My first visit to Goa was during 2007. Since then, Goa has always been very special to me and very close to my heart. Goa has changed a lot for worse in these years; especially north Goa. It is very noisy now. The respect for others’ space is diminishing. I was terribly missing Goa of the past. Hence, this time I planned to stay at Agonda – a tiny village among mountains with beautiful beach.
Yes, that’s Goa ! It is disappointing that many tourists just view Goa as a party destination. Goa is a party destination but is not limited to that. For me, Goa gives freedom, space and, allows me to talk to myself.
It was very refreshing to experience the real Goa in Agonda, without reckless crowd and mindless noise.
Beach huts are the best way to stay on Agonda beach; they are right on the beach. Open the door and the sea is just few feet away. You can sleep listening to the waves crash. Some beach huts also have roofless bathrooms. It is a pleasant experience to shower under stars. The beach huts are constructed every year during September-October and are dismantled during May. There are no beach huts during monsoons due to high tides and heavy rainfall.
We stayed at Sand Sapphire and I highly recommend it. Rooms were fabulous and I reserved beach facing room. Food was good; though not the best Goan food I ever had. Staff was friendly and helpful. The only negative I can think of regarding our accommodation is that there was no enough water pressure and so shower was not of much use.
I was there during last week of November and the weather was pleasant. Afternoons were a little hot, though. It would be very hot in summers.
We could see dolphins jump even from our shack; not clearly but a vague picture of dolphin. We were too lazy to go on dolphin boat trips. The night sky was beautiful and I was lucky to catch glimpse of a shooting star. The sunsets were super gorgeous and the peaceful calm beach made them more beautiful. We just spent evenings watching sun go down into sea, while sipping Goan port wine. The whole experience at Agonda was meditative. I totally loved that state of mind.
Usually when in Goa, we get into the sea. This time, we just wanted to relax and do nothing. So one evening while we were just walking on the beach, for a few minutes we were tempted to get into the sea and play. One foreigner, whose name surprisingly is Narendra, approached us and very quickly talked us into getting into the sea. Within a minute, we three were in the sea. Just when we started enjoying the warm sea, he left us both and went away without heeding to our calls to stay back. I will definitely remember this tall friendly foreigner named Narendra from Delhi.
A note for travelers:
- Agonda is not a party destination. Go there for peace, serenity and your time. For parties, head to Calangute and Baga.
- Respect others’ space and contribute towards preserving the real Goan experience – live and let live.
- Do not litter. Do not throw plastic on beach.
- Palolem beach – For silent noise party (party with head phones) and shallow beach.
- Cola/Khola beach – Another peaceful beach.
- Cabo de Rama fort – Great sea views.
- Nothing or yoga or go for a walk.
- Boat trips to sight dolphins or visit nearby beaches.
Eat and drink:
- Sea food is a must-try. Xacuti and Vindaloo gravies are the best. Ask the restaurant guys about fresh catch and ask the chef to cook it to your choice.
- Drink Feni (locally produced cashew or toddy spirit), Goan port wine and Goan King’s beer.
I was actually in tears when I finally had to leave. I could not reconcile with the reality even in the bus while heading back to Hyderabad. I do not know the exact reason, but the calm Goan beaches, fresh flavorful Goan sea food, Goan liquor and most importantly, Goan friendly open-minded laid back attitude, are all collectively simply meditative and transport mind to a very peaceful state. I really hope that the future tourists do not deteriorate Goa further.
I left with a heavy heart and I will definitely go back to Agonda for another lazy peaceful vacation.