A Travellerspoint blog

On markets, scooters and beach bumming...

Baga - Palolem

Riding around India's villages and countryside on a scooter is one the best things in the world. We hired one one day and went off exploring with no helmet but a few hundred ruppees extra for baksheesh if we bumped into any grinning policemen. We headed for Anjuna market and spent a few glorious hours getting lost hurtling through fields and small farming villages, stopping for lunch in the middle of nowhere, and feeling as free as the wind. One of the things I like about Goa is that you can stay on a beautiful beach and get all your western foods and comforts but behind once you get on a scooter you can explore at your own pace and take day trips to Indian villages, temples and markets.

Eventually we found what we thought was the market, situated right near the rocks of a glorious cliff-falling-down-to-ocean scene, with palm trees and a tiny little beach full of Indian family tourists and local boys just sitting, watching. After spending our money we then realised that this small market was not infact the famous Anjuna market so off we were again to find it....and when we did we wondered how on earth we could have mistaken that tiny wee one for this. This was big. Stalls and people everywhere, tight spaces with objects hanging all over place and elephants wondering through oblivious to the mess they were leaving behind, and then big open areas where women would sit guarding their garden of bedspreads. Sarongs hangin as if up to dry on the line, men ready to pounce a bindi onto your forehead, old women covered in piercings and layers of sari and younger girls grapping you by the arm to pull you to their stall. All around was the sound of excited bartering and 'I give you good price' and in the distance you could hear drums spurring on a tiny girl lightrope walking whilst balancing 3 buckets on her head. We spent a fun day bartering along with everyone else and by the end of it we were happy but knackered...our bags over-filling and our budget seriously out the window.

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After Baga (and a crazy night at a hill-top night club complete with swimming pool, jacuzzi and free booze) we travelled down to Palolem which we'd heard was quieter and even more beautiful. Along the way, an elephant came wondering towards us down the road. The first ever elephant I had ever seen in the flesh and more fuel to the fire of my love of simply travelling around India by scooter car or train. You never know what your gonna see.

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Palolem is absolutely beautiful. Couldn't believe it. Go there if your going to Goa. The beach is lined with Palm trees all bowing over towards the sea and hiding under these palm trees are the restaurants and bungalows and cheap bamboo huts on stilts which only a mattress and mosquito net inside. Simple, all you need, great food, nice people, beautiful beach and stunning sunsets. We spent a glorious week sunning ourselves, having furious chess tournaments (which continue to this day), and reading and relaxing. By night we'd eat fresh seafood by candle light carved out of tomatoes, looking out to sea and fire twirl by camp fires to trance music and guitars. Paradise. But we knew we couldn't, and didn't want to, stay there forever. We had to get back on the road again and do some serious travel. No more beach bumming (save that for Thailand), got a long way to go...

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Posted by emils 21:42 Archived in India

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