Traveler's legends are chock full of stories about amazing, hidden paradises. Where the skies are blue and the beach huts are cheap and the beer flows like wine and beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano.
Well, after ten months on the road, we have finally found that place. Where a bambo hut a stone's throw from the surf will cost you $3 a day. Where $3 more will rent you a motorbike to zip around from cove to cove. Where shaded lounge chairs line the beach, connected by low tables with fruity sheeshas. Where seafront shacks provide cold beers to mellow patrons for less than a dollar and hash smoke hangs thick in the air. Where a cliffside walk leads to a secluded beach with an emerald green lagoon spilling into the ocean. Where you take your pick from the fresh live catch of the day for a candle lit dinner in the sand. We have finally discovered that magical spot where for $500 bucks you could live like a king for a month or more.
Sure, Arambol is a little rough around the edges. Off the shore, the town crumbles into a maze of confused construction and ramshackle apartments. It has it's share of beach garbage bonfires burning bright in the night, and the sea is certainly not the bluest we've ever seen. But there is an undeniable charm here that makes me want to stay a long, long time. And since we no longer have that kind of time, it's a place I would definitely like to return to.