March 1 – 11, 2017
Accommodations: Romance Huts; 1700 INR/night; (agoda.com). We returned because we enjoyed our previous stay at Romance Huts. Better yet we discovered what great food they serve.
Transportation: We took an overnight 2AC train ride from Mysore to Karwar. From there we took a local bus to Canacona then an auto-rickshaw to Agonda Beach. A total of 16 or 17 hours travel but well worth it.
Food: We returned to some of our favourites: Monsoon, Madhu, Velvet Sunset and Duck n Chill. We also tried Dunhills at the southern end of the beach, which had a tasty watermelon martini, but we thought the food rather bland and overpriced compared to other restaurants on the beach. We also visited Zest twice: excellent smoothies (and perhaps the best Chai Masala I’ve had yet but we thought their breakfasts were overpriced. We tried an oyster dish at Suryas on Galgibaga Beach which was pretty good. But the best seafood by far were the meals we had at Romance Huts. Although they don’t have their own restaurant they do serve food for their guests. All three meals we ate there were amazing.
Agonda Beach drew us back like a giant cleansing magnet. Fresh air, clean ocean, few motor vehicle horns, ocean breezes and very few touts hassling us to buy buy buy.
Days blurred together as we simply swam, walked, read books, ate and drank fresh juices and lassis. We did, however, move off Agonda Beach a couple of times. To go to other beaches!
We rented a scooter twice. Riding along the relatively quiet roads on this part of the coast was a pleasure; especially enjoying the cooling breeze (at a leisurely 40kph). The first day we rode north to Cabo de Rama, an old fort on a headland. Vast and rambling there’s little left other than a freshly painted church, the wandering walls, a couple of buildings returning to the land and a few cannon laying around. We went down to the rocky beach and then back up to enjoy the superb views from the high headland.
From the fort we rode south, past Agonda and on to Palolem Beach, a long time popular beach in Goa. Compared to Agonda it was much busiers. Tour boats crowded the area near the road access, businesses crowded the foreshore and the crowded beach seemed narrower than Agonda’s. Plus we noticed obviously drunk Indian men leering at Western women, something we’d heard about but never seen before. We actually had one massive fellow strip off right in front of us and flop around in the water. Sue did enjoy a bit of shopping at Palolem but otherwise we did not find it that appealing. More appealing were the back roads surrounding it.
Another day we rented a scooter and first motored south to Galgibaga Beach, renown for its turtle population. Once again the drive was pleasant as I sought out smaller roads rather than the highway that Google Maps recommended. The beach was huge and pretty much deserted. We didn’t spend a long time on the beach as it was a very hot day and there was little shade. The surf was bigger than Agonda’s (so big it almost ripped my swim shorts off when I tried riding a wave). We walked around the point to see the river mouth and then stopped for lunch at Suryas in the shade amongst the trees.
We had plenty of daylight left so rode north and on to Cola Beach, just north of Agonda. The dirt road in was a bit rough but well worth the bumps to get to the beach. Cola Beach has a nice enough ocean beach but also has a fresh water lagoon on its backside. Swimming in it was a sweet change of pace, even though it was lined with resorts (I’m sure the people in the resorts appreciate it when the day-trippers leave in the evening).
Swimming and floating are still two of our favourite activities and we did lots while at Agonda Beach. Sue also regularly attended morning yoga sessions at the Velvet Sunset with Amber, shortly after our morning beach walks. What else?… sunsets, watching the bats, Kings and Kingfishers, relaxing… ahhhh…