One of the things i love about Goa is that every visit is a new discovery, a new story. And in spite of coming back to an injured knee from a bike accident – I’m still reeling from the epic last trip, largely thanks to the time spent at Vaayu.
I first heard of Vaayu from my mate Sumit Jagdale who insisted i make Ashvem my hub whenever i make the next trip, and i’m glad i did!
Located at the Northern end of Ashvem beach’s lazy estuary, Vaayu is an eclectic mix of a lovely and relaxed beach resort + healthy cafe + art collective + water adventure sports haven. One look at their website and i was sold. I had to do this.
On the first day, i just chilled by the cafe and fell in love with it – trying their excellent coffee and one of the best organic chocolate mousse i’ve ever had. (You must try it). Rahul, the friendly and chilled out owner also got my signing up for a SUP (standup paddling) session before i could figure out if i was really up for it.
So the next day, I did land up waking up enthusiastically for my first ever SUP experience. I was a tad nervous but Rahul was a pro at getting me to chill and enjoy it. Incidentally we were accompanied by the Lonely Planet India team who were staying at Vaayu too.
I’m a slow learner, so it took me a while to stop being tacky and get my technique right – but both i and the girl from LP did manage to fall once (that kinda adds to the fun!).
The weather was perfect at 11 am – sunny enough but not burning our skins just yet, and clear skies for gorgeous pictures. Don’t ask me how i managed to take pictures while balancing on a SUP board, but that’s how easy it got after a while!
Rahul spotted a plastic bottle floating in the distance, and told us we’ll be playing a game – fetch it, pick it up and get it to a trash can on the shore. What a fun way to instill and imbibe a culture of keeping your habitats clean, i thought as i swerved to pick up the bottle. A while later, a tree leaf landed on my board as if Mother Nature approved of the gesture 🙂
After a one hour session, i was hungry and looking forward to a great meal at the cafe, where Shanaya was waiting. We had some great tuna sandwich, fresh juice and coffee and later headed to check out their art gallery, The Vision Collective.
Another fabulous and charming space Rahul & Co. have created to get artists together in line with their mission statement:
“to inspire a lifestyle driven by adventure, creativity and fun, which has a positive impact on the community and our natural environment”.
We decided to come back to Vaayu for a stay the next time, for an even more holistic experience. This time, we stayed at the Wanderers Hostel in Morjim – perhaps the only hostel i know in Goa, which has a swimming pool. But more on that later 🙂