Why no-one should ever kayak with anyone they love and other lessons from Palolem

After being in Palolem a few days, I have learnt some things.

Rule number one for any peaceful relationship: Never ever try joint kayaking. Looks fun yes, but who knows how many divorces / breakups / family grievances have been created on those cruel waves. Personally I’m going to guesstimate hundreds, maybe even thousands. Unfortunately Simon and I were completely unaware of this unspoken rule and so decided it would be a good idea to go and try kayaking on the beach in Palolem. In tandem. Completely out of balance weight wise and in the midday sun. Recipe for disaster my friends! I have no photo evidence to provide you – a sure fire way to say byebye to the SLR – but I’ll do my best to paint the scene.

After sitting in a beach cafe, sipping some Mojitos and laughing at the numerous losers who climbed into their double kayaks only to be flipped right back out again in the shallows, we decided that we could definitely do that and of course those amateurs simply had no idea what they were doing. It was only 300rps to rent a kayak for an hour, of course we didn’t need life jackets  and we sauntered into our kayak, oblivious to the complete fail we were setting off into. I decided, naturally, that having a year of amateur rowing under my belt, I should get in first and lead the way. As soon as Si got in however, we flipped right over instantly (the echo of ‘goddammit!’ still resounding around my mind).

This, of course, had nothing to do with my complete lack of any kayaking experience, but the fact that Simon eats / goes to the gym too much and therefore weighs too much in comparison. Selfish Simon. Laughing off the embarrassment (well we couldn’t be lumped in with the other amateurs) we then climbed back on board… only to be flipped right out again. Luckily a pair of kind Aussies then towed us out to sea past the big waves (they clearly saw our massive potential out at sea and swam to help us past the initial speedbumps) and we got going for a good twenty minutes or so. We were actually pretty far out. Then, Simon got impatient with me supposedly being ‘too slow’ and ‘too weak’ (sexist) and I got mad about him not being in time and a mid-ocean paddle battle to the death resulted in us flipping AGAIN. But this time far enough out that even the lifeguard was a bit concerned, zipping out on his jetski to have a nosey. After seeing the familiar sight of a couple about to kill each other gladiator style using kayak paddles he then proceeded to zip back off again, leaving more waves to deal with than previously (cheers pal). Despite all the odds being against us, I told Simon to tow the boat and both paddles back to shore – well I  needed my arms and legs to swim with, he could use his weight for buoyancy – and continued to swim back in,  Simon making sure he moaned loudly enough about this being the last time he works with amateurs so that any fellow swimmers knew he definitely was not at fault, however I was the one swimming freely to shore whilst he lugged the boat back in so I clearly looked like the pro either way.  Once back in the shallows, we boarded the boat successfully once again and got a good run going, by this point having completely exhausted ourselves both emotionally and physically with our competitive attitudes. As a result, I told Simon he should get a single kayak because I didn’t want to play any more, I think my mature phrasing going along the lines of ‘I don’t likeeeeeeeee it’ and he made some petty excuse about his reconstructed shoulder aching (lies, all lies). Thus, we made the walk of shame back to the kayak guy about 45 minutes in. Whilst pretending to congratulate ourselves on what was an intelligent decision, managing to avoid near disaster in what was clearly an inevitably impossible situation, our main condolence came as an Indian who looked like Will Ferrell (complete with seventies glasses and handlebar moustache) made the cocky decision to try and board the kayak cigarette in hand, only to get flipped back out again. Lesson learned amigo.

So here comes my second lesson courtesy of Palolem Beach, when feeling down or ashamed of pathetic athletic exertion, food is your friend . Although probably the obesity epidemic’s tagline the food here in Goa is incredible and we’re lucky enough to be living right across from one of the best restaurants in town, meaning that we really can drown our sorrows in delicious grub. Luckily, the restaurant ‘Cafe Inn’ specialises in amazing salads. Not only this, but it makes the best drinks ever. A banana, honey and cinnamon smoothie. Mint Lemonade… needless to say, we may have spent quite a while in there. Simon’s new nickname is ‘The Budget Breaker’ due to his ability to keep ordering food here.

Choc cake.

Choc cake.

Lamb Kebab & Hummus.

Lamb Kebab & Hummus.

Cafe Inn's amazing mint lemonade. 80rps for a litre.

Cafe Inn’s amazing mint lemonade. 80rps for a litre.

Lesson number three from Palolem Beach: Just because you’re travelling doesn’t mean you have an excuse to look like a bum. Goa’s pricier by Indian standards, but its still overall pretty cheap. Therefore with all this time on my hands, I’ve had my eyebrows threaded locally, got some henna done and Simon even got a close shave! He’d never had it done before but was more than impressed with the results, planning to get it done again before we leave. His immediate comment afterwards? “Should of got him to do my undercarriage as well”. Delightful.

Cut-throat shave in the local barber shop.

Cut-throat shave in the local barber shop.

Don't sneeze...

Don’t sneeze…

Smo-oooth.

Smo-oooth.

Lesson number four: Cheap alcohol and sitting in the sun all day is an awesome combination. One of the reasons I’ve been so quiet these past few days is that Wi-Fi doesn’t really work on the beach and the beach is the main place I’ve been. So forgive me for my absence, I will try and keep you updated as much as possible.

Over and out Amigos x

ps. Alternate titles for this post included: “Goa-ing Places”, “Goa, Goa, Gone” and “No, I don’t want a taxi, or a rickshaw, or to look in your shop. Good day Sir!”

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