Going to Goa?



to go in Goa?

a small state by Indian standards

but if you’re short on time

what do you do?


usually arriving in Panjim

12 hours through the Konkan Hills from Mumbai

best to get out of there

it’s noisy

traffic bothered.

in the north

Anjuna’s got palm trees.

taking a bus out winds it’s way

through little settlements

till you get to the beach

at that point a rocky cliff

shops and cafe’s hanging on the edge.

you wander through

if you’re looking to buy a sarong

maybe a shirt

someone’s going to offer it to you.

you can get down to the beach

heading passed the market stalls.

it leads you out onto a sandy strip

complete with a small herd of cows

the day i was there

and beach huts

a lot of beach huts

Anjuna’s like a busy town on a beach.


Further south

past Panjim

Benaulium sits about 20 min out from Old Goa train station

guide books call it a place for older


maybe so but once you’re

on the beach

drinking a beer under a thatched roof

eating a Goan fish curry

watching stars

gentle waves lapping twenty metres away

who really cares?

We stayed at Anthy’s Guest House

our non AC room

has a blistering fan

accelerates into action

keeps the mosquitoes off.

Benaulim, a long stretch of beach,

the Arabian Sea curving over the horizon to Arabia and the Middle East, the water temperature in December perfect

roughly the same as the air

or cooler in the heat of the day

easily able to lie in it for hours

without getting cold

the water clean

the sand too

the people few


lifeguards are plentiful

sitting quietly the entire 20km

red flags fluttering in a constant


the sun beating down

the hard sand stretches inland enough

even in high tide

to make cycling ideal.


 what’s on the beach

is surprising:-

not especially

 cows, dogs,

long fat snakes.

the snake makes you think twice before you hit the water,

like the cow do pats in Anjuna.

nor especially the fishing boats

pulled ashore

nets brimming in sardines

not the dogs

wandering howling

non threatening

not the people

scattered except for a few concentrated

para sailing

jet skiers

nor the beach hut restaurants

sun beds in the sun

where young fire dancer/eaters

busk in the evenings

nor eagles diving in wind currents

in groups of 3 or 4

where normally they are solitary


surprising is

the occasional buffalo

being taken up the beach for a walk

and a wash

a Brahman bull too

was the snake 

lost or in transit?

and butterflies hovering over the sea

what business do butterflies have with salt water?


bussing it to Palolem

further south

a long winding afternoon

overtaking on hills and corners

and us narrowly missing

another bus

on our side of the road

then a aisle full of school kids

round 2 in the afternoon

blocked our view.

at Palolem

long considered the place to go

looks good

a palm lined curved beach

water clear

restaurants perched at the southern end

overlook the water

oh and huts

a lot of huts

like a mini ghetto of huts

the ones we went in

lined with plastic


but looking like we’re going to melt in there

though there’s electricity.

this is living in beach huts

packed like sardines

no doubt great for some

if you want to meet up with like minded

this has got to be the place


further south still

over the hill

you can walk to Patnem.

not as pretty but far less

huts and people we walked

in the heat

the winter December heat

looking for Sea View Cottages

got off the beach

onto the street

only to be pointed back down again

by a well meaning young woman

texting on a scooter

in the shade of a mango tree

pointing us back down the beach

thinking i suppose we wanted

a cottage with a sea view

not Sea View Cottages.

so back on the beach

the sun like a magnifying glass

then down a side street

finding yellow egg yolk room

of Sea View Cottages

too much for us

so ending up in a

Palm Trees hut

in a palm treed garden

 dark even in the daylight

but us tired by then

and anyway it had character

and a formula 1 like fan

a good mosquito net.


a street walk to the beach

 shop keepers desperate for business

our business

a shortage of tourists


though no one knew why

and from Sheisi the tailor

Reno the palm tree kid

to Vijay the spice man

the young girl next to the manicurist

transiting from the north mother and daughter  

in traditional garb

renting the shop

a tent

for the season

a six month season all nice people exceptionally friendly

not tourist tired


Sanjay and Deva at

Nirvana Cafe on the beach

barbecue seafood

watching the Goan sun goin’ down

while bluesmen singing blues

and us

 around the fire

eating curries

giant prawns

whole fish

and just




that’s where to go in Goa



~ by Drifting, Rambling on January 3, 2014.

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