2019 India – Goa

My last breakfast at the Residency Fort Hotel. Although I had a couple of hours to kill I did not feel like going into town anymore so I spent my time reading before I was picked up by my uber drive to the airport. The trip took about an hour and a half and I enjoyed my last glimpses of the hectic traffic in Mumbai.

At the airport I noticed people had been waiting at a distance from terminal 2, apparently the terminal was evacuated for a reason not explained. We waited about 45 minutes after which the staff was summoned to enter the building and not much later the passengers were allowed to proceed. Not much later everything seemed to be as normal, except at the Air India check-in counter that remained empty. Another 15 minutes later also this was operational and I checked in, left my luggage behind and proceeded through the security clearance. At an Irish bar I enjoyed a last portion of spicy chicken and a nice beer after which I headed to the gate for my short flight to Goa, which surprisingly still left on time…

On arrival in Goa I picked up my luggage and headed to the exit, where I was hoping someone would be waiting for me. As this was not the case I waited another hour and took a taxi to Little Cola beach. It was dark right now but by the time we were approaching my destination I started to recognise things. My driver refused to drive the last two kilometres over unpaved road to Little Cove so I swapped taxis for the final stretch.

The staff at Little Cove was surprised to see me as I was expected the following day which explained nobody was waiting for me. My beach front bungalow was ready for me though and not much later I had moved in and enjoyed a steaming cup of ginger lemon tea, my favourite drink at Little Cove.

Next morning I was woken up by another cup of tea after which I enjoyed my first yoga class which I absolutely loved. After class we were treated by the traditional fruit salad, not much later followed by a cup of tea. Then it was time for a refreshing shower and head to the beach….

That was the plan at least but after I showered and was relaxing at the patio of my beach bungalow the gong rang for lunch. A tasty vegetarian meal was served which reminded me how much I missed the food at Little Cove.

Back at my bungalow I could see Pardeshi coming towards me. A warm welcome followed and soon we were in a deep conversation. We made a beach walk and Pardeshi proudly showed me the latest extension of Little Cove at the end of the bay. He had now three areas exclusively in use for yoga retreats (booked by groups who bring their own teacher) while the centre bungalows and shala were reserved for those like myself who came individually for a yoga holiday.

The new area looked absolutely stunning and in between the bungalows and yoga shala was a small Padi field. It was breathtaking.

After an hour or so Pardeshi continued his job and I returned to my bungalow for some more reading. It was during this trip I did find the peace and patience to read again and I turned into a vivid reader. But the beach and the inviting water was not to be ignored.

Later that afternoon I was treated on another fruit salad and tea. Life was simply perfect and I could feel how an extremely relaxed and peaceful feeling was coming over me. It was good to be back.

At 7:15 the gong rang, a sign that dinner was being served. Everybody gathered together and enjoyed another fantastic meal whilst involved in vivid conversations. As it was Sunday the weekly dance performance by locals was arranged but as I had seen it plenty of times I sneaked out, returned to my bungalow and read some more before going to sleep.

It was a deep and satisfied sleep and I was only woken up by the voice of Raj, one of the staff, who knocked on my door and told me a steaming cup of tea was waiting for me at my patio.

Another day in paradise had begun and it was time for another yoga session to greet the day.

Over the next couple of days I gradually became in an even more relaxed state of mind. The impact Little Cove has on me is overwhelming. I can only describe the location, isolated from the hectic that India usually brings along, as idyllic. The beach is picture book perfect and not overrun by people. There are some great swimming areas in between the rocks that are shattered in the water, the sun is always present and the beach is surrounded by palm trees and other lush green vegetation.

The bungalows are simple but provide all comfort you need and from my patio I could only dream away whilst thoroughly enjoying the scenery that unfolded in front of me.

Each and everyone of the staff has a heartfelt warm and inviting personality with warm smiles that make you feel sincerely welcome.The whole place is like a wam blanket that comfortably wraps around you to make you feel as good as humanly possible and it did not take me long to come into an absolutely happy state of mind.

Almost daily I had long conversations with Pardeshi and it turned out to be very deep discussions about yoga, the sense of life but also the difference between eastern and western lifestyles and mentalities, those discussions were extremely valuable for the both of us.

Every now and then I treated myself on a Ayurvedic massage which loosened me even further up. I looked forward to the daily meditations at the rocks during sunset. We chanted some mantras, did breathing exercises and finished of with a lengthy silence meditation whilst the sun was slowly sinking into the horizon and I was sinking into my inner self, a moment of awareness, a moment of absolutely nothing…

Days went by where not a lot seemed to be happening but the fixed structure of the day provided a nice anchor for an experience that only had one goal, the art of doing nothing… How relaxing could it get.

After being one week at Little Cove I decided I was in for a little treat so after the evening yoga class Hanna, a friendly girl from Cologne, and myself headed to the only bar in the cove ( not part of Little Cove ) where we treated ourselves on an old monk rum with cola. I had almost forgotten how nice it was… We returned back in time for dinner and later that evening we were treated by a bonfire at the beach which added to the atmosphere. It was the perfect end of a perfect day in a perfect place, what else could I wish for…

Next day I had some neck and upper back pain (must have done something wrong during yoga) so I decided to skip the morning yoga class. I had already informed the staff I had cancelled all meals for the day and had booked a taxi to Agonda where I was going to meet Ravi, who used to teach at Little Cove, and his Dutch wife Talita. Needless to say I was extremely exited as the lat time I saw them was a year and a half ago at my place in Hillensberg.

When I arrived at the well visited Zest Cafe in Agonda I heard Ravi calling my name and not much later we were into a vivid conversation, just as if we had just met the previous week. We ordered a wonderful breakfast and I enjoyed the first coffee in a week or so. After breakfast we headed back to their see front cottage, I purchased a pair of swimming trunks and the three of us went swimming. We were still chatting and laughter filled the air.

As Ravi had some business to do Talita and I booked a massage at 4 o’clock. The session started at 4 o’clock with a one hour traditional Ayurvedic massage. The next 20 minutes or so warm oils was poured over my forehead which brought me into an ultimate state of relaxation. Finally there was some reflexology after which the treatment was completed. I felt rejuvenated.

After Talita was finished we headed back to their bungalow where she opened a bottle of Indian red which was very pleasant and we chatted till Ravi returned and joined the conversation. We decided to stay at their place for dinner and Ravi arranged a beach front table.

Dinner was lovely and for a change I ordered grilled tiger shrimps and tandoori style calamari. Both of them went lovely with the Indian white that we had ordered. We were not a quiet table as there was so much to discuss. Time flew by to quickly and I was a bit disappointed when my driver showed up to bring me back to Little Cove. By the time I arrived over there everybody was already in a deep sleep and it did not take me long either to fall into a very happy sleep…

Next morning I woke up in time and according Little Cove tradition a hot lemon ginger tea was already waiting at my patio. Pardeshi’s yoga class was fantastic and it did not take ling untill I went under again in the daily routine at Little Cove… By now I started to realise it my last remaining days of my trip and somehow it made me a bit sad. I was looking forward going home again but I was leaving this paradise behind. With that in mind I decided to enjoy the next couple of days to the fullest…

And so I did. The strict daily routing of yoga, meals and the evening meditation on the rocks during sunset was like a meditation by itself. Not a lot was happenning at all and the atmosphere was so peaceful one could get used to it. Two weeks at little Cove were the perfect way to recover from my India trip. Thinking back of it I could harldy remember all the beautiful spots I had visited and the people I met. It had been a wonderful trip which was much better tailored for me than the trip the previous year which had turned out to be far to strenuous for me.

One more yoga class after which it was time to pack my suitcase, relax a bit and have a final chat with Pardeshi. Late afternoon I was brought to Goa Airport where I checked in for my three flights home…

My first flight brought me from Goa to Mumbai where I had to wait a couple of hours till my connecting flight to Munchen and a short final fright to Dusseldorf. There I took the train to Geilenkirchen and hopped on a bus back home. Another adventure had come to an end and memories, sweet memories were the only thing that remained.

Something in my mind however already told me I would return the next year, but first it was time to enjoy home.

home sweet home