19 May 2014
Recipe: Mango Pancake with Ice Cream: Coming Soon
Recipe: Goan Fish Thali: Coming Soon
It is so peaceful here. Being so close to nature is a feeling that is hard to find in a growing global and cyber world. I woke up a little before 6am to walk the jungle beach edge as the sun rose. It was spectacular. Sea shells and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes dotted the sand where the tide deposited them just hours before. Starfish, crabs, sea anemones, clams, oysters, and even puffer fish were strewn up on the sand. Out in the blue waters were boats, having been rolled into the ocean on logs by the Indian fisherman. Early morning and just before dusk are the best times to catch the prawns, crabs, lobsters, and fish that serve the many restaurants dotting the Indian/Arabian coastline.
Smelling the salt and the scent of freshly caught fish in the air brought me back to Portugal. It is hard to imagine the day when I did not like seafood. Even just the smell of the marine brings a giant smile to my face.
There are not many times in your life when you can eat ice cream for breakfast, but when you are in India it is definitely one of those times. My mango crepe was topped with two giant scoops of vanilla ice cream, and it was one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten. The mangos here are sweeter than any I have ever tasted, and the cream they use to make their cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams is absolutely fabulous. I love being able to taste such different versions of the dairy products I love (in particular yogurt). I find myself missing my blueberry, oatmeal, and yogurt parfait that I constantly make at home—eating the fruit and dairy here helps me satisfy that craving.
Out of all the days on our trip thus far, today has definitely been the most adventurous. We went kayaking around a small island known as monkey island just off the shore of our beach house, and encountered a school of dolphins that was swimming by our kayaks. We dined at a delicious (yet quite dirty) small seafood shack in the village of Palolem, and I was able to try the Goan Fish Thali that I have been excited to try since I arrived in Goa. It was a mixture of different curries that each had a different seafood taste, as well as fried Goan mackerel and a bowl of basmati rice (the staple that replaces chapatti in the south). The best part about the food here is that it is made completely fresh, customized to each individual. The boy in the kitchen had to leave on his bicycle upon receiving our order to pick up the fice from a local fisherman—I don’t think it can get any fresher than that.
After our tasty lunch, we set out to rent scooters to explore the rest of the southern coast. Looking back on it, we were absolutely crazy to think that we could ride Indian scooters, on Indian roads, with Indian drivers, but we did it and luckily we survived… First of all, all the automobiles here are ancient and falling apart. All of the vehicles would fail the tests for safety and emissions in the USA. Second, Indian roads are not real roads. They are filled with potholes, unexpected turns, wild animals, and never have signs telling you where you are actually going. Third, Indian drivers drive without limits, because there are no limits. No speed limits, no compromise on whether they should drive on the left or the right side of the road, and no limit as to how many people or animals they can get into or on a single vehicle. It is absolutely crazy! It was so fun zipping along the dirt roads, with no idea when the next pothole would appear out of nowhere and launch me several inches off of my seat and the ground. We explored both the northern and southern parts of the coast near Palolem and discovered many beautiful villages, farms, jungles, and beaches. One beach in particular had a shore whose sand just seemed to dazzle in the sunlight and we could not help but go explore it’s waters further.
When mid afternoon hit, I realized that Indian food, spice, and blistering sun do not sit well with me. My stomach ached, India’s worst traveling ailment hit me (diarrhea), and the smell of any Indian food made me want to vomit. Parker went with me back to our beach hut, as the entire time I was praying that the electricity was back on so that I could sit somewhere with AC. Luckily it was, and I laid in our little hut for the remainder of the afternoon trying to sleep and forget but my upset stomach and throat. Luckily it passed by quick. As the sun went down, my sickness left and I was able to eat a nice apple Popsicle and buy the Indian teapot that I had been eyeing since our arrival. Being an organic (some say granola) girl, I can’t leave India without a beautiful teapot to brew up miraculous teas and herbal remedies. There is a lot of truth in eating fresh, raw, and herbal to prevent many of the sicknesses and diseases that so many people face today. The Spice girl has to have an authentic India teapot to put her authentic Indian spices in, right?