Yoga Holiday – Patnem Beach, Goa

Upon coming to India I knew that I really wanted to try out a yoga retreat. I had so many options I just didn’t know where to start! I’m not really a beach person, but for some reason I had it in my head that I wanted to do my retreat by the sea. I thought I’d get bored, but there really was plenty to do around town and in the evenings.

A typical day involved me getting up at 7.30am for some breakfast. At 8.30am there was a mediation session, (I know what your thinking mum… but I fully embraced it), followed by a 9- 10.30am yoga session. I’d then spend the day swimming, reading and exploring the area before doing my evening yoga class, 4.30-6pm. We would then all watch the sunset before heading out to dinner. It was absolute bliss! I learnt so much from some of the best yoga teachers and I feel like I’ve vastly improved my yoga practice in such a short space of time

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My Secret Admirer

One of the beauties of being a fair skinned, blondish, solo travelling woman is all the lovely male Indian admirers I get.

This man asked me if It was my first day here.
Me – “Yes” (thinking he meant my first day on Patenem Beach)
Waiter – “I can tell most fair skins get a little bit black after one day here”
Me – “I’ve been in India for 4 weeks now”
Waiter – “Oh… you’ve not gone black yet?”

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Varkala

IMG_1974Varkala is apparently the only coastline in India with a cliff face and my god it’s beautiful! Along the top of the cliff are some nice quirky little shops, restaurants and bars. Although it was developed it didn’t feel hugely touristy, even with the posh juice shacks and yoga classes around every corner. This area of Kerala is mostly a Christian community, so there are not as many pretty temples to see, but there is some stunning little sights to explore.

When I arrived I met up with a few others in the hostel and headed straight down to the beach. The beach under the cliff felt so nice and cool, even with temps of 32+. The sea was so invitingly warm and populated with dolphins, which were so close you could swam out to meet them.

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During my time here I rented and drove a scooter for the first time… And survived some crazy traffic. Got forced into entertaining a full restaurant with some musical karaoke. Discovered some amazingly secluded beaches and participated in a couple of yoga classes. I could have stayed much longer and only left because there was no more room at the hostel for me 🙁

Koh Phanagan

We stayed in Shiralea Backpackers Resort in the quieter North Side of the island near Haadyao, (the full moon party is on sunrise beach in the south).

The resort was lovely, beds were comfy with full backpack size lockers. It had a great bar with ‘shot bell’ rules, pool table, amazing food, 24h swimming pool, tv area, massage hut and plenty of evening activities like BBQ’s and bar party’s to keep us going.

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We didn’t really need to leave but there were plenty of things close by like total wipeout, and a beach 2min walk away. There was a couple nice bars and places to eat along the beach too.

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This was also the last stop of my Ultimate Thailand group tour. We had an amazing time together, laughing, drinking, singing. I have no doubt that we formed some lasting friendships and I can’t wait to bump into them all again some time in the near future.

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