a very enjoyable experience. Tomorrow we visit the Accountant General, Goa and then proceed to Goan Shipyard and then to Baga and Calangute beaches. Looking forward to an even more eventful day to top off the Goan leg of our journey.