RTW Trip Palolem, India Day 84 to 87: Jason Bourne Style Vacationing

If you are a fan of the Bourne Identity movies, you will see Matt Damon’s character, Jason Bourne jogging on a calm beach in India in the second installment.  Where is this?  Palolem Beach.  This was BY FAR, one of my favorite places in Southern India, and is one of my two favorite beaches in all of India.  Thinking back, we only stayed a few nights, but could have easily stayed here for a week.

Palolem by day and during sunset

Palolem by day and during sunset

Reasons why I loved Palolem so much: – Calm, clear waters to wade and swim in. – Lots of choices for food, whether on the beach or on the back roads. – While busy, it is still a very relaxing beach.  You can laze about in lounge chairs during the day, and eat directly on the sand at night. – We had our favorite beach bar that would play our iTunes mix, and made the most amazing coffee shakes ever. – Everyone was really friendly.

A Palolem Beach Hut

A Palolem Beach Hut

Things to note about Palolem: -Dogs howl throughout the night (at least close to Laughing Buddha Bungalows) -The beaches aren’t the nicest in the world, but are definitely relaxing, pleasant for India, and comfortable for women to be in their swimsuits. -The north end of the beach is quieter than the south end.  The sunsets are a must at the north end of the beach… Especially at the bar/restaurant called Blue. -There are plenty of great places to eat away from the beach.  We definitely had better food along the back streets, but obviously the atmosphere along the beach is a lot nicer. -If your accommodation has iffy wifi, don’t forget that most of the restaurants in Palolem also have free wifi. -Power outages are known to happen!

Amazing sunset.

Amazing sunset.

Where we stayed: Laughing Buddha was on the north end of the beach and was probably cheaper than most places along the beach.  There are several bungalows in a jungle-like area with basic accommodations.  They had bug nets, and the staff were friendly and put out bug coils on our bungalow deck every night.  It was a bit hard to find via the back road, so it might be better to just find it by walking along the beach towards Blue bar/restaurant, and cut through to get to Laughing Buddha.

Basic bungalows in Laughing Buddha

Basic bungalows in Laughing Buddha

We had a basic routine of getting up in the morning, grabbing breakfast in the back streets, relaxing at Blue all day for lunch, snacks, and beer, and swimming and watching the best sunset ever.  I can’t emphasize this enough: Blue is the best place for sunsets, sitting on bean chairs, having drinks and their coffee shakes, listening to your own iTunes.  In the evening, we would venture to a beach restaurant or a restaurant in the back streets.

Us at Palolem Beach

Us at Palolem Beach

Our favorite places to go: –Blue Bar/restaurant along the north side of the beach for daytime hanging and the best sunset ever.

Watching sunsets at Blue Resort Bar and Restaurant

Watching sunsets at Blue Resort Bar and Restaurant

Little World: A great breakfast place for amazing Chai, toasted sandwiches and omelettes.  The German/Indian couple who run the cute bohemian and colorful place are really nice as well. Along the main drag behind the beach.

Tasty toasted sandwiches at Little World

Tasty toasted sandwiches at Little World

Peter Bar: Excellent momos and vegetable pakoras.  Service is a little slow, but we didn’t mind because it is very chill and the food is delicious.  You can see them cook your food from scratch!

Yummy momos, vegetable pakoras, and thukpa noodle soup at Peter Bar.

Yummy momos, vegetable pakoras, and thukpa noodle soup at Peter Bar.

-The food truck at the middle entrance to the beach for excellent Ghobi Manchurian (think sweet and sour deep fried cauliflower)

Ghobi Manchurian from a food truck.

Ghobi Manchurian from a food truck.

-We also took a motorbike to peaceful Agonda Beach and ate at Rama Restaurant that served excellent food.  Go there if you can.  I imagine Agonda looks like what Palolem did decades ago.

Driving to Agonda Beach

Driving to Agonda Beach

Costs for Day 84 Toasted tomato cheese sandwich, oj, water 160 rupees Fernandes aloo ghobi, naan, veg noodle 380 rupees Greg’s swim trunks 250 rupees Baskin Robbins 161 rupees Drinks at Blue 310 Nest Restaurant: Thai curry, pomodoro pasta, beer, lime soda 590 Water, bug spray, cookies 130 Laughing Buddha 1133 Total cost for Day 84: 3114 rupees / 2 = $24.52 per person Costs for Day 85 Limes 10 Banana 30 Little World: Toaster tomato cheese sandwich with yoghurt herb dip and chai 180 Beer, ice coffee shake, fries, Israeli salad, aloo ghobi, chapati 970 at Blue Water 20 Cheese balls, cookies 50 Gobi manchurian, veg noodles, shawarma 210 food truck Marigold Hotel drinks: Vodka Sprite, beer 300 Laughing Buddha 1133 Total cost for Day 85: 2903 rupees / 2 = $22.85 per person Costs for Day 86 Gas 150 Scooter 300 Laughing Buddha 1133 Rama Restaurant and bar at Agonda Beach:prawn garlic rice, veg noodles, fries, coke, water 385 Rama Restaurant: aloo ghobi, beer, water 375 Beer 50 Peter Bar: momos, thukpa, veg pakora, beer, ginger lemon honey tea 580 Total cost for Day 86: 2973 rupees / 2 = $23.41 per person Costs for Day 87 Little World: toasted cheese tomato sandwich x2, cheese omelette, five chai teas 300 Patchwork cover 450 Veg kadanba? Veg noodle, beer, water at Big Bamboo 570 beer 60 Ice coffee shake, beer, veg pakora, aloo ghobi, naan at Blue 680 Taxi from laughing Buddha to Chandi Inm (front of hotel Krishna to catch bus to Hampi) 100 Toilet paper, Oreos 45 Overnight sleeper to Hampi 2500 Toilet 10 Water 15 Total cost for Day 87: 4730 rupees / 2 = $37.24 per person

Food we ate in Palolem

Food we ate in Palolem and Agonda: Aloo Ghobi, shrimp fried rice, Israeli salad, vegetble noodles, and hand cut fries.

What I learned: If you love old school travel when pirated CDs and DVDs were a thing, and internet cafés were still everywhere, then you might want to go old school and avoid downloading movies to your computer.  There was one restaurant (shame on me for not remembering the name) behind Laughing Buddha that would screen different movies every night at their homemade Pinteresty outdoor theater.  You can order drinks and food while you watch, and it gets you out of your bungalow for some relaxing entertainment.  We caught the best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and the next day they screened Captain Philips.  Totally worth doing!

Waiting for our overnight bus from Palolem to Hampi.

Waiting for our overnight bus from Palolem to Hampi.

Actual dates of travel: Nov. 26 – 29, 2014

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