This past weekend, we ventured out to the beach. Again. And if you’re sick of my beach stories from here and here, you shouldn’t probably read on. This is yet another one of those posts, where I’m going to wax eloquent about the joys of being on a beach.
But this one didn’t begin well. With a hungover husband on hand, and a sleepy sister to kick out of bed, leaving early didn’t happen as planned. I was peeved and mighty frustrated, because I wanted to get to the beach before the sun got all blistering and unbearable. Several failed attempts to leave, including two extra trips up the 4 flights of stairs to fetch forgotten items, we finally were on our way to Ashwem. Logic being that the father away we get from ghastly Baga/Calangute, the better off we’d be. But close (close?) to 50 kilometers of driving later, after being sent on several detours, rerouting back to roads we remembered, and hunting for non-existent shacks, we realised the bitter truth.
At least in the far north, it is. Sniff. Sob. Sigh. And I can say that with considerable certainty because the far north is where the quiet beach lovers usually go after the shenanigans of the season are wrapped up and done. Except this Sunday to my horror of horrors, I saw Morjim and Ashwem stuffed to the brim with picnicking families, who had all come with matresses and picnic baskets and boomboxes. I don’t mean this with the slightest bit of affluence or elitism, but what that usually amounts to is noisy children running helter-skelter, groups of men who don’t know what to do with themselves when they see women in bathing suits, paper plates and other trash dotting the beach, the most ghastly music blaring all around. All we really wanted was some quiet time. To enjoy the sea and just be.
It was well past 2 pm by now. And I could feel myself melt away with every passing minute. My enthusiasm was running dry and I was ready to call it a day, when the husband suggested we ditch the adventure and go back to some place familiar. And that’s when we decided that it really does all come back to good old Anjuna. If you’re interested in more pictures, it’s where we always go. With friends and family. Over and over.
Sometimes you find an exodus of yuppie tourists, but that aside, I love Anjuna. Because its got a certain life about it that’s hard to find elsewhere in the north. It’s where you’ll find entire families (mostly foreigners) with their four, five, six fearless babies (all impeccably cute) wading into the sea, couples with their dogs, slightly stoned young tourists, Buddhist monks (yes! I’ve seen them too!) all on one single beach, all peacefully coexisting.
It’s where you’ll find father and son walking the beach, peacefully inspecting seashells, while women get together to catch up over an orange sunset sipping orange juice. It’s where groups of kids, all shapes and sizes, can tumble into the giant trampoline set out on the sand for them, and bounce up and down for hours on end.
It’s where the shack doggies come out to greet you, salty sea spray wafting off their coats.
It’s where you can study the anatomy of a fit man, flaunting it all on the beach in a game of paddle ball. It’s where the paragliders elegantly land on the sand, taking your breath away. Every time. It’s where children run free, play in the sun, and adults do too.
It’s where tourists gingerly tread on clammy rocks to get a peek of the other side. It’s all here. In one tiny stretch of beach. And somehow it never feels stifling or crowded.
It’s hard to think of Anjuna without the peac, quiet and harmony that it exudes. Tucked away behind the hill, it has the privacy of a small little beach, with the gentlest waves. Thanks to the rocklines on either side the sea is almost cajoled into flowing into the alcove that is Anjuna.
Anjuna has life. Anjuna has character. Anjuna is where the love is right now. And this was quite the Sunday to remember.