Patnem was all out of mopeds sadly. So we got the VW bus instead!
We are not quite living that dream yet but some lucky campers were on Agonda beach. Meanwhile, we had a meet up planned with Julie from my university days so we made a move to nearby Agonda beach and the family Newitts got back on the mopeds
This time we were with the grandparents….look out! Five adults and two kids squeezed onto two mopeds and a Royal Enfield Bullet (apparently a classic Indian motorbike). The bullet rumbled and roared behind me as I putt putted solo for a change - Shirls was in my usual spot: desperately clinging on the back of the moped for 4 whilst telling a billion stories.
Agonda beach is pretty much our favourite Indian beach so far. It looks true Goan paradise, even comes complete with VW camper vans parked up amongst the palm trees. Much wider and longer than Patnem so you feel you have loads of space. We shared the beach with a few tourists, quite a few cows and a renegade horse who kept wandering into restaurants to steal people's breakfast!
The accommodation is more varied on Agonda than on Patnem and we split our time between a clean and bright budget beach shack at Nana's Nook on the Southern end and a more expensive AC option on the Northern end of the beach. There are tonnes of great places to eat as well for all budgets and tastes from the European upmarket Kopi Desai to the low-key but reportedly excellent Fatima's Rest.
The one downside to great restaurants is we ate so much, I felt compelled to get out running again and my calves had a good workout on the never ending sands of the longer beach. As a place for a run though, it's hard to beat. Barefoot, at sunrise, in such amazing surroundings, it almost negates the pain.
Five minutes ago when I started this post, I was sweltering in a hammock in the beautiful gardens of Varnam Homestay in Wayanad, now I've just had to make a mad dash to shelter as the driving hail has nearly washed my flip-flops down the irrigation system. It's still beautiful but at 1000meters above sea level, I've actually felt cold for the first time here in India!
Anyway more on Wayanad later, the thunder and lightning may try to distract me but I'll soldier on through. What a hard life I have…
So where was I, still in Goa.
We briefly visited Panjim the state capital which is remarkably quiet and clean for what I imagined from an Indian City. And also has great restaurants. Other highlights of Goa were:
1) Cabo de Rama: a quiet fort near Agonda beach which has beautiful views and makes for a good moped excursion if you want a break from the beach.
2) Splashdown water park: where both kids (Otto is 3 now, and Jessica, 4) managed to get on the extreme slides on their own. It helps that both of them can swim, but they do look tiny on the big slides.
3) The dolphins. We caught glimpses of them whilst in Patnem but decided to get up close with them on kayaks from Palolem beach. After an tasty vegan lunch at Little World, where the kids were dressing up in cushion covers and playing in the toy kitchen, we paddled out to see a dozen or so dolphins fishing in twos and threes probably about 300 metres from shore.
Overall, Goa is nothing like I expected. At least not the bits we've seen. No sign of package holiday resorts, only a scattering of hippies and mostly beautiful beaches and quiet luxury. Definitely, a place to recommend.
Search posts by destination:
Useful Links to other sites:
Authors (in a very loose sense of the word)
Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!