'I believe any trip in search of wildlife can be coupled with physical activity and elements of cultural diversity to form a thrilling opportunity '
John H.Eickert

Today the air is cold and raw, and brings a blush to my cheeks. The sun is weak and provides little more than light. It is hard for my mind to not wander to warm places and sea breezes. I think of Goa.

Few outsiders realize some of the finest beaches and most incredible sunsets in the world can be found in India, a very short train-ride south from Mumbai. Most of the beaches in and near Goa are wide, white, and lined with coconut palms. I had not originally planned to visit those beaches, Goa apparently being too tame for a hardened adventurer. Advice from some male travelers changed my plans, I decided to go and see what there might be to see.

I found a room in Panaji, I think it was a hotel named ‘The Pearl,’ and walked out to Gaspardias Beach. It was a wonderful day, warm with soft breezes. I strolled down through the vendors; a person could buy anything here. I settled on a bit of sand, applied sunscreen, and relaxed. Suddenly, a young woman broke my relaxation, she explained some men had been harassing her and following her, could she just sit with me for a while? She was certain the men would leave her alone if she were seen with me. I looked closely at her, long curly sun burnt hair and friendly smile. Her eyes were green. She was very attractive. I introduce myself and where I was from. She replied she was from Great Britain and named ‘Lauren.’ She sat down next to me. She smelled of coconut and frangipani. We spent the most of the day talking and lying in the sun. In time, she shed her clothes to reveal scant beachwear. She asked that I apply sunscreen to her, as she did not wish to get oil on her hands. It was okay by me! I felt a bond growing between us. Later, as the day wore on, I sensed she was troubled and asked if I could help. She was still concerned about the men from the morning; after all, they knew where she was staying. I suggested she could move to my hotel, actually, I suggested she could stay with me. My room had two beds and was paid for. My lonely heart leapt when she agreed. She asked that I accompany her to her hotel, help with the moving, and check out.

At the front desk of her hotel, she found all her money had been packed and would I be a dear to pay her six-week hotel bill for her. She would pay me back when we got to my room and she unpacked. Of course, I paid her bill. We walked to my hotel. I carried her duffel bag while she shouldered her backpack. Along the way, she remembered something she had left. Lauren quickly told me she would run back and then catch up before I could miss her. She kissed me passionately and ran off before I could think. I went to my room and waited. I waited into the evening. Finally, I looked into the tattered duffel, which I had carried for her. It contained wadded up sheets and nothing else. My cheeks blushed with realization. I never saw her again.

I spent the next week enjoying the sand, the sun, and the great food of Panaji. The lessons in life come in all shapes and sizes. I have since recommended the beaches of India to many people. As far as I know, none had a similar experience. There are all kinds of adventures. Cheers.

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