Ramnath, my landlord, host and friend at Mountain Palms, Patnem Beach, Goa, India

I’ve been staying at the Mountain Palms beach huts on Patnem Beach for the last 5 nights (and the next 6). I’ve eaten all but one of my meals here.

The place is run by Ranmath, a lovely Goan guy, who with his excellent team will do anything he can do to help, without ever trying to sell me anything. Which is a very welcome scenario in India, where everyone has something they want you to buy.

He lets me keep a tab and I was even a few days late in paying my rent, to which he didn’t say a word.

His English is good enough for us to chat about various things. This summer he got a bank loan and spent a lot of money on his huts only to find fewer tourists visiting because of the increased complication with tourists visas. I hope he makes enough this year and things get better next year.

I asked him what he did before he built the restaurant, and he said he didn’t have a job. He says that in March everything is taken apart and packed away. He then has the rainy summer to relax. I’ve noticed that he and his team are up at at least 7am every morning, and they stay open until everyone has gone to bed, normally 11pm. They don’t have a break, but they do play chess in the evening when it’s quiet.

So, I’ll enjoy the remainder of my stay here. I’ve got a little list of things to do – visit Green Island, rent a kayak, maybe a fishing trip, writing, reading, but no Dolphin spotting trip. I’ll save that until I meet my Girlfriend in a few weeks.

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