A Fine Balance…

We’ve found life to be so simple here that it was an easy decision to stay for another week and skip the planned trip to explore Ganpatipule, another beach town five hours north of here. Others who’ve been there tell us, “After Agonda, why bother?”
Crabs eggs in the sand
It’s not just the lovely beach and warm water; there seems to be so many interesting people that pass through here…and not only once, they continually return.  Our Polish neighbors have explained to us that there’s a whole Czech community here that dates back to the late 60s beginning with a political activist who came here after he was expelled by the Communists.   Now it has become a well-trodden path between Pragueand here!
The other night, while eating dinner at Fatima’s, a man across from us said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” Pretending my mouth was full, I struggled to place him – unsuccessfully.  “Two years ago, in Almorra!” he prompted.   “Of course…that little restaurant with a hole in the floor where the food was passed up from the kitchen below!” We’d spent only one meal with him talking about how to get to the next town up in the Himalayas. A Dutchman with a Russian wife, spending the summers in Siberia teaching yoga, he’s been coming to Indiafor the last twenty years.  He discovered Agonda around that time.   

What is so special about Agonda?  All these people returning year after year, ourselves included…Somehow it has managed to maintain “A Fine Balance” (Gerard just finished reading the book) between a simple fishing village and a tourist destination.  While other towns in Goa have gone completely commercial, this town has remained “mom and pop”.  Unlike other tourist spots along the coast, here the village extends right down to the beach. Each morning, when I go out for breakfast at around 7.30 am the school children are lining up outside the Catholic School next to the Church, led in morning prayer by white robed nuns.  This morning, Ash Wednesday, Fatima and her daughter-in-law have already been to church. Serving in the little restaurant they are dressed in their decorative Sunday best, ashes smeared on their foreheads.  

lunchtime

There is the ongoing conversation: how much longer can it possibly last?  Each year there is more commercialism. And with renewed threats of a large development at one end of the beach… Surprisingly, the locals are not in favor, even though it would mean more money and business for them.  So in the meantime, we just enjoy it while we can.

For the past month the weather here has been pleasantly mild, for Goa. But as of yesterday, realty struck with the temperature at the beach soaring above 100F with high humidity.  It’s finally time to begin traveling, north from Goa to our next destination, Mahabaleshwar, a hill station, which promises to be decidedly cooler


2 thoughts on “A Fine Balance…

  1. the photo of Gerard at lunchtime shows off the work he has been doing on the abs (or is he just sucking it in?) change goes on with us or without us…and it is not always in a direction we desire, but that is okay, yes? You have such a wonderful way of description and bring images to mind easily…thanks.

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  2. We have a travel website which is a Maharashtra travel Guide in which we have a page for Ganpatipule with lot of information regarding the place. We also have information regarding Ganpatipule Hotels for which we provide direct link to the hotel websites. In addition to that we have a portal with information exclusively about Ganapatipule which is http://www.ganapatipule.inWe also have a page for blogs on Ganpatipule. Do let us know if you would like to feature your blog in the Ganpatipule Blogs page in puneritraveller.com. Please write to puneritraveller at gmail dot com

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