Over the last week I’ve heard multiple definitions for paradise, they all had one thing in common: Every definition was about Colomb Beach, South Goa. After four really stressful months I was in the mood to just disappear for a while. Working in Mumbai has many perks, and one of the biggest of the perks is that Goa is a half day train ride away. South of Madgaon and in the village of Canacona is the famous Palolem beach, and right next to this extremely picturesque beach is it’s little brother Colomb Beach. If Palolem were to be the main course then Colomb Beach is the exquisite desert.
Anjuna, Baga and the many beaches in the north are special for a reason, they have earned the bragging rights over the years, but my heart was set in south Goa and far away from the crowds. Getting to Colomb beach from Mumbai is an adventure in itself. The closest railway station is Canacona, a charming little station where I was the only person to detrain on that evening. A short ride away is the Palolem beach, which for long has attracted the crowds to south Goa. To reach Colomb beach you will need to walk along the length of the beach and climb over the little hill at the far end of the beach. I had made reservations to stay a week at 'Bridge n Tunnels' cottage; it is very hard to miss this place once you are at the beach. The cottage given to me seemed a little too good to be true. It was right on the beach, I waited for the manager to come back any moment to tell me he’d made a mistake and my cottage was elsewhere. He never came and I settled in what was my home for the next week. The staffs at the cottage are extremely welcoming and professional, and will really work to ensure that you have a good vacation.
Now to be very fair to south Goa there are very many beaches that you can visit. On a previous trip I had visited Cola beach which is a good half hour ride away from Canacona, there is the Cabo de Rama fort to see, Agonda beach with its many shacks (of which I only heard). The truth is I never left my colomb beach for the period I was there. The most I did was to go into town with a friend to run small errands, visit the tea stalls on the main road and a short walk to have lunch at a Sabina’s (a restaurant not very far from the beach itself). Otherwise my days and evenings were restricted to the beach, the café (which we called the ‘living room’), and the little bay that was right outside my cottage.
Around the beach there are plenty of little shacks where you could unwind for the night. Live music, good food, lots of people singing along, drinking and lighting up the evening, my pick of the lot is Laguna Vista, try locating the little café on the fishing harbour between colomb and Patnem beach. There’s an old Spanish saying “To eat and drink well is life’s greatest pleasure” and rest assured you will find that pleasure in abundance in this little strip of paradise. The main road by the beach also has a lot of places to eat at. Stand out amongst them was the Little World tea stall cum art gallery that serves maybe the best masala chai I would have had. If you fancy a nice run in the morning then palolem is the place and being next door to colomb you don’t even have to look very far, feel like a swim during the day? No problem: the water is extremely calm and perfect for swimming and is right there. Feel like reading a book? Beautiful couches with the best possible view. Feel like writing? Well look no further for inspiration. Feel like making friends? Feel like Talking about the saving the world? You can find all of that in this little piece of paradise. My personal favourite spot on the beach is a little rock that is a small swim away from shore. From the rock is probably the best view of the entire beach stretch: the shacks, the yoga enthusiasts, the beach footballers and just the regular sunset watchers. Every evening when the tide came in, the water would come right up to the cottage (the cottage being elevated is not at risk) and almost every evening there would be a party of people who would try to cross the beach to go over to the other side by wading through the water on the little rocks. My neighbour and I made a sport of spotting these groups of people who would always try to brave the water. What a spectacle that was, I could probably never explain how much we laughed every day. I’m sure another beach side shack in Goa may claim all of the above, so what sets this beach apart? I honestly don’t know the answer because this beach just didn’t allow me to leave.
Every day I would end the day thinking there is something magical about this place, it’s soulful, it’s liberating and it is invigorating. A small nap on the porch with the waves to sing you a lullaby, the feeling of the water drying up after a dip in the ocean, or listening to a friend talk about fried mars bars; these are the moments that you really miss after a vacation, the ones that cannot be caught on camera, the ones where you just need to be there. And every night when I went to sleep I kept thinking let me stay up for five more minutes so I can listen to the waves a little more.