Sunday, 2 February 2014

Travels in Goa Part 2 - Beach Life


Me at my most content, morning sun on my skin, wild hair, bare feet and a string bikini. I'm a beach babe through and through.


Our itinerary for this trip covered Colva to Talpona, taking in as many beaches as we could along the way. Other than the first night's guesthouse (a place we'd stayed at last year, booked over the phone at the airport minutes before boarding our flight) the rest of our accommodation was found using our tried and tested method - one of us sits in a cafe with the bags and the other goes off to search for a suitable place to stay. Our needs are simple, a double bed, an attached bathroom and space outside to sit.

My Friend's Place, Agonda (£7 per night)

We moved six times, sleeping in coco huts and hut camps on the beach and in vividly painted guesthouses in the outlying villages. Rates varied between £3.50 and £8 a night and we haggled hard to get the best deal - when you've a combined budget of £20 a day every rupee counts!

View from our balcony at L'Allegro, our pink guesthouse in Palolem (£6 per night)

Some had hot water, others mosquito nets, all included crisp cotton bed linen and bath towels. One had no mirrors and seeing ourselves reflected a week later seemed very odd. Another had two balconies and one even had an attached kitchenette. One backed on to jungle, where the shriek of monkeys would wake us at 6am and a couple had tree frogs in the bathroom (great for keeping the mozzies at bay).

Pooja on Patnem Beach (£8 a night )

This one was so close to the sea the waves kept us awake.


This one came with a pet.

Palolem Beach
Every morning we'd be on the beach by 8am, watching the fishermen mending their nets whilst their wives sorted through their catch, tossing sea snakes and undersized crabs back in the water. We'd eat breakfast at a simple cafe in the village (authentic, fiery local food served at a shared table beats a pricey, tourist-style, bland Western breakfast on the beach hands down), then we'd buy our picnic lunch - fresh veg samosas wrapped in yesterday's newspaper & tied with string (8p each), a couple of bottles of water (15p a litre), some fresh fruit (6 locally grown bananas and a couple of oranges cost 30p) and head back to the beach.

Agonda beach

This lot would devour any fruit left lying around.

Beach shack at Agonda

Most people use shacks during the day, lazing on sunbeds alongside fellow tourists, listening to Western pop music and being brought beer and food at regular intervals, but that's not for us. We'll walk until we find a remote spot away from the crowds and lay on the sand, seeking shade beneath a nearby boat if the heat got too intense. 

Outrigger at Palolem beach


Varca

Morning mist at Patnem Creek

Colony of fruit bats at Agonda
One day we'll be here - part of the overland camp in Agonda.

Fishing at Rajbag



Outrigger at Vaddie Beach


Pi dogs at Agonda
We found a charity shop in Colva , raising funds for the care of the hundreds of pi dogs & stray cats roaming the beaches and back lanes of South Goa. We donated our leftover toiletries, a couple of tops and Jon's paperbacks to the cause before we left.

Paradise in Talpona

Sunrise over Rajbag

Hoping for an auspicious catch

Shadows at Sernabatim

Sunset at Benaulim 
My heidi klein bikini was the business (once I'd cut out the annoying padded lining with Jon's Swiss army knife), it kept its shape and colour perfectly - unlike the cheapo eBay ones, which faded to buggery!

Updated to Share In Style with Sacramento's Sailor theme.

Daybreak at Palolem

Nosey neighbour at Colom

Morning stroll at Patnem
...two weeks into our trip and my cheapo bikini knickers have started to go a bit saggy!

Rajbag Creek

Sometimes, in the afternoon, we'd pop back to our room for a siesta but we'd always be back in time to watch the sunset and for the last swim of the day.

Sunset at Colva
At dusk we'd shower, enjoy an al fresco rum and coke (a 75cl bottle of McDowell's white rum will knock you back £1.75) and ponder our plans for the evening - dinner on the beach or in the village.....classical Indian tunes, Italian gypsy music, German psychedelia or reggae with Graham (ex.UB40) .....South or North Indian, Tandoori or Indo-Chinese.....Where to have the first ice-cold Kingfisher of the night.....Sandals or bare feet?

Block print maxi (roadside stall, Goa), 1960s lace-up suede waistcoat (Xmas 2012 present from Liz), black vest (new from Topshop, 1999), Lamani choker, armlet and coin earrings (Indian markets)
20p breakfasts and £3.50 a night rooms mean that we can afford to treat ourselves and stay within our £20 a day budget. My block printed maxi skirt was one of my few buys at a very reasonable £4 (it seemed silly to haggle it down from the £5 asking price, but the seller expects you to and thinks you're odd if you don't). It's not vintage - they're made by the thousand and available on every street corner throughout India - although I've seen plenty of unscrupulous Etsy and Ebay sellers trying to pass them off as "vintage 1970s hippy originals"...very naughty!



Thanks for the phenomenal welcome back and for all your comments. I've used my 4am, jet-lagged early mornings constructively - sifting through photos and drafting my travel posts (don't despair, there's only four left, you're halfway through). If there's anything at all you'd like to know about Goa comment or message me and I'll answer in my next couple of posts.

Right, I'm taking advantage of a break in the rain and am nipping down to Argos to look at cheap point and shoot cameras.

See you soon! 

73 comments:

  1. Really amazing travelling posts, lovely beach and cultural trip. didn't know that there was a portugesian colony and that the main parts are catholics. and your bikinis are fab, love the heidi klein one!

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  2. Amor! I'm so dreadfully far behind in commenting but I'm LOOOVING catching up with your adventures. You are exquisite in your bikinis - saggy bottoms or not. I love your marvellous descriptions of the accommodation and food. You guys could write a book on travel in Goa. The maxi skirt is gorgeous (I've never seen one in pink before) and you look radiantly beautiful, happy and relaxed. Welcome home!

    Love you more than aloo palak!

    Sarah xxx

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  3. Amor! I'm so dreadfully far behind in commenting but I'm LOOOVING catching up with your adventures. You are exquisite in your bikinis - saggy bottoms or not. I love your marvellous descriptions of the accommodation and food. You guys could write a book on travel in Goa. The maxi skirt is gorgeous (I've never seen one in pink before) and you look radiantly beautiful, happy and relaxed. Welcome home!

    Love you more than aloo palak!

    Sarah xxx

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  4. Looks like a fantastic holiday - you look so relaxed and happy. Love the skirt too.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  5. God it all looks so idyllic it almost makes me want to go!
    I even like the skirt despite the colour ;-)

    Oh and I'm definitely up for another shopping trip to Brum.

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  6. Looks wonderful way to spend a holiday. No package deals!!!
    What do you do for mosquitos??? Thats my big issue in any destination lol Am always looking for new ideas to try!

    Do you keep lists of hotels/guest houses you have stayed in?



    xx

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  7. I love your holiday blog posts - keep them coming. The houses in part 1 were amazing. Thanks for sharing them x

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  8. As always your trips and travels posts just leave me lusting to do the same. You and Jon look to of had a most wonderful and relaxing time. You of course just look as beautiful as ever. X

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  9. What an amazing experience!

    Yourself and Jon look so relaxed and laid back, it must be awful to come home to all this rain.

    Such lovely photographs and I love the colony of fruit bats - amazing!

    I'm hungry for more pictures now.

    xx

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  10. so beatuiful and amazing ! My body screams loudly and wants to go there , the sun the heat , the beaty...oh lord - please let me winn the lottery !
    xx

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  11. There is such vicarious pleasure to be had from reading and lingering over your two (so far) wonderful Goa posts. You're such an inspiring pair. I love your attitude to life/travel/experience/culture/place. Looking forward to the next two posts for my fix of 'let's imagine I'm actually on a Goan beach, or swimming at sunset, instead of picking my way past muddy floods'!

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  12. How did you discover Goa? Were you ever worried about your personal safety?

    You look smashing!!

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  13. Goa looks so amazing! and so do you of course! I love the beach huts and random cows and dogs on the beach. The skirt you bought is marvelous. I see those naughty "vintage regional" skirts all the time and frankly i've gotten a bit tired of trying to buy vintage on ebay or etsy. unless they are legit store making a living their just not worth the over prices risk.

    Anyway. i love your photos, its not like the boring ones people usually post on Facebook. I cant wait to see the others!

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  14. Thank you for sharing your holiday snaps and info, it looks simply amazing!

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  15. You make me miss home! Glad to have you back, your posts make me happy x

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  16. Yes, I too love the skirt. What wonderful pics, so pleased you had a nice time.

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  17. ahh! beautiful!
    i almost lost track when i was the last time at a beach..... i can feel the sand and smell the salty breeze thru your photos.
    love the colors of that skirt and the little animals and people on it :-)
    <3

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  18. Oh how I loved this post. The simple life- I love it! This really reminds me of staying in Bali when I then-boyfriend and I went travelling around and looked for cheap places to stay, ate cheaply and simply and just spent time on the beach!x

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  19. So envious but in a nice way, looks like you had a fab time. Look forward to the rest of your pics and blogs on looking fab in vintage xxx

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  20. So envious but in a nice way, looks like you had a fab time. Look forward to the rest of your pics and blogs on looking fab in vintage xxx

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  21. You and Jon have your travel plans down pat! From booking the flights to packing, from your itinerary and accommodation to food, sunbathing, and beaches, it's all just right for you. Love all the photos, it looks so very beautiful.
    And there is absolutely nothing saggy about you, love, you look fit and lean and relaxed and simply stunning!
    We saw tree-loads of fruit bats like that in Sri Lanka, they are an amazing sight, aren't they?
    And I love that some spelling pedant has squeezed that "e" into the Praise to Lord" on the boat side! (That would be me, anally insisting on accuracy!)
    You look gorgeous in your block-printed maxi and waistcoat, a bronzed goddess in rainy Walsall! Good luck at Argos... xxxx

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  22. Wonderful pictures of a fascinating country !
    Wow , love your maxi skirt , the colour , the prints , everything !
    Thanx for sharing Vix...

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  23. Rockin' that maxi & orange bikini to the max!

    Fab memories to cherish for sure:-D

    X

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  24. Another super post, so glad there is more to come. I love all the animals on the beach, and you look so relaxed and happy in a bikini.

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  25. You are the ultimate beach babe Vix - such an inspirational travel post. It's clear seeing these glorious photos that Goa is truly magical, and has a beauty all of its own. It's amazing to have such an in-depth glimpse of the culture. Keep the posts coming, I'm truly absorbed and in awe xxx

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  26. It's just paradise, isn't it?!
    Again, I'm amazed at how similar to Thailand it all is! Makes me yearn.....we'll be a having a go at Indonesia this year, though.
    Love the new skirt, I had one like that years ago, but got it caught in my bicycle chain and ripped it to buggery!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  27. Amazing photos and what an amazing trip! This looks like heaven on earth. How can you bear to come back!!

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  28. It looks a beautiful place, my gasp came when you said you booked your accommodation in the cafe. That's dam bloody hardcore! I love it, that goes to show your at home with the world.
    Pictures are amazing Vix & Jon see you both soon xxx

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  29. More more more!!!

    Great photos, you make me want to go there too :)

    That skirt is lovely and you look fab in it.
    (and that bikini bod, ooh la la!!!)

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  30. I'm so glad you're back, Vix. You've been missed! The transition must be tough. So your batteries are full up again I hope, just in time to charge into spring, which I hope hurries up. I love how you can poke around sites and the calm of the beaches. You and Jon make it clear how pared down living is so right. It's a much-needed reminder on so many levels. I look forward to the rest of your photos.

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  31. It all sounds ... and looks ... wonderful and soooo relaxing. I'm not sure I could be so chilled out about the lack of accommodation bookings ... I'm a bit odd like that. I need to know where I'm going to be. Though I have friends that swear by the "wing it" method ... best way to save money apparently.
    You look gorgeous ... holidays certainly suit you.
    xx

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  32. I love these posts!! I'll never get to Goa myself but you let me travel with you in my dreams!!

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  33. Bonitas fotografías!!
    Besos
    http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

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  34. I love the photo's Vix, Goa looks so beautiful. It sounds like you had a wonderful and relaxing break! x

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  35. You really rocked that Heidi Klein bikini! Both you and Jon look in great shape. All the beaches and scenery look idyllic. That cat had quite a wide yawn. I hadn't guessed that those were bats in the tree until I read the caption underneath - I wouldn't want to sleep under that tree. Your block print maxi and Lamani choker both look fabulous. I'm resolving to enjoy perusing all of your travel post pictures. I've gone on a bit of a blogging spree of my own, posting twice more in the last day and having more in the works.
    As far as questions, knowing you were in India I was wondering what other vegetarian treats you were finding to eat. I love Indian food - I'll bet those veg samosas were yummy!

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  36. great photos again xx it looks lovely

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  37. Welcome back Vix. The blogging world is never the same without you!

    I always enjoy your Goa posts, the photos and the descriptions of your adventures. I admire your approach to travel and am inspired by your love for India.

    Thank you so much for sharing you and your hat with Hat Attack!

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  38. Beautiful Vix. Just beautiful. I feel like I'm right there with you. I'm the one with the big hat and TONS of sunscreen. I'm quite the India-ophile as you may know. And I kinda like the idea of living without a mirror for awhile.

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  39. This all sounds and looks absolutely dreamy. I love your new skirt. You look so beautiful and happy.

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  40. The beaches look so serene and beautiful. You and Jon look great in your bathing suits. Goa looks amazing. Can u drink the water and how clean is it? Cute cat btw...wonder if it understands english? Lol

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  41. I want to hop on a plane right now please....god the peace and the beauty and the sun it all looks wonderful, as do you lovely, dee xx

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  42. You get hotter every year!
    Also, seeing this goa trip pictures, it reminds me that this is the third fabulous year that I've been following your blog!

    Thanks for being there, you rock.

    Love.

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  43. I love this, there were moments where I swear I felt the sun on my skin. India is beautiful and your holiday sounds so perfect, and the food! I would eat like you both did too- I feel super chilled after reading your post!! you are definitely a hot beach babe Vix and you look so relaxed, I am really looking forward to more pics x x x

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  44. Oh Vix, it makes me want to go even more!! Gorgeous pictures and such great information, goes to show you don't need to spend a fortune to have the best time.
    And you are looking gorgeous. :)
    xx

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  45. It all looks so wonderful! You both look so happy! Would love to take off and do this too :-) You're looking the BEST in your bikinis - saggy or not xx

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  46. Absolutely awesome! You have the ability to transport us to Goa for just a few moments of welcome escapism :-)
    You do beach chic so very very well... fabulous as always!
    Looking forward to the next instalment...

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  47. So lovely. I am glad I have Mexico to look forward to in two weeks time.

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  48. Thank you for sharing your vacation pics with us! Right now I'm living in a crap winter, going between polar vortex mega-cold and snow, snow, snow. The beaches would be wonderful! Your new skirt is gorgeous and, of course, looks amazing on you. Looking forward to the next post!
    Hugs!

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  49. You certainly are a beach babe and your Jon looks a bit of a hunk. The beautiful people of Goa. I love the sneaky peek of your accommodation. Those are the details which make it all real. Those little huts all squashed up together are so cute and i like the way people just leave their sandals outside. That Heidi Klein bikini looks fab, you did well there. Love the block print skirt too. I deal with all my mum's finances so my sis calls me mr big. That must be my boat! Xxxxx

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  50. We have beem having a brutal winter over here, so your beautiful photos are a treat. I love seeing your photos from your trips - It is unlikely I will ever go to India, but your photos convey the beauty and serenity of Goa. I'm afraid I shall never be a beach babe, but you are obviously quite at home leading a minimalist life by the water. You and Jon look so relaxed and happy.

    The tree decorated with fruit bats is very cool, but as someone else mentioned, I wouldn't want to sit under it ;)

    Welcome back, beach babe!

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  51. I hope before I die that Chris and I can meet you guys in India, it's the only way I'll see it the right way I know!

    You are gorgeous in any environment but this is where you shine! You bikini bod is jaw dropping hot, I love both of your suits and your smile has been missed. Jon looks fit and fine and I'm sure feels recharged. The tree of bats is friggin cool I'd love to see that. I also still can't get my head around cows on the beaches, but I love the thought of them wander the California shores all the rich folks would have a fit. Feck Em!
    You look gorgeous in that last shot!
    Loveyoumorethanbikinis!
    Xxxxxxxooo

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  52. I need 3 things at a "hotel": clean bed, attached bathroom and if it's really hot, a/c. I hate paying for a spa I'm not going to use, fancy lobbies, $$$ restaurant, that resort vibe. When I travel I want to get away from all that and experience the country I'm in. I always walk around, take public transportation, and eat at local "Mom and Pop" restaurant. It's more fun

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  53. I love that you have been there many times and always show us a bit more. Now, I want to go there. Wonderful images, and you and your bikini look amazing.xx

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  54. dear lady, thanks for sharing your little personal paradise, amazing pics and great genuine experiences!. Love your post and love you've enjoyed so nice moments!. And you look so fabulous!!
    besos & sol

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  55. I love hearing about your trips to India and would definitely love to visit one day. Looks amazing especially sunset on the beach.

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  56. Yay, i can't wait to read your next Goa posts, i feel like i'm on vacation when watching your photos! Looks like you both had an amazing time!!! And you look fab in your Heidi Klein bikini!

    After begging the Mr. for a long long time to go to Goa with me i hope we'll make it this year or at least at the beginning of next year. I thought about staying the main time in south Goa too.

    Thank you so much for all those good advices you're sharing on your blog!
    Do you have some more tips when it comes to haggling? I've read that it's a must but i've no clue where to start and where to end.
    And do you think snorkeling is possible or is the water too murky?
    And what would you suggest is the best place for relaxing, i mean less touristical?

    xxxx Tani

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  57. Love these travel posts of yours and wish I could remember where we stayed but it was so long ago...I do remember we went to Dudhsagar Falls.
    After reading this I've got the urge to jet off for some winter sun, relaxation and culture...maybe next year? Love your snaps... so untouristy, looking forward to seeing the rest. xxxx

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  58. LOVE that maxi - you should've bought a bunch of them and you could've sold them to all of us.
    I can't remember the last time I felt as relaxed as you seem in these posts - loved the old buildings too.

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  59. I'm loving these photos, the maxi is gorgeous! Do you have to cope with many snakes or worse still(for me) spiders! Looks idilic but think they could scare me off! xxx

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  60. Love these posts!! You are truly living your life!! You're lucky both you and Jon enjoy this kind of traveling. Some people I know (ahem..) wouldn't even consider it, needing those so-called creature comforts and not liking the beach. Sigh...

    Love your maxi outfit. XXXOOO

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  61. living and travelling so much in India, I havent been able to visit goa yet..rather havent had the inclination to!!

    now I think its time!!!

    love love love the yellow bikini!!!

    and the silver jwellery you are wearing..you are quite right about the skirts, they are made and sold by thousands in different cities on India!!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

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  62. Vix, I've been reading your blog for a long time and have found you such an inspiration. You are one of the most sincere and true to yourself people and it is wonderfully refreshing. Thanks for sharing so much of your life on your blog. This latest trip to Goa has me so jelly!

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  63. Phwoarrr! You are a stunning beach babe, are you not? And look atthat scenery. I could just lie down on that sand...face down after the day I'm having, and sleep!! I love your holiday posts so much. The bats are incredible.
    Loves ya.xxx

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  64. Having the snow come down outside my window makes these sun and sand photos even more appealing. You guys look so relaxed. Thanks for sharing your trip.

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  65. It's all so dreamy! I'm not a beach person, but your photos make me wanna become one!

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  66. Welcome home, I think! I was just reading the UK news and can't believe the storms that are battering the place! Goa looks lovely. I really want to go to India, but not sure where to start, I might be a bit too out of my comfort zone.

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  67. That skirt is gorgeous! Especially the pink and orange combined.

    You are so thin woman! Quite the six pack you've got going on there. And yes I am totally jealous. Especially since we have another 2 ft. of snow here today.

    Those bats freaked me out. Seriously.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  68. Welcome back you beach beauty! Glorious photos, looks like you had an amazing trip. I hope you can hang on to that 'holiday feeling' despite the rain storms and February chill... no doubt wearing the lovely maxi from Goa market will help!

    Thanks so much for your kind congratulations about my news!

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  69. Vix after a hectic day at work, your post has been just what I needed. I feel relaxed from looking at the idyllic beaches, the exotic sunsets, I can imagine the lapping water and the sound of the birds. Thank you - just beautiful. It's great to have you both back.

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  70. Like some others, I'm so grateful for the travel-log ... made my day all better. The thing about travel that makes me a little sad is missing my animals. This might well work out for me. Lots of animals for companions!
    You are completely glam in your beach wear. So pretty!

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  71. Wow nice place and also pics are too good.

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  72. Always a pleasure to "travel" with you, even if only on my sofa. :) You look gorgeous, such a sexy woman in your swimsuits and this amazing skirt and the vest! xxx

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  73. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, my dear Vix= THE BODY and also the soul. You are tough , wise and beyond beautiful
    And to think I live 100mts from the sea and I have only been twice ( well we have some tourist, not a tourist area)

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Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx