Having cycled the route back and forth already, there was no need to look at my compass on the very scenic 25km route from Vagator to Arambol. Arambol is known for it’s hippie traveller vibe and on first impressions, it certainly had that. I joined the boys in their row of beach huts looking out to sea and Hugo, Mikael, Kai, Paul and the two German girls followed.
Situated at the northern tip of Goa, Arambol does hold a few parties each night during peak season. When we arrived it was pretty much dead apart from the Russian tourists that flock to the beach with a beer in their skimpy outfits, high heels and amazing bodies – the women that is!
Our beach huts were located close to the sweet lake (actual name) north of Arambol Beach. We managed to barter the guy down to £3 a hut, although Hugo got away with paying £2. This was probably because, in my eyes, Indian men don’t seem to like me as I always get over charged, refused a room or ignored at every question. I’m cursed I’m sure. Sweet Lake is a fresh water lake which is a lot warmer than the sea but I prefer it, as it doesn’t have those horrible kind of waves that give me a mouthful of sea water every time I try to swim.
Life in Arambol is lazzzzzy, very similar to the months I spent living on a beach on Gili Air and Gili Meno in Indonesia. I wake up when I wake (annoyingly before 8am each day) I spend the entire morning battling with wifi over breakfast and an over-priced coffee.
Then one-by-one the boys emerge so I join them for another breakfast. Time seems to fly to 3pm when we all decide it is about time we actually did something with our day so we go for a dip in the sea before washing off the sand in the sweet lake. Repeat.
By the time grab another bite to eat and take a shower, I am just in time for a sunset beer outside the huts, a prime location for sunset. Dinner is eaten at our usual joint “Laughing Buddha”, we didn’t really go anywhere else the whole five days I was there!! I did tried the German Bakery – twice in two hours – but my second slice of cake was just as tasteless as the first. Huff. I also tried grilled shark one night which was definitely my favourite meal in Arambol – not promoting anything illegal here, these Sharks were more like fish!
One night we made a fire on the beach and enjoyed a few rum and cokes (£1.7 for 750ml woo!) around it until we were told that we were burning the materials to rebuild for next season. Most buildings in Goa are temporary structures made out of wood and by May, the majority are taken down. We felt a little guilty for burning what we thought was scrap rubbish but luckily the awkward confrontation with the group of Indian men didn’t go any further.
There’s certainly no shortage of hippies in Arambol with most congregating under a huge tree in the jungle which, has become a bit of a tourist attraction. Hippies from all over the world live under the tree and spend their days smoking weed and opium (!). I saw a few passed out on the beach with an umbrella kindly placed over them to protect them from the sun.
Malcolm and I stumbled across some live music where a man resembling Jesus was “playing” the guitar and groaning in what I believe was an attempt to sing. It was quite an experience, with a crowd of high incredibly mellow hippies sat around watching whilst a lady, clearly on MD, danced wildly in the corner. I asked for a glass of Port at the bar and was handed a half full plastic bottle from the bottom of the fridge. No measures. No worries. Welcome to Arambol!
Arambol is the perfect place to hang out in, relax and live moderately cheaply for a while. I highly recommend getting your own beach hut, not once did I suffer from the heat or humidity. As much as I enjoyed my time in Arambol, I did miss the social vibe and the little luxuries like wifi and acess to a fridge at Jungle Hostel in Vagator. As well as working wifi and phone signal, Arambol also lacks decent places to eat and a good coffee shop so with this in mind, I think Anjuna is still my favourite place in Goa. Good food, good coffee, good wifi = happy me.