If you’ve spent much time at all here at Shpics, you’ll know that my idea of paradise is a day that involves getting from A to B, or preferably even C, with plenty of food stops along the way and a camera around my neck to record anything that might just happen to pop up…(things do, you know).

SO..At holiday planning meetings at Shpics mansions, (Tuesdays and Fridays 7.00-10.00pm), when the word beach is mentioned in sentences that don’t include words like ‘between’ and ‘on the way to’ I tend to get a little nervous and use the feigned deafness ploy…..Why do people sit on beaches? Lets be honest they’re simply not designed for sitting…Sand in your sphincter is bad enough, but that water actually tries to creep up on you! Evil, murderous stuff..

NO! You can take yer golden sands and yer sun beds and yer parasols and shove’em where the sun don’t shine! However…..

COLA BEACH, way down at the southern end of Goa is an exception….

See  the name ‘Cola’ and you’d expect the worse…….But don’t fret Dear Reader, the local spelling ‘Khola’ is far more suitable. Would I take you anywhere that offered all day breakfasts, ‘kiss me quick’ hats and fruit machines? Damn right I wouldn’t!

Approach is by a single, saloon killing, rutted track that thankfully smiles sweetly at either motorbikes or 4x4s, and when you do finally come to a teetering stop a couple of hundred yards above the Arabian sea you’ll realise that the ‘Cola’ is not of the ‘Coca’ variety…..One shack and maybe a dozen tents dotted under palm trees and that’s as corporate as it gets.

Chuck your back pack in our tent, that’s the one over there, and I’ll take you out for a first look.


My pal Prasad doesn’t like it when falling coconuts kill the occasional tourist that makes it here to Khola so he removes the loose ones…The good news is not just that you don’t get your skull caved in, but the loose ones tend to be nice and juicy… It’s a Win Win!


Now if you’re anything like me, you’ll immediately go into ‘health and safety’ mode and think about the dangers inherent in negotiating a beach strewn with copious cropped coconuts, especially if you’ve had a skinful…But worry ye not, they’ve got it sorted..


Safety consciousness has never been so colourful!


Tomorrow I might actually show you some of the beach itself……………………Time for some coconut juice and a splash of dark rum?

Yes I thought so….

All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde.

    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Thanks George….I’ve enjoyed working on these..
      I treated myself to an Indian cookery book by Rick Stein only very recently and the photos in it are simply amazing……They’ve all got a real depth of colour but with a really intense contrast…I was aiming for something similar….
      I’ve got a way to go but still……..:-)


  1. scillagrace

    I was 6 when my family visited Jamaica. I’ll never forget the image of a local taking his wooden canoe across the river, shimmying up a palm tree, and finally presenting a coconut to me, clipped at the top so that I could drink the milk. I’ve been nuts about coconut ever since. He wasn’t wearing such colorful clothing, though!


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Hi Scilly buddy
      The ONLY way to drink coconut is straight from the tree…Just make sure you’ve got a bottle of dark rum in your backpack….(Even if you’re only 6 it’s criminal to miss out the dark rum, and I reckon Jamaica’s would be even better than India’s).
      Sadly, I’ve never been to Jamaica, in fact I’ve never been anywhere in the Caribbean…..Yet another geographical challenge I need to address before I shuffle off my mortal coil…..So many coconuts, so little time.


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