Beaches and Bungalows in Goa, India
Goa Travel Blog› entry 19 of 46 › view all entries
Goa is just what the doctor ordered!!! I have been traveling through India for almost two months and I NEED TO CHILL OUT. I just need to be away from a city - away from the dirty hustle. Trains, buses, hotels, rickshaws and taxis, PLEASE go away. I need some peace and some alone time. THAT has never sounded so nice.
And Goa delivered. It could NOT have been any better timing for me. For those of you who don't know, Goa is the smallest of India's 28 states - spanning 200km along the west coast of south India. Portuguese merchants first landed in Goa in the 15th century, annexing it soon after. The Portuguese colony existed for about 450 years (one of the longest held colonial possessions in the world), until it was taken over by India in 1961.
As you can see from my photos, I finally shaved my face (leaving a little 'stache), took off my shirt, through my shoes in storage and chilled on the beach for a week. I lived in a bamboo hut and slept on a mosquito netted-bed. My bathroom was outside and consisted of a hole in the ground and a bucket full of water. Believe it or not, it was ideal!!
Leading up to my time in Goa, EVERYONE warned me that this place was going to be a huge drug-infested-alcohol-drinking-college-party-town. Obviously those people have never been to Goa. Our paradise only had one bar open past midnight. I think they were talking about a tourist beach area about 3 hours north. Our paradise was called Palolem Beach which is at the southern tip of Goa.
There was yoga on the beach. There were boat trips to explore. There were obnoxiously gorgeous sunsets. There was delicious and fresh fish! Yes - fish! I actually ate something besides vegetables, thali and dal (for the first time in India, well, except for the desert chicken and goat). Yes - I ate fresh fish!
We rented scooters to explore the coast. We swam in remote beaches and coves. We stayed up LATE into the night making friends from around the world. And somehow India started to grow on me - right as I'm about to leave..... Is this truely India - or is it a dreamland?? Yes, Goa is India.
So - Goa is amazing. But, I'm not sure someone flying directly to Goa for a 7-day holiday will have the same extraordinary pleasure as someone who has drudged through the intensity of 2 months on the road in India. So, if you plan to visit Goa, make sure it is NOT first on your itinerary. It should be something you work for. Only then will you enjoy it more than any other beach time in your life.