Continuing from where I left off in the last post, Goa has a lot of places to visit. The tourists usually limit themselves to North Goa. And by North Goa I mean Anjuna Beach, Vagator, Panjim and the Majorda beach at max. Whatever be the reason, lack of time, no interest to travel, tourists don’t visit South Goa a lot. Trust me, beaches and everything else in South Goa is way better than what you see in North Goa. Visit the Benaulim Beach in Benaulim or the local’s favorite Colva beach or probably the less visited Palolem Beach.
The Palolem beach is almost about 60+ kms from Panjim but it’s definitely worth a visit. Apart from beaches you should make a point to visit Miramar Beach, Aguada Fort , Dona Paula. One of the places that you would want to visit would be The Big Foot (Ancestral Goa) in Loutolim. This is a muse of a different kind. It talks about the history of Goa, how Portuguese came and went. Then you can visit the famous Dhoodh sagar waterfalls too. So Goa is not only about the beaches !
Shopping in Goa is an experience all together and by shopping I don’t mean shopping the ‘Goa’ branded tees or shorts. By shopping here I mean the daily supplies, vegetables, milk etc. I remember going to the vegetable shop in the Madgaon market behind the bus stand. The ladies used to sell vegetables not by weight but by numbers ! Yes, you’d pay 15 Rs for 20-30 pieces of Ladyfinger. The markets aren’t that cheap but you can bargain a lot. Shops in Goa are closed from 1 – 3 in the afternoon for lunch (I don’t know the current scenario) and it felt like there was curfew in the city. And then you could shop in the evening till 7-8 max. Since the place wasn’t big we would go to Panjim once a week for shopping, thanks to the shuttle service I mentioned in the last post.
Goa is definitely not a place for vegetarians. So being a pure vegetarian, my views of vegetarian food in Goa is pretty average. I mean even the Samosa here had french beans and carrots, the first time ever I had tried such samosa. You think that Goa has a lot of coconuts, but you wouldn’t find a lot of it in their food, especially vegetarian. Simple rice based food with some curries which would have a lot of influence from the neighboring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Initially we were scared to try out anything because we didn’t know whether it was vegetarian or non vegetarian. So somehow we got used to it.
Lastly about the people in Goa. Goans are laid back and very cheerful – at least that’s how my neighbors were. Every Christmas my landlord used to give us cakes and chocolates. Everyone from the shopkeeper to the driver were extremely friendly. Though at times there was language issue, but thanks to their fluent English it didn’t last for a long time.I made friends pretty soon and in no time we used to run to colva beach to play cricket !
Goa is a wonderful place, not only for a tourist but also for a migrant who’s put up there. It has all the amenities of any other urban city and has the calmness of any village and this combo is priceless.