A Month in Goa – Of Maddening Crowds, Great Food and the Secret Beach

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Cows strolling on a beach in Goa

Today I would like to talk about my journey around India, more specifically in Goa. Overall I spent about 3 months traveling in India which was an amazing experience. I spent most of the time in South India because it was winter time and being in the north for longer was not an option, it was too cold.

A little about the place. Goa is the smallest state of India by area and the fourth smallest by population. It is located on the Western side of the country and lies on the coast of the Arabian Sea. Goa is the richest state in India according to the GDP rate as it is more than the double of the country average.

Goa is divided into two parts, North Goa and South Goa. I flew from Europe to North Goa and booked a place for a week in Calangute. This is how far I got in terms of planning. I did not book anything in advance, I did not think about where to go next. It was a true backpacking holiday.

So, as I already mentioned I started out it in Calangute which is a well-known place among tourists in Goa. There are a lot of international and domestic travelers in this city which makes it insanely crowded and on top of that it does not offer nice beaches. At least I didn’t like them too much.

Well, what can I do, I will have to sleep there for week. No problem. After spending a day wandering around the place, I decided to rent a scooter which is the number one means of transportation in Goa.
Riding a bike in India is a totally different experience than riding a bike in Europe. There are not really rules on the road, it looks like there is chaos everywhere but somehow they manage to take care of each other, I haven’t seen any accidents in more than a month. I would recommend everybody to try it at least for a day though, you should be confident driving otherwise it is just too much for a first drive.

Indian Heat

The craziest thing that I saw was a medium size scooter with five people on it and zero helmet. This is what I call maximum utilization.

It is very easy to move around Goa with a bike, the towns are close to each other and there is always parking. So I started discovering North Goa which is in my opinion the best part of this area. There are plenty of beautiful beaches, amazing shacks, cheap guesthouses and most importantly awesome food.
This how I came across my favorite beach in the whole world so far in Vagator, North Goa.

Vagator is a lively town next to Anjuna on the northern part of Goa. It has a beach called Vagator Beach and this beach has a little secluded part (it is called Dream Beach on Google Maps) if you are willing to walk a bit. There are usually hardly any other people other than yourself, the only other regulars are the cows. You don’t have to worry about them, they are everywhere and they are used to humans. They can be a bit annoying if you catch them on a bad day but that doesn’t happen often. So this small beach is just the perfect spot to enjoy some sunbathing or surfing and after you are done with these activities you definitely have to stay to see the sunset, it is truly amazing. I had spent so many evenings here sitting in the sand watching how the sun goes down. Very relaxing. My number one beach at all times. Have a look at these pictures.

Vagator IR

Arambol beach, Goa

You are my calm in the chaos!

After living for a week in Calangute I decided to change a scene and look for accommodation somewhere else. Fortunately, it is quite easy in Goa as there are signs everywhere for guesthouses, you just have to get into the habit of dealing with the Indian style local Airbnb. So I found a place in Anjuna, which is a very busy town in North Goa with the famous weekly Flea Market. I didn’t know how busy Anjuna was until I slept there for the first night. I think it is the party capital of Goa and I was so lucky that next to my room was the hub of the party animals and they were up all night smoking all kinds of things to keep partying. Also the walls were not until the ceiling so I basically didn’t sleep for a week. Anyway, no problem this is just a minor situation which I did not let to ruin the holiday.

I stayed in North Goa for 4 weeks which I mainly spent lying on the beach, doing some yoga and eating delicious Indian food. About the yoga. I found an instructor in Anjuna with great experience who gives classes every morning from 8 am for two hours. I have never done yoga before but I really wanted to try and I loved it. I was basically hurting and sweating for two hours every morning but I felt so good afterwards. It is a great way to start the morning, it fills you up with energy for the rest of the day.

The other highlight in Goa is the food. I always make sure to try local food, I tried to avoid places that looked too touristy, I wanted to eat how the locals do. I found this random breakfast spot on the way to Vagator where you can have an amazing breakfast for roughly £1. I usually had a small portion of lentil dhal which is saucy recipe served with bread, kind of weird for breakfast but great. It was always accompanied with a tasty papaya shake. They love drinking fruit shakes in India, they can be found in almost all the restaurants or just in a cart on the sidewalk.

My best food experience in India was in Calangute where I found a place for locals with an open kitchen. I went there a few times and never saw anyone apart from Indians. It was great `restaurant`. It was loud, unorganized and dirty but they made the best butter chicken with fresh garlic naan bread. Amazingly cheap and they were very happy to see me day after day, their only non-Indian customer. One of my best experiences in India overall.

Spending a month in Goa was amazing, there are a lot of things to see, a lot of beaches to visit, a lot of food to be eaten and a lot of dirt roads ride on with a scooter. Goa is my happy place and really want go back at some point in my life.

 


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

4 Comments

Leave a Comment