We have of course motored down to Goa before – in the rickety old Paulo Travels buses – but this was the first time we drove ourselves down. My husband has a good sense of direction in general but till we were actually almost there, he insisted he had never been in that part of Goa before. Me, I saw much to enjoy. And to make me reminisce. I love Goa. It has character and personality. The first time I visited, I never wanted to leave. I have stayed since in different parts of Goa. Ridden pillion all the way from south to north and seen all the little villages. Drank in the green till I thought my eyes would hurt! Loved the decrepit old mossy-bearded buildings, some ruined, some abandoned halfway through construction seemingly with hair of grass growing upwards in spikes. Did I say this already? Goa has personality!
Anyway, Google had almost decided we were there and my husband was still worrying about exactly where when we turned the lane and found ourselves in the delectable Villa Alina.
They welcomed us with garlands which is de rigueur by now for such places and then kindly left us to our own devices. Coming from Bangalore, I couldn’t really call the rooms cool but they were inviting. The ceilings were high and the rooms nice and airy. The furniture was chosen to fit in with the general character of the place and there wasn’t too much of it.
They had thoughtfully placed boardgames in the cupboard and I think there were books but in a hotellish fashion. By which I mean, the books were probably bought off someplace wholesale. There was no evidence of a personality there which was fine. It would probably have been very uncomfortable living in a sort of ghost house that very obviously belonged to someone else!
We quickly ordered food and freshened up and sat down to eat. The dining area had a view of the pool which is a new addition to the place. The kids couldn’t wait to jump in! After forcing them to wait till the food had settled down a bit – jump in we did! Pool fun is welcome wherever, whenever! One of the kids did not have bodysuit type swimwear and my younger one shared his second suit that we had got along just in case. I mention this only because it is the sort of good deed I don’t ordinarily associate with him. My older one would and has given away brand new toys to children he thought were more in need, and without a second thought! But this one is more materialistic. Younger children usually are I have noticed and who can blame them? From the get go they have to deal with sharing and hand me downs. Their very parents are hand me downs! There must be a seed of insecurity always there because I have repeatedly observed the difference between calm, serene older kids and restless, grasping younger ones. I’m a younger child myself so I should know!
We went for a walk later in the evening and came upon “The Palm Tree Bar and Restaurant” where they had karaoke going. We stopped though we had absolutely no intention of eating there. I think we had in our minds a ‘nicer’ place than that. While we munched on our snacks and listened, every single member of the family at the other table – from grandparents to little ones – came up and sang. Were they in tune? Who cares? Certainly not them. None of us came forward though, I am sorry to report. I can easily excuse us however. We had only just arrived that afternoon and the magic of Goa had not made it’s way insidiously under our skin and loosened up our bones. That was going to happen of course although we did not know it then!