(nope, that’s not a type-o, it’s how we say hello in Dutch)
We are Lenny and Anouk from The Netherlands and we look forward to meet and greet you at our beloved Jungle Melody.
We decided to start a restaurant and bar nestled deep in the jungle of Goa, India. Combining the experience of Lenny’s years of travelling and Anouk’s interest for nature and different cultures, we aim to create not just any run of the mill hang out place. Besides it being a chill place where fun loving free spirits hang out, connect and express themselves, we also want to serve a higher goal.
We want to contribute to a brighter future by making Jungle Melody a place where we create awareness for a greener and cleaner planet, and lead by example through living a self-sustainable life as much as possible.
We build everything ourselves – with any help we can get from likeminded souls who kindly offer their skills, time and energy to us – made from natural and sustainable materials. We work with solar panels and our future vision is that we will serve dishes in our restaurant made from freshly grown ingredients from our own garden.
We’d love to meet you and see you soon!
Unspoilt by mass tourism, Jungle Melody retains the raw, natural beauty of the jungle near Agonda. It’s nestled amidst ancient trees and lush green shrub.
The owners and creators Lenny and Anouk are both conscientious for the planet’s future and reverent of past ways of life by the locals. Jungle Melody is their beloved brain child, it’s an off-grid place, meaning that the bar-restaurant (and huts) are not connected to the nation’s supplies of electricity, gas and water.
The objective is to be completely self sufficient. It’s solar powered. To protect the environment there are compost toilets, which are really easy and pleasant to use. Everything is made out of natural and locally available building materials.
We captured our progress and reported back to our supporters and funders. Below you can read how it all started and how far we’ve come. Thanks for your interest in following our journey!
Wauw, more than 1,5 year since the last update. We just read over the last update and men…little did we know.
We left to the Netherlands in April 2020 for what we thought would be only a few months. Unfortunately this turned into 9 months as India kept the borders closed for a long time. We were able to earn some money in this months, which was good. But wauw, we missed Kaya and we missed Goa a lot. After 9 months we finally managed to get a new business visa and we arrived back in Goa in Januari 2021.
We couldnt wait to see Jungle Melody again after 9 months. The jungle had grown like crazy and it looked even more beautiful as before. We only cleared what was really necessary. We started with our Friday nights as soon as it was possible and continued working on the space. We loved to see it grow and we loved the happy faces of people visiting us!
We got solar panels, we got a water borewell… everything to become completely self-sustainable! Our dream almost turned into reality!
Unfortunately in April 2021 the second lockdown was announced, which meant we had to stop the work again! We decided to stay for a bit longer and went back to Holland to see family end of June 2021. It was lovely to spend another summer in Holland, but nothing beats Goa. So… Sept 2021 we moved back again!
The rain was still full on back then, but we enjoyed the greenery which was greener than we ever saw before. On days where it was possible we worked. We started building our first hut, where our chef was going to sleep. In December it finally got dry and our Friday nights could start off again. Although tourism is still a bit low, we cannot complain about the amount of people visiting our Pizza Party & Bonfire Jams! Every week is different, with different people and different instruments. We love it!
In the mean time we also started building our toilet, shower and second hut. We created a lounge space next to the restaurant which is used often for games or just chilling!
We started planting our own herbs and veggies and its growing like crazy! So, soon we hope to be able to provide you with food from our own garden!
The place is really coming together and we are very happy about it.
Wanna see all the progress for yourself? Come by!! 😀
Lenny & Anouk
A lot has changed (again) since the previous update. We almost finished building the restaurant. We now have two really nice bars, a kitchen, an awesome second floor and we even made tables. The chairs are ordered and being made, we are now just waiting untill they are allowed to cross the state border. We got the most important license from the local mayor, so we also could finally apply for electricity. When this will arrive… We don’t know.
India has been in lockdown since 21st of March, and therefore not much happened since then. But, in the weeks before, we actually managed to open our bar 1 evening a week and during the day. We organised jam nights, stargazing nights and wood/stone decoration workshops. It was amazing to see everyone enjoying our place and we got a lot of compliments about it.
Unfortunately this season has come to an early end because of COVID19. There is no other solution than to wait and see what the next season will bring. We stored our stuff and made the place monsoon-proof, so we can be in the Netherlands for a few months.
This current period also makes us realise even more the importance of making our project as self-sustainable and natural as possible. Nature is healing and when this is all over, we want to contribute to that with our project. So one of our first goals of next season will be to run on solar power.
We are very happy we managed to finish building our restaurant/bar, thanks to all your donations. It has been a bumpy, crazy ride, but we enjoyed it. Next season we don’t need much time to open up the restaurant and can, in the meantime, continue building our huts. We can’t wait to see all of you one day in Jungle Melody.
For now, stay safe and let’s hope everything will be back to normal soon. Maybe with a little different mindset towards nature and each other!
Lenny & Anouk
For the ones following us on Facebook and Instagram this won’t be new. But as not everyone uses that, we will give an update of the last month.
We have been working quite hard and most of the building is finished. We made a nice natural roof, so now we have shade. We finished the second floor and the view from here is mindblowing. You can watch over the jungle and see the faraway mountains. Especially after dark, this spot is awesome for the most breathtaking stargazing.
We finished the first bar, completely made out of bamboo and wood. We are still struggling with electricity, so we had to cut everything by hand which was hard.
But in the end it was worth it 🙂 The bigger the effort, the bigger the reward.
Lenny turned 30 last week, so we held our first party at Jungle Melody. It was really nice to see people enjoying our place, making music by the bonfire, drinking at our bar and stargazing on our second floor.
We, with the help of friends, also started painting our walls with as much animals as we can think of. We will show the result when it’s finished.
A new workawayer arrived, with a very much appreciated and needed extra pair of hands for the coming weeks. That is really helpful, because there’s still so much to do. At the moment we are building the toilets and are decorating the place.
But – most importantly – we are enjoying the ride. Especially now that we see it’s all coming together and people really like our place. This all was not possible without all your help (people who donated), so thanks again❤️
We have had some volunteers from Workaway helping us out during our current construction process.
We finished building the walls and plastered it, so we can start painting now.
We started building a second floor from which there’s a killer view to the stars and galaxies beyond. The second floor is almost finished, it only just needs some small corners to properly finalise it and make it safe for use.
We are already using the kitchen for preparing our own food, and it’s working great!
A lot of people ask us when we plan to open. This is a really difficult question as not a single day is the same in India and things take (some/a lot) more time than back home. We don’t want to stress ourselves, and put a hard deadline. We just keep showing up and put in work every day, so progress is there. Up until now it’s going well and… we open when we are eady to open…
We are so very grateful for all the support we are getting. This makes us really happy!
Now that Anouk is also in Goa, we decided it was time to move back to our jungle hut. Over the last period Lenny had stayed in an apartment, due to the bad weather and a passing cyclone. But now it was time to move all our stuff back to the jungle. The first night back in the hut treated us with huge thunder and rain. We got a little wet, but things improved since then and the weather is a lot better.
First thing we did was removing the huge bamboo trees that fell down during the cyclone. We also started with the entrance of our restaurant, which means a lot of digging to make beautiful stairs. A lot of work, but Anja, Anouk’s friend, is staying with us and this is a big help! We still enjoy it and walk around with smiles on our faces!
Thanks again for all the support ❤️❤️
The frame and the floor of the restaurant are finished. Unfortunately it’s still raining, and that’s hindering the pace of our work, but we do everything we can. The rain is supposed to stop in a few days.. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Everyone here in Agonda is really enthusiastic about our project. People talk about it, ask questions and are coming over to see what we are doing or help us out. Really nice!
Coming Monday Anouk is flying into Goa again. Extra hands means faster building and a faster opening of the restaurant .
We will keep you posted!
Lenny & Anouk