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Some splurging in spiritual Mandrem

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Maybe I am about to reveal a little secret now. Yab Yum on the beautiful northern Goa beach Mandrem is supposed to host quite a lot of Indian and foreign celebrities of the more spiritual kind. We learned this first when trying to find the place. No signs what so ever and no sight of a hotel where it was supposed to be. Finally we managed and learnt from the owner that this is how it should be to keep unwanted people away. People who knows about us finds us anyway was his statement.

Our little bungalow was sweet with lounge area outside and breakfast served on our own veranda every morning. But why were there fences in the way to let us gaze over the ocean? Aha…to keep all the wanted people safe and hidden…Yes, we paid a bit more than we usually do for those 4 last nights but so we usually add a little splurging at the end so not very outrageous at all. This was a paradise for chic bohemians and in fact the conversations people had over the mobile were quite often something like “OK, send me the script and I´ll read it through”. There we were, completely protected and taken care of, surrounded by funny cottages and disco balls dangling among palms. The coctails were great and close by our place we had the famous french restaurant La Plage. A true little gem where we went loose one nights and had a three course meal and a bottle of wine while thinking on how  privileged we are. Although the size of my chocolate dessert gave me a sleepless night the evening was for sure very memorable. And the price no more than a beer and a pizza would cost me here in Sweden.

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One late afternoon we left our little Yab Yum gem and its quiet surroundings to head a bit more north, to Arambol, to discover yet another ambiance. Arambol has a mix of spiritual backpackers looking to yoga and explore themself in different kind of ways, as well as Indian tourists looking to discover them 😉 The beach was not particular beautiful but very interesting for people and cow watching and for ordering the most ugly and bad tasting coctail on our entire trip.

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This was it from India for the moment. I made a trip to India a few years ago which I still haven´t blogged about. I think I have to stop travelling for a while to actually catch up with the past 😉 But that travel break will have to wait a little because mine and Louise´s plane to Los Angeles departs tomorrow. A 30 day long Rd Trip are waiting. As I don´t like computers on my vacation I take a blog break and wish all of you out there a great summer or what ever season you have right now.

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An evening in the old hippie & trance mecca Anjuna

After spending five nights in lovely Agonda it was time to move north and spend our last four nights in yet a nice, quiet beach paradise – Mandrem. Our “move” took place on a Wednesday which is the day when Anjuna beach holds its weekly “hippie market”. And that we did not want to miss. After checking in to our chic bungalow in Yab Yum resort we hopped in to the taxi again and drove back the 30 minutes to Anjuna. We arrived just about an hour before closing time. But it was enough to get a glimpse of this huge market that sells everything from the typical Indian things to handicrafts made by foreigners living in the area.

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Besides being famous as the old hippie mecca (not so much any more), Anjuna was also the birth place of Goa Trance and huge parties used to be held on the beaches. Nowadays music has to stop by 22:00 (this goes for whole of Goa which is why the headphone parties in Palolem, see my previous post). I am not much of a trance fan myself but it was interesting to listen to some as we were having dinner in a lovely roof top beach bar. Seated on the floor, enjoying a meal, a drink and some trance in the back ground we got to feel a completely different ambiance than southern Goa. After dinner (around 20:00) we even danced a bit as the DJ continued playing. It felt like in the middle of the night. At aroud 21:00 we were happy to jump in to a taxi and get back to Yab Yum. In Goa all taxis are private. Most of the drivers has huge loud speaker installations in the back of the car as it is not only the tourist that enjoys the Goa beats 🙂 The trance followed us all the way back to the hotel, where another world opened up which I will tell more about in the next and last post from this amazing India trip.

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If you understand Swedish you can listen to my Anjuna report in below Youtube clip, with Goa trance beating in the background 😉

Come along and party in Palolem

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Palolem! We are very glad we did not stay at this exploited beach but we are more than happy we paid a visit this very special Saturday night! Saturday nights in Palolem means headphone party night! The famous Silent Noise of Palolem. I cannot describe with words how great this was. It was way above my expectations! Below you will find a serie of photos from this fantastic experience! Don’t forget to watch the video at the bottom to get “the feeling” 😉

We arrived to Palolem late afternoon, just an hour before sun set. Had a stroll and did some people watching followed by candle light dinner at the beach. A whole grilled fish and lots of four legged furry friends hanging out with us got us just in to the right mood. After this great meal and some local Honey Bee brandy to warm us up for the night, we started to walk along the beach towards THE place.

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We had no expectations on how this would work but we pretty soon found out. The club was held outside. We were basically the first guests 🙂 After paying the entrance we were  provided headphones and instructed how to use them. This night three different international DJ´s were playing. Depending on preference one could switch “channel” on the headphone to get ones favourite sound right into your ears at your own volume. House fantastics as we are, we loved all the DJ´s. The funny part was that you could watch which DJ your fellow partygoers were listening to by looking at the colors.

After getting used to the headphones, and filming & photographing ourselves for this peculiar night, we hit the stage. More and more people arrived until the place was filled. The atmosphere was wonderful. Everyone smiling and dancing on their spot. When removing the headset all you could hear was just some distant low volume music from the bar and the sound of a big bunch of happy people. This concept clearly makes people loving and open minded 😀

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There was also a big VJ screen in place and Dancing Queen as I am I had to take the challenge to dance behind it. First I was accompanied by another guy but soon I had the screen for my self and my inner diva could come out 😉 This evening was one of my best party evenings ever. Unfortunately only held Saturdays during high season. To read more about why this concept, check out the Silent Noise webpage.

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Kind of funny noises appears when a bunch of people are dancing in the silence 😉

Agonda Agonda Agonda!!!

After two cold but awesome weeks in Rajasthan we had landed in paradise – Agonda beach, Goa! Look no further!

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I did a lot of research on Goa before our trip since I had understood that each beach has its own ambiance. The ambiance we were looking for was a quiet, beautiful and clean beach, inviting for long peaceful beach walks, great dining by the beach at night and a relaxing atmosphere. We found all we searched for in Agonda.

We spoke to a guy that had been to almost every single beach in Goa who said this was the best! Before the popular beach Palolem, close by, used to be like this to. But that had changed. I wonder how long Agonda will stay as it is. It is true gem.

Louise & me had four beautiful days here, before we moved on to North Goa. One afternoon and night we went to Palolem for some action. (I will blog about that separate ;-)) However, most of our time was spent simply like this….

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And another day with same rythm….I want to go back!

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Appendix 😉 Thank´s Louise for not giving up on getting that perfect “jump” shot.

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Dog encounters in India

I absolutely love dogs and so does my friend Louise.  Here are some greetings from beauties I came across on my trip in Rajasthan and Goa. Background material at the end of the post 😉

Hello, I live in Mandawa, thanks for paying a visit...

“Hello, I live in Mandawa, thanks for paying a visit…”

I´m a bit lonely, please come and hug me...

“I´m a bit lonely, please come and hug me…”

Ah, this is life, feeling the warmth of the sun after a cold Khuri desert night...

“Ah, this is life, feeling the warmth of the sun after a cold Khuri desert night…”

Hi, I´m from Jaisalmer...please leave me alone, can´t you see I am taking a nap!

“Hi, I´m from Jaisalmer…please leave me alone, can´t you see I am taking a nap!”

"Feeling a bit sad today..."

“Feeling a bit sad today…”

Ah, too much curry ...perhaps some yoga will help!

“Ah, too much curry …perhaps some yoga will help!”

Hi dear, you look friendly :)

“Hi dear, you look friendly, and I am sleepy…”

snooze...

“Snooze…”

"Any solution to get a bit of privacy is good, now get out of here..."

“Any solution to get a bit of privacy is good, now get out of here…”

"Yes, I am too sexy for myself, uhh, don't want to put my precious bum on this dirty ground, need to find my Maharaja again, did you see him?"

“Yes, I am too sexy for myself, uhh, don’t want to put my precious bum on this dirty ground, need to find my Maharaja again, did you see him?”

"I see you enjoy the streets of Jodhpur and you think you are funny arranging your picture so that it look like I have a crazy turban on my head..."

“I see you enjoy the streets of Jodhpur and you think you are funny arranging your picture so that it looks like I have a crazy turban on my head…”

"Don´t you think my beautiful fur comes out lovely with the background?"

“Don´t you think my beautiful fur comes out lovely with the background?”

"Thanks for the chapati you left, not hungry right now..."

“Thanks for the chapati you left, not hungry right now…”

"Hello, hope you like my hometown Udaipur, I do..."

“Hello, hope you like my hometown Udaipur, I do…”

"I know I am more furry that dogs usually are around here, but I´m cute..."

“I know I am more furry than dogs usually are around here, but I´m cute…”

"Please take me with you home..."

“Please take me with you home…”

"In the land of kings one should pose like a king, hope your shot turns out well..."

“In the land of kings one should pose like a king, hope your shot turns out well…”

"Ahh, rolling around in the dirty sand of Pushkar, that is life..."

“Ahh, rolling around in the dirty sand of Pushkar, that is life…”

"Hi dude..."

“Hi dude…”

"Even if you call me the little Hyena I know you love me and so does everyone here in hotel Cuba Agonda. I am so happy here with my friends, pity my skin treatment did not help..."

“Even if you call me the little Hyena I know you love me and so does everyone here in hotel Cuba Agonda. I am so happy here with my friends, pity my skin treatment did not help…”

"Alright, you have been chasing me around for days with your camera, I´ll give you one pose, that´s it..."

“Alright, you have been chasing me around for days with your camera, I´ll give you one pose, that´s it…”

"OK, here you are again. Because I am the boss of this area I'll give you one more shot..."

“OK, here you are again. Because I am the boss of this area I’ll give you one more shot…”

Appendix…

Louise´s sneaking photo of me in Jaisalmer...

Louise´s sneaking photo of me in Jaisalmer…

Louise trying to capture a picture of all the dogs of hotel Cuba Agonda :-)

Louise trying to capture a picture of all the dogs of hotel Cuba Agonda 🙂

A summary of Rajasthan & Goa

Me and my friend Louise are just back from an absolutely amazing holiday in India! I have brought back so much material that it is going to take rather some time to compile and structure it all. But below follows a serie of pictures that for me summarizes our four magic weeks in India. This is for sure a trip that is growing in my mind for each day that passes by. Wonderful India, I miss you!

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The two first weeks were spent in Rajasthan, “the land of kings”. We were taken care of by the superb small travel agency called Diana Tours & Travel. I heard about this company about 1 1/2 year ago through an ex colleauge who had used them to tailor make their tour through Rajasthan.

From the first moment I got in touch with them I felt I was in the right hands. They were so helpful and cheerful that upon arrival it felt like I already knew them. Ishrar and Harriethe (an Indian/Dutch couple) treated us as friends and invited us to have dinner in their home both on the first and last evening of the tour.

Ishrar and Harriethes business is going better and better. Mouth to mouth the reputation about their excellent service is spreading. Before Ishrar used to do all the tours himself (Harriether is the administrator) but since it is going so well and he had some Italian guests arriving at the same time, he had arranged his brothers son Tanzeem as a guide for us. Tanzeem had been following his uncle on many tours around Rajasthan but since it was his first tour alone they also arranged an extra driver called Raja.

Together the four of us, Tanzeem, Raja, Louise and me, spend many cheerful hours on the road. And many moments viewing the extraordinary landscapes, forts, temples and colorful surroundings of this part of India. It was a very safe and fun trip which has given us so many new beautiful memories.

After those two weeks we headed down to Goa to finish of with 9 days sun and sea. After so many new impressions in Rajasthan it was the perfect way to end this vacation.

Enjoy below glimpse and hope to see you back for more 🙂

Below, the golden city Jaisalmer

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On the road…

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Below, the blue city Jodhpur

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Below, Ranakpur & Kumbalgarh. First image; our driver Raja and second image; our guide Tanzeem

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Below, the romantic lake city Udaipur

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Below, the holy town Pushkar

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Below, the pink city Jaipur

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Below, Taj Mahal Agra, Uttar Pradesh

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Below, Agonda beach Goa

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