We fly from Delhi to Goa with IndiGo. Arriving in Goa’s airport, some way south of Panjim (Goa’s main city), we take a pre-paid taxi further south to Benaulim, a small and serene fishing village.
On the journey south we pass forests of palm trees, fertile fields and unending blue skies.
Our driver does not know where our accommodation is, because it is a guesthouse not a hotel. So small and unassuming is Benaulim that we hardly notice we have reached a settlement at all. Our taxi driver takes us to a clearing in a jungle full of banyan trees, where there are two houses. We are all a bit unsure about whether this is the place, but there is a sign hanging nearby, so I reckon it is.
The guesthouse turns out to be in the forest itself. Our rooms on the first floor have a veranda, and after throwing my stuff in my room, I watch the black piglets and white chickens running through the forest below. It is very peaceful and quiet here, with only the sounds of the forest and the animals all around.
The veranda is surrounded by the pale trunks of coconut palms, and looking up into their bright green leaves filtering the sunshine, it feels like we are in the canopy.
It is late in the afternoon, and the woman running the guesthouse only has us and a couple of others staying (it is out of season, mid-April). She tells us not to worry about checking in, and taking down the passport ID and residence information that is legally required on arrival.
We walk through the forest via a path through the trees to find the road, and visit a little shop to buy supplies. Then we walk through the village towards the beach.
I have never seen clouds before like the clouds in Goa, so picturesque that they are like the skies in watercolour paintings.
The sun sinks, and gold floods over the sand and sea.
Night sets in. We walk along soft sand, between palm trees and the crashing of dark waves. A full moon is rising, as the sun drops over the edge of the world.