It’s a common experience that most people who visit Arambol the first time, just shake their head in disapproval going, “What’s so special? It’s just another sandy, blue waves beach.”
That’s because they haven’t seen what’s worth it yet. A couple days here and lo behold they go, “Bro, definitely check out Arambol.” Here’s why it’s perfect for the funky backpacker-
1. Sweet water Lake
We walked a long way to get to this warm, muddy, green warm lake. A couple hippies were rolling in the sulphurous mud nearby and jumping into the water. A therapeutic mud-bath of sorts. After having waded in the lake to our hearts content we shook ourselves off and lay back on a lakeside wooden bed staring out at the hill.
2. The Shops
We landed at the most commercial faraway part of the beach so walking to the Sweet water lake took us an hour or so, but man was the walk nice. Tiny kitsch shops, selling bongs, jewelry, gemstones, clothes all you can imagine. Lots of massage places, tattoo parlours and tiny houses for rent at 300 Rs a night.
3. Banyan Tree
This one was a twisty trek from the lake, albeit fun and dangerously secluded. After tramping through brambles and bushes we reached the famed Beatles Banyan Tree, an apparent pitstop for the band during their 1968 Spiritual world tour. A shrine to the former “Weed baba” who used to live here was set up. The baba even had a song “Babaji Ki Booty”, dedicated to him from the movie Go Goa Gone. Our interest in this place was purely trivia, and we moved forward to the para-gliding point, the best in Goa.
One of the very few professional surf schools in India with ISA certified(Gasp hot!) instructors. Plus they provide accomodation and occasionally host barbecues and parties. A cool hippie, healthy livin’ bunch to chill and catch the waves with.
5. Drum Circle
Towards the evening a queer bunch of instrument musicians gather round. And a gyrating beat grips the beach, as people flock to the pulse, and start dancing, others gather around and hum. Instruments unheard of are played and it’s a wild, sensual merriment. Ahead of the drum circle, multiple foreign expats hawk tiny tchochkes and ornaments.
Check out La Muellas, a pretty, tree house restaurant with a designer store attached or if it’s Nov-March eat lovely raw vegan food at Shantaram Raw. For those that like more of a hustle crowd go for Cookie-Walla or the Israeli haunt Shiva Moon. Stay off the overpriced shacks on the main beach.