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Arambol on 500 bucks

It’s not hard to have a good time in laid back Arambol, prescription made famous in the 1960s for its preponderance of long-staying hippies. Many of these types are still around, and Arambol’s easy going vibe is still a big draw. At the northern tip of Goa, Arambol nowadays is also very popular with families, who mingle harmoniously with the tattooed, dreadlocked denizens of this beachside paradise. Today, Streets brings you the following itinerary – Sanket Sharma’s suggestions on how to have a wonderful evening in Arambol on just 500 bucks.

4.00 pm, Rs 500

Arrive at Arambol beach. Once at the beach you will see a long coastline which goes down south to the neighbouring Mandrem beach and up north beyond the hills. Having arrived, start walking towards the north, which will lead you to the freshwater lake. If lost, ask anyone for directions, and they will guide you back to your path. The route is a rather adventurous and picturesque one, and getting your camera out at this time would be a fine move. Walk at the foot of the hills, where along with a bumpy road, you will also encounter a lot of shops for clothes and beads. Buy a bottle of water at one of the stores, which will keep you hydrated on your 15-minute walk. Indulging in shopping can be fun, but any shopping done cannot be included in this mini budget. With the hill on one side and the sea on the other, there will be abundance of photo ops, so click away at whatever catches your fancy. When you have had your photo fill, head straight to the lake.

Total expense (water bottle) = Rs 15

5.00 pm, Rs 485

As you reach the lake, you can see the beach extended all the way there and further.

You can start by taking a dip in the shallow lake, and then move on to swim in the sea as well. While swimming in the lake be careful of the lake bed, it can sometimes poke your feet. Advisable to wear slippers. After a long lazy swim, lie on the sands and soak in the sun and the sky. And then plonk yourself at one of the nearby beach shacks with a pint and fries to enjoy the beautiful sunset.

Pint: Rs 50 + Fries:Rs 60

Total expense = Rs 110


7.30 pm, Rs 375

The lazy evening should get you charged up for a night of fun. Walk back to the beach, which will now be embedded with neon lights from the shacks, along with candle lit tables out on the beach. Stroll out to the streets where you will see a few more shops and shacks, saunter on till you reach Loekie’s Cafe. Right next door is Sporting Heroes, a live music spot just like Loekie’s. One of the main advantages of staying in Arambol is that is there is live music almost every day here. Sporting Heroes has music on a few select days, but you will most definitely find live music at Loekie’s every night. Loekie’s is a hot spot for musicians and other entertainers, and every night you can enjoy their company. Settle in and order a couple of pints, while enjoying artist after artist perform and time will fly by like the wind. If you are up for it, you can even pitch in to perform a song or a poem, or even a few jokes.

Total expense (2 beers)= Rs 120


9.30 pm, Rs 255

Drag yourself away from the music now, you ol’ beach bum, and hit the street again. Walk on down south for a while where you can see a variety of shops and eateries. Shops abound? selling T-shirts, shawls, second hand books, wines, furniture, etc. Again, shopping can be fun, especially when there is so much to choose from. But then again, you need a separate time and budget for that. So indulge in a little window shopping and then head back to the beach. On your way back you will notice a little joint called ‘Double Dutch’ which serves one of the best desserts in Arambol. ‘Buddha’s Delight’ will cost you Rs 70 and should also keep you company on your walk back to the beach.

Total expense (dessert) = Rs 70

10.15 pm, Rs 185

Once at the beach you can pick any of the various shacks that are laid out side by side. You can compare prices, food items and choose your pad. Most shacks are equally priced. While there is a lot to choose from, Israeli food is the best in this cluster of eateries. Make yourself comfortable and order an Israeli platter and a beverage to go along. The night sky is a great visual spectacle from this part of the state. On a good night, the unpolluted sky is filled with hundreds of stars. A good dinner and relaxed seating makes this night view perfect. Chill out and absorb this outer dimensional beauty for some time after your dinner. Around this time, the rhythmic throbbing of bongos, acoustic guitars and harps rises from different places on the beach, where the night people can be seen in their little impromptu circles.

Rs 160 (Platter) + Rs 25 (drink)

Total expense = Rs 185

11.30 pm, Rs 0 

You can walk up and start a conversation with any of these good people or just request to join one of their groups. Most of these will be travellers from different countries and continents who have met each other on the road, and will be happy to include you. A sense of community is what these people like to feel and enjoy, and don’t be surprised if you get offered beers and cigarettes from them. A jolly time is all they are looking for, and ending your day in that vibe will be memorable for you. Passionate music is what they communicate and bond with, and the sounds of their acoustic guitars and bongos fill the air. Again, you can contribute a tune, if you feel like it. After a good hour and half later, you bid adieu to your new friends and head back home, with your head filled with the stars and songs of Arambol.