Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Cola Beach

This slice of hidden paradise will give you enough reading and relaxation time than you could ever imagine. Enjoy the almost empty beach, palm tree scenery and the sound of the sea. The only thing spoiling your view are the daft poses pulled by the package holiday tourists that appear throughout the day, however this did give us all a lot of entertainment.

Clothing: Bikinis, bare legs/arms acceptable

Shopping: None

Tip: There are no sign posts to Blue Lagoon, you need to look for Cola Beach and drive a mile or so down a bumpy dirt track until you will come across it.

We bartered a taxi for 450Rs between the four of us to take us from Palolem to Cola Beach. At first we were being asked to pay 700Rs but there is so much competition that this price is easily negotiable.

Tip: Don't forget the 'Old Monk' rum.

Our room was actually a tent, but not the kind you get back home when you go camping, it was more like a small marquee with a bed, a couple of small tables, a bathroom attached to the back and a pretty interior. Again there were only about 15 plots here so it didn't feel over crowded.

The only bars/restaurants are the ones already supplied with the accommodation. There are no shops and you would need transport to get to one so make sure you bring enough supplies if you are staying here for a few days. Alternatively you can hire a moped from Blue Lagoon.

The tent we stayed in

 Downtime in the hammock

Cola Beach has 3 separate accommodation spots for tourists to stay. There is one directly opposite Blue Lagoon with roughly 10 huts, all neatly arranged with plenty of space, and another on the north side of the beach that had tents in the same style as Blue Lagoon. These are for used for the package holiday tourists and out of interest we asked how much a hut/tent cost and got quoted 6000Rs per night with all your food and drinks included. I thought this was a rip off as there is no way you could get through 5000Rs worth of food and drink during a day and night here and the accommodation was no better than ours.

Cola beach

 The view from our tent

We had a couple of cloudy days here but this didn't affect our stay as we always found something to do. We made a fire on the beach and drank too much rum on the first night so it was nice to relax after dinner with a film on the second. We were due to stay here for 2 nights but as we were all enjoying it so much we decided to extend our stay to another night.

The fire we made on the beach

During the second night a storm broke out and the sea came right up to the barrier wall, flooding the lagoon and washing away the Lifeguard hut. Palolem was also affected and a number of fishing nets and boats were swept away. The sea was still too wild to swim in the following day and the sand bar had completely shifted changing the whole shape of the beach area, by the third day the weather had finally started to calm down.

Calm before the storm

Accommodation wise i loved it, it's just a shame that the staff seemed a bit unfriendly and slightly useless. There were at least 15 members of staff here and only a few guests, but most of the staff hung around doing nothing and we needed to ask for our bill at least 3 times before we ever received it. If the service at Blue Lagoon was improved then i would give this place 10 out of 10.

 The lifeguard hut that got washed away during the storm

To leave Cola Beach you need to hire a cab/rickshaw/moped. Blue Lagoon were trying to charge us 250Rs just to take us a mile or so down the bumpy track and back onto the main road, we tried to barter but they refused and would walk away. Thinking this was an over-priced service we decided to find someone ourselves. Bart went searching for over an hour and on the way back he saw a pick up truck and asked the guys for a lift. Luckily they agreed, so we boarded the back of this open truck and gave them a bottle of Old Monk rum to say thank you.

We then caught a bus from the main road back to Palolem and managed to barter a cab from Palolem to Anjuna for 1200Rs. This was very cheap, when we had asked previously we were quoted 2000Rs by almost everybody.

You can travel by bus to Anjuna but we had spent so long trying to get out of where we were staying that we had all had enough and felt that 300Rs each to travel the 2 and a half hour drive was in fact a pretty good deal.

Tip: Don't forget to barter hard!

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