We had a very hot, restful week enjoying the beautiful Goan beaches with the girls. We also celebrated Ava’s 9th birthday here which was very special.
How we got here:

We travelled to Goa on a cheap AirIndia flight from Mumbai. You can get flights direct from most European countries for a reasonable price. Or if you’re in India, you can jump on a train to Goa from most of the cities.
How we got around:

Apart from the initial taxi from the airport we walked everywhere when in Goa, it’s the easiest way to get around. There are also lots of tuk-tuks and moped rental places if that’s more your jam.

What we ate:

There are so many lovely cafes and restaurants dotted along the beach you are spoilt for choice, plus they are so so cheap. We managed to feed everyone for around £2 a person (including drinks). So we just ate breakfast, lunch and dinner on the beach. Their are lots of sunbeds placed in front of the cafes that you can use all day for free on the proviso that you purchase something, which we always did as this meant we could also use their toilet during the day – a necessity with kids is to always be near a toilet.

Where We Stayed:

We stayed in a homestay with a local Goan family. It was a wonderful way to immerse ourselves in the local way of life. The Family were amazing, generous hosts who offered to cook for us and did our laundry.

In Goa they don’t have mains water and everyday the government water lorries come to fill the residents water tanks. Unfortunately during our stay the lorry hadn’t been for 2 days which meant, no showers. At the end of the week we had 4 buckets of water to last us 2 days. Although this was a minor inconvenience to us, we can afford to shower elsewhere and buy bottled water. It was a sobering experience for us to see the daily struggles of the Goan people. We felt incredibly guilty taking buckets of water from them to wash.

You can find the Cockerel Homestay on AirBnB here.

We did say if we were to visit Goa again we would book one of the many huts that are located right on the beach.

What we did:

We pretty much just hung on the beaches for the whole week. Drinking coconuts and lots of Banana Lassi (an amazing Indian smoothie made with curds). We played in the sea, dug in the sand and lounged around reading books.

The girls made friends with another English girl who is home educated and some sweet local Indian girls. It was beautiful watching them play some wonderful imaginary games despite the language barrier.

We played on Palolem Beach and Patnem Beach.

Patnem Beach was way more chilled. Less people, no beggars or touts. Lots of Yoga hipsters. Overall much quieter.

Palolem Beach was busier, more tourists therefore lots of beggars and touts hawking their wares. But the waves were smaller here and the scenery was stunning.

Word of Warning:

There are lots of stray dogs roaming around in Goa. Most are friendly and leave you alone. But some showed signs of being pretty aggressive and stole peoples stuff, with the potential to bite if confronted.

The waves were also very fierce when we visited, which made swimming difficult.

Ava Turned Nine!

Our (not so) little Ava Cakes turned 9 whilst we were in Goa. It is the 1st birthday where she hasn’t awoken to a pile of presents and cards. It was a strange feeling as a mum, I struggled to sleep the night before due to worry and mum guilt that she would be sad due to the lack of presents.

How wrong I was!

We awoke early and she opened up the handful of cards we’d packed from us and family. Inside our card we gifted some rupees for her to spend whilst here.

After we’d dressed we headed straight to the beach and had breakfast. Ava ate chocolate pancakes and drank pineapple Lassi.

We then headed to a market near the beach. She used her money to buy a turquoise baseball hat and some cheap flip flops, she was so made up about them it was endearing.

All day was spent swimming, digging holes, playing with friends she’d made on the beach, eating french fries, and generally having fun.

We watched the sunset and stayed on the beach after dark. It was magic.

Back at the room Ava blew out fake candles on a shop bought cake bar whilst we sang Happy Birthday, and she declared happily that today was the best birthday ever.

Just proves that memories over things wins, hands down, every single time.

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