November in Arambol (Goa, India)
From Palolem in the south of Goa I move to the famous north, I will do there mainly Yoga for a month, so I am excited to find out if you can also enjoy Arambol sober. From Palolem I take a few buses (via Madgaon, Panaji, Mapusa) and pay so only around 100Rs for 100km. It takes me more than 4 hours, but I see some interesting bus stations and meet nice people in the buses.
Arambol is a very long beach and a huge shopping street, if you turn right around the rocks there is even more shopping and restaurants and even more beach, a bit quieter. The months of October-February are high season and quite a lot of people arrive in the village, which can disturb you or you can find it amazing. I was sometimes annoyed by the many sellers, apart from that, I enjoyed it most of the time: In Arambol you can find the coolest hippie clothes, organic shops, all sorts of workshops, lots of yoga, great fruit and vegetable stands, vegan restaurants, bakeries, instruments and much more. At the same time most of it is even relatively cheap and you can also find good rooms. Almost every evening, a drum circle took place on the beach at sunset, where else can you party at this early hour? For me early bird yoga junkie that’s awesome. You can just hang out there and watch the people or join the dancers in the drum circle and get ecstatic! Some people may be a bit crazy, but just as many are simply nice and relaxed tourists, potential new friends.
To do Yoga, Vijay and Aravind from Universal Yoga Center were my absolute favorite. Vijay teaches the first series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (lead class), going through mostly the complete series, which is awesome if you like Ashtanga as I like it: Fast and intense. In the morning Aravind guides Ashtanga in the Mysore style, unaudited, slower and with great adjustments. In the afternoon he teaches wonderful Hatha Yoga. I took part in the Teacher Training and enjoyed the month with the whole team, learning and laughing a lot, but I am also crazy about Ashtanga Yoga and can not imagine anything better than to get up at 4:30 am and practice some Pranayama ..
There are some really nice restaurants in Arambol, such good salads and falafel you don’t get in India everywhere. For me the little bakeries were a highlight, a large chai with coconut-honey-nut cake in a warm night is simply fantastic.
We walked several times to the right on the beach on the cliffs to the Sweetwater Lake. The big beach there is quite nice and on the way are some nice little beaches. I did not dare to go into the small lake, but some people go swimming there. The way into the jungle left of the lake is beautiful. You can apply the clay sludge of the small stream there to your skin, it makes very soft skin. A few days later the jungle was suddenly full of hippies, who even built small camps there. We were kindly invited to tea and joint at the fire. Practically there are fresh water springs everywhere, the water seems to be be drinkable. The baba further back in the forest is also an experience in itself, he likes it when people bring gifts and depending on his mood, one can meditate or sing with him.
I had a fantastic month in Arambol, unfortunately it was the month in which the money was declared invalid and everything was a bit torn to chaos, otherwise I would certainly have stayed longer! This time I came for Yoga, maybe next time I will go crazy. 😉0