Renting somewhere to stay in Anjuna can be relatively cheap. There are plenty of guest houses, apartments and beach huts to choose from, and of course, if your not short of a few quid and would prefer something a little more upmarket there are also some really nice hotels and nearby 5 star resorts. I, on the other hand prefer to spend as little money as humanly possible on accommodation, but I still have a certain standard that I like to adhere to. For a start, I’m not fond of sharing a room, so I tend to avoid hostel dorms, and I like to have my own bathroom; The extra cost of this is invaluable in its convenience if your woken in the middle of the night by the return a bad curry, of just don’t want the hassle involved by having to leave your room totake a shower. A very basic beach hut can be rented for around 600 rupees a night. You can often get this for cheaper if you stay for longer periods and shop around a bit, and you should always haggle for a better price. Guest-house rooms are more expensive at around 1000 rupees but you have the extra security of solid walls and floors as opposed to the rickety¬†bamboo structure of a beach hut.
If your planning on staying in one place for at least a month, then this is where you can really make the most of your money. Most places will offer big discounts for a month rental and this brings some nicer places into my price range. After searching around for a few days and viewing a few houses, apartments and beach side rooms, Anna and I found a lovely little house about 5 minutes bike ride from the beach in a nice little village with¬†local¬†shops and restaurants. It is¬†a gated property and has a courtyard where it’s¬†safe to leave cars and bikes. The gate also keeps¬†out the cows who will¬†sometimes wander in and eat the flowers if it’s¬†left open. The dogs however will¬†just jump over the wall, but we don’t¬†mind them, they’re¬†really friendly. The landlord who lives next door doesn’t like the dogs and they run away if they hear¬†him coming. We bartered¬†the price of this house down to 17000 rupees for the month.
It¬†is¬†quite a basic place but it has¬†everything we really needed and more. There’s a decent sized living room, a small kitchen with a gas hob and all necessary utensils and cutlery, a small bathroom with a shower and bedroom with a double bed. There is¬†electricity (most of the time), and running water.
Renting a motorbike
We also rented a couple of bikes; a Honda Activa¬†for Anna and I hired a Yamaha Enticer. The scooter was 4000/month and the bike 7000. Having a bike is really essential to making the most of being in Goa. Its gives you so much freedom and the ability to explore and go anywhere you like, whenever you like. You don’t need a bike licence either. If you have a driving licence for a car then you can get an international driving licence from the Post Office (UK) for a fiver. I’m not sure of the procedure for other countries but I would imagine it’s similar. Even if you don’t have an international driving licence I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s not common for the police to stop people near the beaches, they usually hang around near bridges like the one leading into Panjim. Even if they did stop you and you had an international licence they would probably still try and fine you for something because they’re quite corrupt and they often try to scam tourists, it’s happened to me before. The best thing to do if you see a policeman is to stay away and not stop, you can’t trust them.
The beach is just a short ride away and it’s a great place to hangout. There are plenty of bars to buy drinks and have something to eat. The food is excellent and very reasonably priced. You can pretty much have what you want from pizza’s to a sea food BBQ, but when in India, you can’t beat a good curry, and the currys here are fantastic. I think I’ve put on quite a few pounds from over indulging of tikka masala’s with cheese and garlic naan’s all washed down with copious amounts of Kingfisher.
This beach has really nice sand and the sea is a lovely temperature for swimming. Sometimes the waves can pick up and it can be quite choppy but most of the time the sea is very calm and inviting. Anna likes to swim in the sea but I prefer to sunbath on the beach with the dogs and cows with a beer in my hand or a nice refreshing Limca.