2024 India – Part 6 – Goa

Time for yoga and meditation…

Next morning I had set the alarm early as I had to pack my suitcase. That went quick and after a light breakfast I said goodbye to Sunita for her incredible friendship of the last two days and how she helped me out when I was not doing well.

Vikram brought me to the airport where check-in was a pice of cake. Apparently not a lot of western tourists fly from Nashik as the whole Indigo ground crew wanted to have a selfie with me.

The 90 minute drive went by fast but it had been some years ago since I had flown a propellor plane. All went smoothly though.

At the new North Goa airport a driver was already waiting for me to bring me to… well, to be honest I did not know! 

My dear friend Pardeshi surprised me two days ago with the news that he had opened a new resort at Palolem beach. Little Cove yoga detox retreat Palolem. An accommodation in beautiful, Portuguese style old Houses, It’s only 70 meter away from Palolem Beach. And the good news… unlike Little Cove at Little Cola Beach which is only open during the dry season, this one is open all year long.

So instead of heading directly to Little Cove at Little Cola Beach Pardeshi had booked me for a couple of days at his new resort which is surrounded by breath-taking, coconut Palm trees in South Goa.

Still recovering from the surprise on my arrival Pardeshi and I  caught up after not having seen each other for five long years. We were still talking when we  took a walk to Palolem beach after which I returned to my room for a rest.

Then I went back to the beach to enjoy the atmosphere, the sunset and… a well deserved cocktail. (OK… two)

I felt rather emotional by the unexpected twist of this journey. The plan was to stay for a couple of days in Palolem before moving to Little Cove as I know it… I expected this trip to end at both resorts of my friend Pardeshi but unknowingly and surprisingly ended up at his three resorts.

An additional bonus to a trip that has already been absolutely amazing. 

Next morning Pardeshi and I walked to the end of the beach where we meditated for about half an hour. Back at the resort we did some more breathing expertises before a tasty fruit salad was served. 

I asked to skip lunch and made a long beach walk instead. Palolem beach is much more lively than Little Cola beach. A lot of restaurants and bars can be found at the back of the beach and the unavoidable salesmen also walk around. Still I liked it. I enjoyed a small bite to eat and a drink before returning to my resort for an afternoon nap.

I woke up just in time for my yoga class. Amish, a 28 year old yoga master was giving this private class to me which was quite intense, as the only participant I did not want to disappoint .

After dinner I returned to the beach for a final drink whilst relaxing in one of the lounge pillows. Such a great end of a great day.

Next morning I had to wake up early as Pardeshi and I were going to Little Cove by motorbike, The trip took about 45 minutes and on arrival it immediately felt like coming home. I was greeted by the English group who was doing a retreat over there and then Pardeshi gave a 2 hour class.

Pardeshi asked me whether my suitcase was packed, as he had a second surprise for me in mind, I would be moving to the resort next to Little Cove in a beach front tent for two days… That way I could participate in the yoga classes of the group and was already close at my beloved Little Cove,

So after lunch he had arranged a taxi to bring me back to Palolem, wait for me whilst I packed my things and bring me back to Cola Beach. The afternoon I spent swimming in the sea and enjoyed the unique atmosphere at Cola beach, I was so so happy to be back and finish off this trip at the place I probably liked most in India, the place where I had already made such fond memories.

In the evening Anna, the lady who organised the retreat first gave some theory background, followed by a yin yoga class and yoga Nidra. Such a relaxing finish of the day. After dinner I returned to my tent and enjoyed one final drink. Another day had come to an end.

In the morning I returned to Little Cove for an intense vinyasa class by Anna. The flow was a bit too fast for me so halfway I took a break to recover. It was a nice class anyway.

Another relaxing day at Little Cola beach lied ahead. I enjoyed the art of doing nothing, went for a swim, worked on my tan and had an afternoon nap.

At 18:00 was the last yoga class with the Welsh group and it was kind of special. At the end the group threw the marigold flower chains they received at the start of the week in the sea, as a symbolic farewell. 

I then returned to my resort so the group could have their final dinner as a group event without me (although they told me I was very welcome it felt like the right thing to do for me.

After a good night sleep I made a short beach walk to Little Cove where the Welsh yoga retreat group was checking out.

When they were gone I was given a two hour private yoga class from Ashish who had come from Palolem especially for that. I enjoyed it tremendously and Ashish corrected my postures a couple of times so I did them right and got the most benefit from it.

By then it was time to pack and bring my luggage to the now empty Little Cove Resort. There I was given the beachfront bungalow, another dream coming true.

For the next four days I will have the resort, as well as the beach for myself although the beach might be visited by some local day trippers.

I enjoyed the rest of the day swimming and listening to my ultimate Marillion playlist (the h-years), realising what an extremely lucky person I am for this out of this world experience.

At the end of the afternoon Ashish returned to guide me through a long and deep sunset meditation.

Another spectacular day had ended. 

Next day was one of those days. There are those unique moments I am completely in peace with myself and my environment. This was one of those moments.I It must have something to do with one of the most tranquil and beautiful places I know, my heaven on earth, my beloved Little Cove…

Since the second time I have visited Little Cove in 2016 I started a ritual that I was ready to repeat today. 

After my morning yoga class I returned to the beach on the edge where the sea meets the sand, sat down in the crashing waves and put on my headphones (Noise reduction switched off so I could still hear the waves). I closed my eyes, pressed play on my iphone and started the Lotus Sutra, a 2 hour meditation for the purity of mind by Tina Turner. (Not a lot of people are aware of her beautiful Buddhist mantras she recorded after going into retirement)

In spite of the heat shivers ran down my spine and my cheeks were salty, not because of the seawater but because of the tears in my eyes. I did not complete the full two hours (I would have turned into a lobster by that time) but the 45 minutes or so it lasted I was completely beyond, a rare feeling of consciousness I rarely experience except at this magical place. 

The next few days all followed a similar pattern, rejuvenating, regenerating and day after day I felt more happy and thankful for the opportunities given. 

But time flies and before I realised it was my last day in this beautiful place I felt it is time to reflect on my stay over here in this heaven which is completely out of this world.

It would be unfair nott thank the people that truly make Little Cove heaven on earth. Those wonderful people, who I would like to call friends, who do everything to make my stay over here a stay I will never forget and who certainly go way beyond their call of duty. Their smiles and friendships are genuine, whatever they do for you is genuine, they are some of the most amazing people I can imagine.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have this beautiful place completely for myself, being surrounded by such wonderful people who make sure that I am happy and take care of my well being. It’s certainly a blessing and a most wonderful and unique experience.

Still I cannot forget one person, my dear friend and yoga teacher Pardeshi. Since we met in 2015 for the very first time we bonded and a nice friendship grew. This time he has been hosting me not only at one but at three of his Little Cove resorts, each with it’s own unique character. The last couple of days he has been away to Little Cove Nature Resort in Nashik but has made sure that during his absence his staff took care of me and Ashish was available to give me yoga classes twice a day. Pardeshi returned to Palolem yesterday and came to Little Cola beach this morning for an inspiring class of the philosophy and science behind yoga, followed by an amazing yoga Nidra session (also known as the Yogi sleep, a deep form of relaxation and meditation) 

Pardeshi, Ashish, Deepak and Sandeep, thank you very much for your friendship. Thank you very much for your genuine smiles and the wonderful conversations. Thank you for creating this place where I feel like coming home. Thank you for.. well, everything!!! I feel blessed having such good friends in India and all over the world. 

One more night of gently being rocked to sleep by the waves crashing in the shoreline, one more wake up call by those same waves and then I realised it was time to go home. I had already packed my suitcase the day before so I could still do the morning yoga class and go for a quick swim. After lunch my taxi was ready to bring me to the airport for a journey I had made so many times before.


Journeys