Puducherry to Patnem Beach, Goa – 2561 km (air and car)
We were at a point in our India trip where we both felt a need for some down-time, preferably on the beach. Lois was still hoping to find a centre where she could learn some yoga and meditation techniques. A search for yoga/beach retreats turned up a number of possibilities, although many were already booked up, especially in Kerala, our first choice. Finding one in south Goa, we reluctantly decided to forego a visit to Kerala (sorry, Caroline!) and fly to Goa. Taking trains across the country to Goa would have meant multiple changes and many, many hours of travelling. Even so, we still spent two hours at the end of the day in dense traffic before arriving at a wonderful white sandy beach and the Bamboo Yoga retreat. It was an idyllic spot on Pandem Beach, with wonderful food (and Sula wine). The accommodation was quite rustic though, being huts assembled each tourist season, with palm frond roofs and ensuite bathrooms open to the sky. We normally wouldn’t have minded the rusticity, but the nighttime temperatures in January made for a chilly stay!
Paul was unwell the first day and missed the yoga lessons, but appreciated the fresh coconut water recommended by the staff. This was refreshing and he feels is to be recommended in such circumstances! Lois participated in the classes which were more advanced than we had expected but a good introduction, nonetheless. The open studio overlooked the sea. In the evening, the stars were brilliant and we were surprised to see the Super Blue Blood moon and lunar eclipse (we had heard about the super moon, but not the eclipse!). The moon was indeed red.
During the night of January 31st we learnt that Lois’ 97 year old mother had suddenly become ill. We left for Mumbai in the morning to return to Canada. Sadly, Lois’ mom passed away while we were waiting for our flight to Vancouver.