Sunday, December 13, 2015

Riding into Palolem's Beaches

An hour into the ride and I realize that I am carrying 10 kg's of weight around, with me. Now I know why, all those travel websites advised you to travel light. The bags were weighing down on me. The sun was weighing down on me. Then it happened. The wind took my cap away with it. We were riding away at the speed of light. Stopping for a fallen cap, was not an option. But this left me exposed. The sun was out to get me now. It was 1 pm on hot march summer afternoon in Goa. We had two more hours to reach our destination. After an hour, I thought I would die. I did not want to the policeman to stop, but as soon as he did, to refill gas, I breathed a sigh of relief. I put on an extra long sleeve shirt (bad idea), and covered my head with a handkerchief.
I still was quite exposed to the evil sun’s gaze as the last leg on the ride began. 40 minutes, 30 minutes, 20 minutes and he finally stops again. If that did not happen, I would have fainted and fallen off the bike. The first sunstroke - fallen of the bike death of the decade. I buy a cold bottle of water and empty all of it on me. It was a bad idea to put water on my hair again. But I feel better. I have to just stay alive for another twenty minutes. As we get there, the policeman, tells me he is well known in Palolem. He gives me his number later, to call him for any difficulty. I tell him to come visit me in Mumbai too. Finally we reach Palolem. This was definitely not how dead tired I thought I would be on Day 1. I had 60 more days to go. If Day 1, was like this, I would not survive till the end. But I thank the policeman, and walk towards the beach. 

We choose Palolem, because it is relatively less crowded in comparison to the beaches in North Goa. Also not too many people are too happy to take the long ride here from the nearest station. But I am exhausted beyond measure. I see the blue ocean, the yellow sand, people running around in swimsuits ahead of me. I am here. But it is still 3 pm. If I do not find some shade in the next five minutes, I would start getting my, 'I'm going to die thoughts' again. So I walk down the beach to find a place to stay at. There are several restaurants, shops and beach shacks lined up along the beach. I turn into the first one and ask them for the price of a shack for a night. The shack keeper there thinks I am a foreigner and tell me a high amount. I laugh and say something in Hindi. We bring it to Rs 300. I do not have any energy left to bargain. I agree. He gives me a half broken down shack in one corner of his shack estate. I cannot complain. I drop my bags, switch on the fan and crash on the bed. I am still alive.


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