A Travellerspoint blog

October 2010

Chilled out in Goa

Arambol, Agonda and Palolem!

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View Eve & J's Trip on Eveness's travel map.

After our arrival in Mumbai, we were looking forward to getting to Goa. We flew there to keep things easy and got to Arambol, north Goa in no time at all. It was still very early in the season and the monsoon was still persistent so our first impression of Arambol was that it was dead! The roads towards the beach were a bit swampy and there wasn't much open but we plodded around with our backpacks to find a guest house. We found one that was really cheap at 150 rs per night which is just over £2 (though it was a good 10 minute stride to the beach which when it rained was pretty unpleasant!) and the family there was really lovely. We could have looked for something a bit closer to the beach but I think by that point I would have checked in anywhere as I was right in the middle of a bout of Delhi belly and knew that I was on borrowed time!

So, Arambol was pretty quiet when we got there; which given our baptism of fire in Mumbai this peace and quiet was ideal for us to wind down and get into the groove of things. As the days passed, the rain eased off a little and Arambol started to come to life and getting used to the new sights and sounds of the place is something which has really stuck with me. Cow's roamed freely along the beach and dogs running in packs, scounging off the foreigners at the beachside restauraunts. At sunset the swarms of dragonflies would fill the skies as they hovered in the afternoon sea breeze within inches of us; the little luminous green lights of the fireflies in the night and the odd sounds of the geckos and squirals, not to mention the bat which managed to find its way into our room one day and spent 15 miutes swooping and divebombing us! We thankfully only saw one bat fat rat and one dangerous (though small) snake in our time in Goa!

The New guest houses, restaurants and shops were opening up as each day passed and little by little more visitors came. Arambol, still very much a fishing village despite the popularity for tourists had its own chilled vibe to it. We befriended one fisherman over the 3 weeks we stayed in Arambol who would chat to us on the beach about how his fishing trips had gone and was always keen to chat. He then invited us out on his boat one morning to fish and see if we could find dolphins. He didn't want any money for it, just wanted to show us his trade (which he was very proud to say he learned his trade from his father and worked with his brothers) and take us out on the water. Him and his brothers showed us how they cast the nets and then took us further out to see if we could spot some dolphins. With the engine switched off, the water quietly lapping up against the boat; everyone was a quiet as a mouse...then finally was saw a group of about three dolphins nearby. It was amazing to watch. Afterwards, we came back to shore and we were invited back to his family home for Chai, biscuits and fresh papaya! What a great way to start a day!

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We loved Arambol's 'sweet lake', which was a small shallow lake just nestled behind the smaller of the Arambol beaches (just round the rocks) and spent a coupple of lazy afternoons chilling out and enjoying some of the sunnier days that had started to become a little more regular. IMG_0246.jpgThere were always Indian ladies on the beach who were so desperate to sell us something in low season. I think, other than the persistence of most of these ladies, most of them were alright and could have a chat with you; though after a while it did get somewhat tedious explaining that we didnt want to buy today... persistent is a good word to describe them!

Our timing of coming to India was great as the Ganesh festival was underway and we saw various parades in Mumbai and then a big celebration on Morjim beach (just a couple of km from Arambol) which a local told us about and we were lucky to get down to the beach in time to see all the families in the area bring to the beach their own Ganesh statue to launch into the sea as the sun was setting. we saw literally hundreds of these Ganesh statues being brought into to the sea!

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We met some great people at Arambol, mostly as we chilled out at Om Star (our favourite restauraunt!) and this soon became the place to hang out and meet up with people. The steamed momo's and Jamaican mama cocktails at Om Star kept us coming back time after time too!

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We had some fun evenings with Steph, Timo, Adi, Tal, Jay and Babu and his crew....especially the night where we brought a bottle of Malibu to the bar! It was hard to leave there as we'd enjoyed it so much but after 3 weeks it was time to move on, so we headed to south Goa to a place called Agonda.

Agonda was soooooo quiet! Wow, a small place with a nearly empty beach and only 2 or 3 restauraunts open. This was lovely and quiet but after few days we'd had enough and decided to move on to Palolem where we had been told that more stuff was going on.

Palolem was most definitely the place in south Goa where tourists went, with its 24 hours bar and its gorgeous beach, no wonder people made this a place to stop. That said, it felt a little too geared up for tourists and although we enjoyed a few days there we figured that it was time to move on from beach life in search of the 'real India' so we booked our train tickets inland to ancient Hampi in Karnataka and we were soon on our way!

Posted by Eveness 04:41 Archived in India Tagged beach goa chilled Comments (1)

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