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I am in love with Mumbai (means a lot coming from the heart of a Dilliwali ;))! And one of the main reasons that made me fall in love with this coastal and immensely modern metropolitan beauty is the fact that you can be a sophisticated CEO in a huge MNC and a happy hippie singing with your guitar by the beach all at the same time in aamchi Mumbai! Being blessed with a close proximity to the mighty Western Ghats (UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 8 “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world!), the place is a mecca for Earned Leaves Traveler’s like me who thrive on weekends to satisfy their “getaway palate”, all I mean is that if you are in Mumbai and looking for a short weekend escapade aka “Timeout” then all you need is a strong “WILL” coz there is always a “WAY” awaiting your arrival 🙂
ELT in Arnala aka Mini Goa
Seriously guys! You gotta visit this place to know why I named her mini Goa! Well, once again it was the best and my most favorite time of the week and as I always say as an ELT these weekends are our most powerful weapons so always use them wisely ;).I am bitten by this “AirBnB bug” so I was looking for some nice and cozy pocket friendly set up not very far away from Mumbai close to a nice beach (had already been to Matheran Hills last week so felt like tasting beach this time). I literally found everything that I was looking for in this beautiful farm cum beachside property which came at just 1200 INR a day, what else I just bagged and booked the deal for 2 days and soon I realized those were one of the best 2400 INR I had ever spent on something 😉
After a 2 hour drive we had entered GOA!
Roadtrips from Mumbai (minus the numerous tolls) are pleasant and always so scenic (especially during the monsoons). Unlike the real Goa for which you gotta drive a good 600kms (NOT anymore!) to witness the intimidating Portuguese style bungalows and of course the mighty mascots of tropics – coconut trees, this time after just one tenth of that distance into the narrow, clean and green lanes of Arnala, I encountered the same astonishing topography and just like that my hidden but ready to pop happy hippe side was up and glowing 😉
Remember I booked an AirBnB here, as I already mentioned it was a farm stretching over an area of 20 acres along the Arnala beach. Honestly guys, I was awed as we entered our car into the gates of “Samudra Beach Hut” (name of the AirBnB), it is hosted by Deepraj who is also the owner and stays in the property with his mom. They have owned the farm from 3 generations now, it was bought by Deepraj’s grandfather from a Parsi businessman in 1950s. After this quick introduction we were readily directed to our HUT, the hut has two separate rooms with separate entrance (spacious and clean but with only the basic necessities, totally justified at this price). Not much difference in the rooms except one is facing the beach and since we checked in first so we got a chance to choose and our choice was pretty obvious ;). The HUT is not a part of Deepraj’s house which is just 50ms away so there is no privacy issue at all and at the same time host is always there to help you with your random queries or just a quick chat to know more about the vicinity which is amazing as what better way to know a place than from the natives!
ELT’s things to do
Head straight to Coco Hut – Oh boy! As you step out of the main gate you can’t miss this nice and once again Goan style open air bar called Coco Hut. Soak your soul in chilled beers and top it up with chicken drumsticks while engulfing and admiring the nature all around you!
Go for a Farm Tour – Deepraj will be happy to take you around his property and introduce you to the many plantations here, you will spot the tropical fruits like pineapple, banana, papaya and of course coconut growing right outside your hut. There is a huge old well with stairs which has some fun stories linked to it so do not hesitate to ask the host about them 😉
Hippie Hammock Life – Since you have left the concrete jungle behind and have stepped into the nature’s abode why not just “do nothing” for a while. How about gazing the sky and absorbing the fresh smell of greenery around you. Top it up with your favorite beverage and book!
Beach walk – Witness the colorful endless skyline during sunset and sunrise on the beach just 100ms from the HUT. Walk on the beach with your Bae and do not forget to try the local beach cuisines (chiefly Chinese junk food J) which was actually very tasty and of course couple it up with a “nariyal pani” or may be few chilled beers 😉
Hippo Pool – Yes! The farmhouse has a mini hippo pool (not for swimming just for lazing inside like a hippo), perfect for the tropical summers so just step inside and chillax!
Walk to the Arnala Fort – You will see many fisherman boats from the beach and as you walk on the beach strip in the direction of these boats (around 2kms walk from the hut), you will spot the Arnala fort. Just hike to the top and enjoy the beach panorama scattered all around you!
Go Mangoes – The mangoes of this region are simply yum, majorly Hafus variety so don’t forget to get your hands on some.
Check out a few water park resorts – The area is flooded with water park resorts in all shapes and sizes, it is difficult to miss them. You may go to a few (very minimal fees) to enjoy a full-fledged pool and some water rides. Deepraj will be happy to guide you on the best ones in the vicinity.
Last but certainly not the least, come back home safely with tons of amazing beach memories and a new story for your weekend getaway chapter!
Ciao for now 🙂
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Twitter & Instagram: @dmehta_elt