A short walk away from Arambol’s main beach leads us to the edge of a little valley of luscious Indian jungle. Hidden in its depths of mango and cashew trees, is the Banyan tree.

The tree is festooned in prayer flags, adorned with altars and offerings, and inhabited by a resident Russian hippy. In a mixture of broken English, Hindi and Russian, bidding “Namaste, welcome”, he explains that he’s been living by the tree for 4 months, and India his new home now. He tosses his dreads, lights a smoke, and speaks with dreamy eyes about Goa in season time. But now season is over, and the peace train is rolling out of the sandy psychedelic station. He’s just cleaning up his house, then running to catch it, where ever it might take him.

We bestow blessings and offerings of flowers to the tree, and leave this wonderful weirdo to tend his pet scorpion and finish packing.