We stayed for two days at the Sai Vishram Resort, a lovely 24 acre property right on the sea-shore with a beautiful golden sand beach.
The resort is a vegetarian resort, vegetarian communities being quite common in India.
The story behind the resort as it was told to me is quite an interesting one. Apparently a Bangalore business man became a devotee of Satya Sai Baba and made changes in his life including becoming a vegetarian. Realizing that it was often difficult to find good vegetarian places to stay he had an idea to open a small vegetarian hotel for people like himself to stay at. On a subsequent visit to Puttaparthi to see Satya Sai Baba, he was told by his Guru that whatever dream he had in his mind he should do it on a larger scale and he will be very successful. And so the Sai Vishram Resort was established.
It is a beautiful property which in addition to the beach has large areas of trees and tropical gardens. On both days the resort was visited by a troop of Langurs,who kept us entertained as they leapt from tree to tree.
There are also a number of wells on the property and in this particular one the old skin shed by a snake could be seen trapped in the stone.
In this area Laterite blocks, seen here ready for use, are commonly used for building as it is easily mined and provides good insulation against the heat when used in house construction. The same stone was used in the construction of Angkor Wat some 3000 kms away!
Being sensitive to the culture of the resort we had warned our niece before arriving that she wasn’t to talk about chicken and fish etc. The first evening while in conversation with the resort manager, you can imagine our discomfort when the soup arrived and a little voice piped up and asked the manager if there were prawns in it!
The food in the resort is excellent! On the first morning we had one of my favourite things for breakfast, Neer Dosa and Chutney. More common in the coastal regions particularly around Mangalore, Neer Dosa is a rice pancake made by soaking rice overnight and then blending the next morning in a food mixer with coconut milk and a little salt. It is delicious with anything but particularly nice in the morning with fresh coconut chutney.
I liked it so much that I supersized my next portion (got to keep the tapeworm happy!).
The Boss had a different type of Dosa called Rawa Dosa which is made in a similar way but with semolina. ( I had to snatch it off her mid-mouthful to get a photo!)
We spent the morning on the beach, swimming, kayaking, and jet skiing but by midday it was too hot even for me and we had to retreat to the A/C for the rest of the afternoon. In fact at this time of the year, even by 9am the heat is intense and unless you are by the sea or in a forest, can be pretty hard to cope with. By 5pm the heat is once again more tolerable and we returned to the beach and flew kites in the fresh sea breeze.
A couple of eagles were puzzled about the intruders on their airspace and hovered around for a while wondering whether or not to attack.
A wonderfully relaxing day and as I was to discover a few days later after visiting the overcrowded and shall we say less than pristine beaches around Calangute in North Goa, the beach here is really an unspoilt paradise.