Christmas time, Mandrem and wine

I don't think we realised how tired we were until we saw the beautiful beach and expanse of the Arabian Sea on arrival at our "treehouse" just a stones throw from the beach at 'Dunes' In Mandrem.

Dear reader, please don't think I am complaining. I am not. There is nothing I'd rather be doing right now than travelling with my darling Duncan Turner, but backpacking can be tiring, on the body and the mind. And we were tired. From way back before we even left the UK we were tired and although we stopped in Udaipur there is NOTHING like a beach, especially Mandrem beach to relax, really relax.

And relax we did. Ayurvedic massages, sleeping til 10, long breakfasts, lovely food, the odd cocktail. And all while celebrating Christmas.

On Christmas Eve we met some lovely Norwegians. Marianne, Sure and Heidi and raised our glasses to the festive season. On Christmas Day we sat on the beach and then in the evening we had the most amazing meal at a little restaurant named Café Nui. Go there if you ever go to Mandrem. The tuna tartare and the lychee vodka martini were sublime. As was the wine. We really didn't miss Christmas at home (other than seeing our families, of course!). And we defintely didn't miss Cliff singing about mistletoe and Christian rhymes or the constant hum-drum of those same old Christmas songs everywhere you go from mid-November.

On the 27th we even went dancing at a very Ibiza-esque beach bar with Sure who was DJing there along with his DJ brother and the Norwegian girls and got suitably tipsy and danced like no one was watching. We'd both missed dancing, a lot!

Our Norwegian buddies

And then suddenly the 28th December was upon us. The only date fixed in our loose travelling itinerary. The day the London gang were to arrive in Goa. So we travelled 3 hours south to Patnem to have one of the best weeks of our trip particularly because it was there that Duncan got down on one knee and popped the question...


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