Luckily when we arrived at Marari Beach Paradise, our neighbours in the next room were a fabulous French couple, Sophie and Louis who we got along with immediately. We had some laughs as we don’t speak much French and they only spoke a little more English – Google translate was a godsend! Naturellement Sophie is a fantastic cook, so on 23rd December we decided we would like to do some Christmas cooking. She suggested tuna carpaccio, so we got up very early Christmas Eve morning to visit the local fish market along the coast to see what we could find.
On one of the boats coming in to shore we saw some big, shiny yellow and grey fish that looked like tuna. We eventually persuaded the fishermen to sell us one of these. It weighed 4kgs and cost 1,000 Rupees – about £10.
In the end we discovered that our fish wasn’t a tuna and also was not suitable for carpaccio, so we made fish tartare instead which was tasty and delicious. For Christmas Eve dinner we also had fresh prawns provencal made by yours truly, and small potatoes with butter and mint – yum! Our hosts, Martin and Mary were concerned this wasn’t proper food, so they also provided the ubiquitous chicken curry and rice. We topped the meal off with big platters of fresh tropical fruit.
Most of our Christmas Day was spent on the beach and we were lucky to have blue skies and hot sunshine. Swimming in the warm Indian ocean on Christmas Day was amazing!
This was our first Christmas away from home and it was odd. Surprisingly we didn’t miss any of the traditional Christmas holiday activities like Christmas dinner, TV, decorations, music, presents and too much to eat and drink. The only thing we missed was the family and as we miss them every day, that didn’t feel that much harder than usual. We were lucky to be able to FaceTime or speak to everyone, which definitely helped us feel a little better.