Goa – Anjuna beach

Bar on Anjuna beach

Anjuna Beach

Goa is a place mainly for the package holiday types. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing however as it provides plenty of nice places to stay, nice places to eat, bars and great beaches to chill out and relax in the sun. There are more westerners here than I have seen anywhere else in India so far, most of which are Russians; this seems to be a favoured holiday destination for them.  The bars on Anjuna beach are often little more than hand-made open plan wooden structures

Beach bar on Anjuna beach

Typical bar on Anjuna beach

that were probably bashed together over a weekend facing out to sea, each of them selling cheap beer and  selection of pretty decent food. Each bar has an array of sunbeds on the beach where a waiter will happily take your order and bring you a drink. Stray dogs roam around the beach in packs chasing away the cows that stroll into their neighbourhood. Apart from this display of territorialism the dogs are very friendly and will often come and lie next to you or sit in the shade under your sunbed. Anjuna beach is a more chilled out place than its neighbouring sites. Baga and Calangute are beaches nearby and I found them to be very touristy and quite overcrowded; Lots of westerners and package holiday resorts. Okay if you like that kind of thing, which it appears a lot of people do, but it’s not for me. It’s more for the type of people who are on a “holiday” and just want a break. But if like me and your intention is a cultural travel adventure then you won’t find it here. Goa isn’t really India, sure it’s in India but it’s kind of like the seaside holiday resort of India; you can really separate yourself from the real India here.

Dog

Dogs like to share the shade of your sunbed

A swim in the sea is a cooling break from the blazing sun. In many parts the waves are very calm and the water is shallow enough for you to stand up to about 100 feet out. Anna and I had a swim in the sea almost every day. Much of the seafood that is served in the bars and restaurants comes directly from these waters. Fishermen go out in small rowing boats and climb along the rocks stretching out to sea to cast small nets. These waters are rich with seafood; many times as we walked down the beach paddling by the water’s edge we would see huge fish that had washed ashore, one night there was a squid that I nearly stood on. Some of the bars would have evening seafood BBQ’s, grilling the catches of the day.

fisherman

Local fisherman scaling the rocks for a catch

I’m not really one for clubbing much these days and found myself going to bed at around 11pm and getting up earlier to enjoy the daytime. What’s the point in getting wasted every night?; yeh we had a few drinks and a nice meal most evenings but this isn’t Ibiza, it has a much more chilled out tranquil feel and that’s what I liked about it. Everyone was really nice, and I mean absolutely everyone. Most of the people here are either travelling the same as us or ageing hippies left over from the 70’s and never moved on; they still seem to be having a great time. There’s plenty to do here and it has a really great atmosphere. A huge flea market springs up every Wednesday and on one of the nights we went to a trance party on the beach. Huge stacks of speakers were piled on the beach and it was very loud with strobing lights and UV paint splattered everywhere. No one really knows when one of these parties is going to finish. It all depends on how many people are there and what time the police turn up to shut it down. If it’s packed with lots of people spending money then the bar owner responsible for the party will bribe the police when they arrive and the party will go on all night and through to the next morning. It was one of those busy nights when we were there so the party went on all night, longer than I was willing to stay, I don’t want to waste a day with a killer hangover.

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