Despite its fortress-like exterior, Ramada Inn, quite off the beaten path, has a reception area that takes the breath away. As we waited to be chaperoned to our rooms, our spirits lifted at the sight of the large colourful frieze that depicted a slice of Goan life... and the sight of the Atrium Bar brought a further twinkle into my husband’s eye.
The golf cart trundled along as we rode in solitary splendour to our room, taking in high archways in white and rust, edged with yellow, green and red motifs, green palms swaying, the dome shaped roofs, cool water bodies, and an infectious spirit of bonhomie as passersby waved, faces wreathed with smiles.
“A sea facing room!” I screamed, as hubby dear grinned, Cheshire-cat like! He had booked it, after all! The view was picture perfect, as the lush green of the lawns, and the darker shaded palms, gave way to the clear blue grey of the sea. Ten minutes later, we had crossed the spectacular courtyard, traversed the aquamarine lagoon shaped pool that lay strewn with bodies [all live ones luckily!], glanced longingly at the Island Bar which sat cosily in the middle of the pool, picked up our blue and white towels, and ensconced ourselves on two deck chairs, all in record time.
It was then that the thought hit me that foreigners have no inhibitions; whether shaped like walruses or Kipling’s Mowgli, they throw off their outer layers with a shrug, waddle into the water and stand there in all their glory, caring two hoots about what people around think of them. People around have better things to do – ogle at nubile young things with never ending legs , shaded glasses, well oiled bodies and oodles of attitude! Which reminded me of the quote that went something like this... 80% of the women think that bikinis are indecent! Others have good figures!
I loved the way the names of the various restaurants tripped off my tongue... Castaway by the pool offered us our first club sandwich, the buffet lunches and dinners were laid out in the Lanai lounge, and Cafe Cascada had that peculiarly Agatha Christie ambience with cream armchairs, white and blue table cloths, and a restful atmosphere into which I expected Hercule Poirot to stride in, pointing a finger at an unlikely murderer.
At twilight we settled down by the poolside, tempted by the dazzling lights that entwined themselves round the trunks of the palm trees, as the blue waters threw their reflection back like so many fairy lights. A crooner with a particularly enchanting voice made the night even more magical as she sang old romantic numbers. “A loaf of bread... a flask of wine and thou beside me, singing in the wilderness...” Omar Khayyam couldn’t have said it any better!