Cidade de Goa

Woke up at 7.30, hardly surprising, the combination of red wine and Chinese food isn’t good and I never sleep properly after eating Chinese. We put the Christmas CD on and try and rouse the kids who aren’t too impressed with The Little Drummer Boy so early. Still they wanted to be woken up early as we are planning to go up to Cidade de Goa and spend the day there using the pool and lazing on the beach.

By the time we actually get sorted out and ready to go its 9 o’clock but it is slightly overcast at the moment so I don’t think there will be a huge scramble for sunbeds.
We walk up to the hotel and as we know where we are going we probably look like we are in fact staying there. Simon gets us some towels and we’re sorted.

We have bagged some loungers in a prime spot on a wooden veranda, facing out to sea.
Lying there listening to the waves, I am sheltered from the sun by a coconut tree and I notice on the temperature monitor it’s a bit cooler today- 32 degrees.
I have only stayed in a hotel like this a few times and its lovely here, especially as it is fairly quiet around the pool. Simon and Ali walk down to the beach and play cricket with an Indian family, Maisie jumps in the water and I daydream about people at home.

I have always felt I wouldn’t enjoy staying somewhere like this for more than a week at the most. We have enjoyed more independent travelling over the past few years and feel that in order to experience the culture of somewhere like India it is better to stay in smaller places. Looking around today, I think that if someone told me I was in Malaysia, The Maldives or The Seychelles I wouldn’t be able to see much around me to enable me to dispute that. There is also of course the cost factor and I’m too tight to pay well over 2 grand each for a 2 week holiday!

All that said I wouldn’t swap being here for anywhere else today. It’s perfect and we have a lovely lazy day, so much so that I don’t even make it to the beach and only venture in the pool a few times to cool down. I do however manage to drag my bum to the boutique and have a look at the jewellery and eventually buy a book (Memoirs of a Geisha) to read when I get fed up of doing nothing.

We spend an hour doing literacy with the kids. They read stories and then answer questions and Maisie does quite well and is able to tell me a lot about The Blue Whale. Alister is tired though and can’t be bothered to put in too much effort. We talk about this and decide it is expecting too much of them to start school work so late in the afternoon and will do some science tomorrow morning before we go anywhere.

Back at the apartment now, its 6.30 and we are going to a restaurant called Sea Pebble for dinner. Aruna recommended it so we thought we would give it a try. We walk there which is about a mile and we’re not disappointed when we arrive. Its on the beach and the waves come right up to the tables, its very dark lit only by the stars, candles and fairy lights wrapped around the trunks of the palm trees.
We ask the waiter for a mixed fish platter and get huge tiger prawns, kingfish, red snapper, dressed crab and mussels. The kids have mocktails, we share a couple of beers and round it off with caramel custard and ice cream – Yum!

Power walk back to the apartment, it would be easy to put on loads of weight and sometimes eating healthily has been difficult as lots of food is deep fried here. We have also eaten lots of fattening curries and Maisie and I march everywhere chanting “hips thighs and bum” like a mantra to each other.

We are going to Calangute and Candolim tomorrow as the beaches are postcard gorgeous there. I’m sat on the balcony listening to Ali playing Oasis on his guitar now and looking at the lights on our Christmas tree, the best ending to a perfect day.