1/6/2010 to 1/22/2010 | Goa , India

Agonda Beach, Goa

It was not a bad life sleeping on the roof under the stars falling asleep to the sounds of crashing waves, and waking to the sun shining through the surrounding coconut palm trees.  A morning swim, a bit of website work for my friend Mohan, maybe an afternoon walk along the beach to catch the sun setting into the Arabian Sea, in the evening cooking a bit of pasta, or some mash potatoes, and enjoying an evening with Mohan, Carol, and their baby girl Lily.  As far as beaches in Goa go you could do a lot worse than Agonda Beach.  It’s not the nightlife capital of Goa by any means, but I prefer my beaches more natural and less built up, in this case Agonda comes closer to fitting the bill than nearby Paloem.  A place I spent one night on my way to Agonda, and a place that reminded me why I had not been back to Goa since my first trip to India in 1994.  As few as 5 years ago Paloem was allegedly an oasis from Goa’s now over developed, over priced, and over rated beaches.  No longer.  Probably still could be a fun place with the right group of people, but it wasn’t my cup of tea, with its beaches completely lined with restaurants and accommodation, and prices for beach huts starting at an over priced 400 rupees (though I did mange to find a place off the beach with pretty good value for 250).  Agonda on the other hand is less built up and has a significantly more laid back vibe.  Agonda’s main drawback in my mind, is its over priced accommodation (huts starting at 500 rupees), and a clientele that is more couples and older European beach holiday types, than long term backpackers like myself.  Neither of which affected me as I was there to hang out with Mohan and Carol and spent my nights on their roof, at least until the landlord kicked me out 2 and half weeks later for no discernable reason.    From a purely beach perspective Agonda is nice, not great, a line you could use to describe most Goan beaches.  It does somewhat mystify me that loads of Europeans especially English and now Russians come to Goa for 2 week beach holidays.  I can think of several places in South East Asia that offer better value and better beaches than Goa if that’s all you’re interested in.

My lone excursion during my time at Agonda was a hike with Mohan to butterfly beach a small beach between Agonda and Poloem.  At least we intended to go to butterfly beach it turned out to be a much more difficult prospect than we had thought, requiring three hours of climbing over rocks along the coastline, and countless uttering of the phrase, “Its got to be around this headland,” before we eventually reached a beach. A hike that included one close call where I had grab hold of weeds and crawl on my stomach along the loose hillside to avoid a potentially fall which might have resulted in unwanted possible severe bodily harm.  The beach we reached actually turned out to have hiked to was Honeymoon beach rather than butterfly which was still further down the coast towards Polem.  We were out of water and very happy to see an enterprising local fisherman who had set up a small stand selling cold drinks to the tourists who arrived at the beach.   I gladly paid the 250% markup for a couple cokes.  We also managed to hitch a ride, in his boat, to Paloem (and the road) avoiding the walk back which neither of us had any desire to do repeat.

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