The first impression when I entered my hut in Dunes – a boy’s tree house. The only difference – it had electricity, a fan, wc and possibility to get a hot shower. The first nights for me (also for Stijn when he arrived) were not easy to fall asleep. You hear everything. The people chatting outside and in the huts next to you, the birds, the barking dogs, monkeys (?), all kinds of insects and most of all geccos raiding the walls of the hut, birds and probably rats racing on the roof. And while you are lying there underneath the mosquito net, you can not tell the difference if it is all happening outside or inside your room. For the shower you have two options – a cold or a hot one. The hot water is generated via some strange electricity system just at the head of the shower. I do not want to know how safe is that…
It takes few days and nights to get accustomed with the new living standards, but you get there. After few sleepless nights you just learn to turn the volume off and enjoy the fact that you have a real bed and a mosquito net as an invisible but existent layer between you and the rest of the zoo within and outside the hut.
There is quite some number of wild dogs here. Mostly they are calm and lazy. Rarely making contact with people on the beach or in the restaurants. It is not pleasant when they are having fights close to you, but we have not experienced that they would attack people. They are everywhere and might try to pry some food from you, but unlike crows they will respect your table and your plate. Some of the wondering dogs are having a collar. The locals or some of the regular tourists have taken them in some sort of custody. I learned that there are even several Goa dog charity organisations. One of the dog on the beach was wounded after a fight. The woman sitting next to me was trying to reach someone from the charity organisation but unfortunately they wouldn’t pick up at that moment.
During the TTC our program started at 6:30 am. So I would get up before 6 am. It was the time when it would just start to get light outside. And it was wonderful. You can hear the nature waking up. If you are not awake yet, the roosters would help you to get up anyway.
One morning we had to couple up for a meditation by our choice. Without thinking we got up from our seats with my dear friend and imediately left our shala to go for a walking meditation on the beach. The sun was slowly rising above the palmtrees on the land side. We could see the tiny and a little bigger crabs rushing in the speed of wind over the sand to hide in their microscopic cave-wholes. In the sideway movement of crabs is something very robotic-like. Their speed is a little too fast for human eye to catch it completely, so you get a feeling that there is a life going on, but you are too slow to process it.
Even now, when our daily plan is not determined by a fixed schedule we try to get up around 7am, to be still able to catch the cooler mornings.
The sun sets around 6 pm. Here in Goa the sun sets in the sea, so we try to be there to enjoy the sunset as much as possible. After that a complete darkness comes. We have our dinner then and by 10 pm I am ready for my bed.
We are very lucky to stay in Dunes. They have very good restaurant and very friendly staff. There is quite big choice between salads, Indian, Asian, European and even Russian dishes (which includes Borsch, Russian salads aka ‘rosols’, cottage cheese pancakes and Kiev cutlet). Carrot Kofta, Cheese Naan, Mango Lassi, Guacamole salads and apple pie are among my favourites. But there are many more. It is safe to eat salads and fresh fruits here. We take the advantage of the menu and order pancakes with banana every now and then. 🙂
Who needs internet when you are in such a paradise like place? The fact is many foreign people hang around Dunes getting some work done, either doing photography, copywriting, managing projects around the globe. At some points during the day, you can see up to 8 laptops sitting on the table. Add the extra smartphones and tablets and you can be sure the internet will go down. Best not to promise anything get done by a certain deadline. Time here is very relative.