Travelling to Goa and Activities in Arambol // Arambol, Goa

Although our time in Arambol was definitely relaxing compared to the madness of the big cities in the North, the journey to get there was not! 

Rajasthan to Goa

We decided to get a 30 hour train from Merta in Rajasthan down to Thivim in Goa, leaving at 1am on a Tuesday and arriving at 7am on Thursday. This meant we would be on the train for 2 nights and a day (daunting) in 2nd AC which should (being the operative word) have been a compartment with 4 beds in. We had also loaded the extended versions of all 3 Lord of the Rings films onto our laptop, so had about 12 hours of orcs chasing hobbits around for the journey. We were feeling prepared.

However, when we got on the train it turned out that our carriage had not been attached (classic), so instead everyone in 2nd AC had been reassigned seats in 3rd AC. This meant we went from 4 people a section to 8, plus everyone had a completely different seat/bed number just to add to the excitement. The space change actually turned out to be fine during the day, a bit cramped but the people around us were nice and found us mildly interesting.  

The new seat numbers, however, meant every time we stopped we had to go through the palaver of people getting on, thinking someone was in their bunk, being told about the change then waiting for the driver to come along as confirm. Of course every new arrival was also suspicious that someone else was just napping in their space and we'd all ganged together to back up their lie. This wasn't helped by the fact that the actual train driver was scarcely there; and the only other person working in that carriage was adamant it was nothing to do with him as he was just a consultant hired to hand out pillows and blankets. This 'Pillow Consultant' did act as an amusing distraction and if he has spoken better English I would have loved to know whether he received training, where else his skills where required and could he be hired out for birthday parties (sleeping lions anyone?)

So, after 30 hours of this we were certainly glad to see Goa and the 40 min taxi ride to Arambol with only one other couple and their baby seemed slightly indulgent.


Arambol is essentially a beach town beloved by Russian tourists and holidaying hippies. Every night there was some sort of musical performance, beach party or night market - mostly organised by long stay tourists. The week we spent here was mostly spent on a beach or exploring the surrounding countryside (we're still not used to seeing so many palm trees). We also stayed in a bamboo hut for most of our time here, which had some incredible views and since it was actually on the roof of a building - not that many mosquitoes!

Cute Indian kids playing cricket on the beach

Spa Day in the Woods

One of our favourite days here was a trip up a hill to visit the local Baba and have a go at covering ourselves in some of the clay on the way down. I am definitely not an expert on what these people do or represent, so do not wish to offend anyone by trying to explain poorly who he was. However, our experience was sitting with this man in an ashram made from a circle of trees in woods, where he told stories about sharing, keeping the area clean of litter (a challenge in India where rubbish is often just thrown on the floor) and a funny story of when a bat got stuck in his toilet! The people we were with had brought some grapes, which we shared and spoke with some of the other visitors who were there.

On the way down there is a spot where you can 'harvest' (for want of a better word) mineralising clay that occurs naturally by the side of a river (supposedly sold by the Body Shop). We spent a good amount of time collecting this clay, turning it into a paste and covering ourselves in a full body clay mask. We then descended the hill and jumped in the fresh water lake at the bottom, and I did feel a bit softer after!

Harvesting the clay
Mixing in the rock bowl
The rock bowl in action
Photo time
Applying the clay
The location
Clay faces

Keri Beach

On one of our explorations outside of the town, we crossed a lake via a ferry to 'Keri Beach' to see the dolphins early in the morning. We only managed to spot one dolphin, but did end up being followed by a stray dog for the day which Martyn dubbed 'Barkarella' - and later on saw some flying fish jumping out of the water to catch insects.

Ferry crossing views

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