Hi everyone, Returned from two weeks at the Marinha Dourada on Friday (2nd visit)and have just about finished the laundry. The weather was VERY HOT - 40+ most days and not a cloud in the sky. The MD was fab as usual. The staff were wonderful and very friendly. We found 3 new restaurants - well new to us anyway. The first was called Nicks Place and is only a five minute walk from the hotel. If you leave by the main entrance and turn right it is just past the money exchange shop on the left hand side of the road. We ate there about 4-5 times - breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have an upstairs 'sun terrace', shaded by an enormous mango tree, where you can sit and watch the world go by. The food was excellent and good value with all tastes catered for, and the staff were great. If you go there please say hello to Rakesh and Agnel from Leigh and Neil. The second one is called Starlight. This restaurant is used mainly by the locals and the food is fantastic - mainly curries. My hubby loves a HOT curry and he wasn't disappointed.The deco is a bit scruffier that Spice or Saffron- but in the dark - yes we had plenty of power cuts -you can't tell and the atmosphere is great.The prices are very cheap - approx half the price of the fancier restaurants but the quality of the food is very good.The Starlight is in Arpora, so again is within walking disance of the MD. The third is called Honey Bar. Again excellent service and very good prices. It is opposite Baba's Supermarket/Renton Manor so again was within walking distance of the MD. We went to Panjim Market by bus - an unforgettable experience - how many people can they squeeze onto 1 bus??-we even had some hanging off the outside!!. The smells and colours of the market were amazing. We went on a Friday so the fish and vegetable market was there alongside all the clothes, bedding etc. We also visited Anjuna market, where we bought some Tibetan silver. Unfortunately the Night Market is still closed. We visited several beaches. Our favourite was Small Vagator. You need to hire a cab or go by scooter as it is quite remote. They have lovely cottages for rent - 1200 rupees a night, a few beach shacks and a Buddah's face carved into the rocks on the beach. We had a lovely peaceful day. We did go to Baga beach but found it too busy for us so we wandered up the path by Baga Creek. After a bit of mountaineering we found a secluded cove with one beach shack. Sorry I can't remember what it was called, but it was an oasis of peace and quiet. Well worth a visit if you don't mind a bit of climbing.
We didn't do any of the trips, we will leave that until next time. All in all we had a wonderful, peaceful, but exciting holiday with great food, friendly people and fantastic weather. Roll on next year, we will be back.