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Written on: Wednesday January 30th, 2008

A journal entry from: ASIA PART II

Arambol, Pernem (Goa)

Arun's Huts

Here in Arambol also known as Harmal beach, a washed up fishing village in North Goa. Jumped on the train southbound to avoid the cooler temperatures up North. It will start to warm up within the next several weeks, but until then, I plan to wait it out here on the beach. Upgraded to the three tier AC for this twelve hour train journey, instead of the general sleeping berth from last time. While the air conditioning was unnecessary, the extra space and complimentary linen and pillow, was well worth the extra rupees. Although your privacy is still limited, the best part was that I didn't have to chain my belongings to me and straddle them while I slept. I arrived late in the evening and it turned out that this sleepy little town is busier than I anticipated. 'Sorry, no vacant rooms' or 'Please, come back tomorrow' was the consensus of the night (*Please note that this was said with that very well-known Indian accent). It felt like hours later, but I eventually found myself a tattered hut tucked away in the corner, and at Rs 200 a night, it is hardly a bargain. The endless stretch of beach lined with lush palm trees and falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves at night, made up for the damaged mosquito net, the rock-hard mattress and communal toilets.

I wake up this morning before the crack of dawn, the time is half past six. I managed to hit the snooze button several times before my bladder forces me out of bed. I clumsily crawl out from underneath my useless mosquito net and take my jacket and toiletries with me to the outside sink. Half awake, I grab my dupatta for extra warmth and my Nikon to catch my first Goan sunrise. The brisk walk along the beach was invigorating and the rising sun was soothing. There were joggers, walkers and other early morning risers spotted along the shore practicing their yoga, tai chi or morning meditation. I found the perfect spot along the beach, there was a man and his saxophone in the distance and I just couldn't help but stop and listen. I stood facing the horizon with the waves at my feet and the sun warm against my back, indeed, it was bliss and right then and there, time had stood still. I savored that moment later as I stopped for breakfast on the way back and sipped on my morning cup of masala chai. I have now moved from shack status to this hidden gem that I stumbled upon last night. It's a humble place just minutes from the beach, called Arun's huts, a private cluster of wooden cottages run by a lovely family. I relocated and have settled in quite quickly. This afternoon, I will pick up several items at the general store, before heading to the cyber cafe, where I will get a chance to post this blog. Today, my list includes: bread, water, bananas, oranges, nuts, dried fruit, a mirror, string, washing powder and toilet paper.