It was happiness that came out sheer spontaneity. Two injured women grooving the night away to some minimal, soothing, slightly provoking electronic dance music, the night itself danced its way to the morning. Raising the bar of happiness a notch higher – crawling into the hazy morning, off we were to this quaint southern spot of Goa.
Moving from up North Vagator beach to down South village of Canacona, the ride was humid and sleepy. (At this time we were up fr 30 hours:)After a 1.5 hour drive from Capital city Panjim we arrive at a little Chapel on a now bright sunny morning in this fishing village in South Goa – AGONDA. The oh so busy beaches of Goa known for their numerous activities, satisfying every tourist needs, loud streets, blaring music from in numerous shacks – does not describe Agonda. A relaxing, pristine haven, away from the otherwise crowded buzzing beaches of Goa, is what it is.
With no agenda or to do things , this spontaneous trip was nothing but a getaway because its GOOD TO NOT ALWAYS HAVE A LIST!
So here is a few things and people we stumbled upon.
The beach belt of Agonda is quaint and offers quite a many options of hotels, huts and rooms. You can do this two ways – either walking along the stretch on the road or take a diversion(through a hotel shack) and walk on the beach. We found AGONDA COTTAGES on the beach and it felt like we were in a tiny forest village inhabited by different travellers. Every part of the day was cool and breezy.
The rooms are a little above the backpackers budget but definitely worth the expense if you do not mind it. My favourite bit? The open air bathroom. PHOTO
Surrounded by 120 acres of forest and a few beaches around, it is a small fishing village Canacona taluka in South Goa. It has a church called St. Anne church which got upgraded from a chapel into a church in December 1888.If you go here in the month of May you can join the locals in celebrating the feast of the patron St Anne on the first Saturday of the month. The village has not acquired too much construction, has a government school, two ATM’S (both of which did not work on my trip) and a Saturday market in the nearby town of Chaudi.
The town walk
A single partially narrow road is basically what is called the Agonda beach stretch. The best part about this stretch is – that it is not busy. And that is already scoring points from me. Hotel, cottages, souvenir spots, small shops offering the daily essentials and people with similar stories as yours. My friend Marlene and I met two other injured people, one from Italy and the other from Lithuania and for a good half an hour we spoke about the quirky side of being injured, yet travelling. It’s a moment added to my stories.
Calm, quiet, and wide. This vastness is ideal for a relaxed swim, playing cricket and football, a stroll along the shore and even yoga. The beach also offers its grounds as a turtle centre, protecting the endangered Olive Riddley eggs.Hence, please be mindful of the noise level at night by the beach. Such places, where natural beauty is still not touched by the economical masses are what we need to preserve. Responsible travelling should be just like travelling anywhere.
Bars, Cafes and Restaurants
Here in Agonda, they are all unique. A cafe serving varieties of beer on tap, a mellow vegan cafe, to local fish thali.
My picks :
La Dolce Vita. – A medium size cafe run by a Goan family, who dish out wood-fired pizzas, pasta, local wine and lots of tiramisu throughout the tourist season. We arrived here on our first morning and needed to wake up. Cappuccino along with crumbling heart shaped cookies is my dig. The Wi-Fi is a little slow.
Fatima’s Corner – You want local food you head here. Although it has a tandoor which stands big as you enter, the local Goan fish thali here is what you must go for.
If you want to get your freak on, then you must not even be here in the first place. Since it is a quiet part of Goa, parties in Agonda aren’t may and in fact they are around it.
Leopard Valley – A night club in a jungle. I was here on our second day which was actually the day of one of the most colourful festivals of India HOLI. We already celebrated at our hotel but went here only because the whole village spoke about the party happening at Leopard Valley. It was crowded and the entry money was not what I wished to spend, so I skipped going in. One can go here if they wish to have an experience of nightlife in South Goa. It is located on Agonda-Palolem road, and the drive is scenic.
NEARBY AND AROUND ATTRACTIONS
Palolem beach – a very busy and noisy beach about 6.5 kilometres from Agonda. What it was a decade ago and what it is now is not shocking but disappointing. However, if you want to have a heavy tourist experience, you can check it out.
Canacona or Conco Island – at the North end of Palolem beach, can be reached by foot at low tide, or a boat when high tide. It is also (funnily) called as Moneky Island as it is frequented by the monkeys from adjacent forests. Can be crowded and not very clean
Khola beach – a remote and unspoilt beach almost 2 kilometres north of Agonda. The ride or drive takes you to the country side, up and down the hills.
Cabo de Ram fort – about 8 kilometres from Agonda. This fort was built by one of the Hindu gods, Lord Rama and later conquered by the Portuguese. The cliff here offers a spectacular view of the coast.
TRAVEL INSPIRATION? – Most mobile networks do not work in Agonda. Considering this an added bonus for your solitude.
This trip was a learning experience. I was injured, got here in just a sling bag and played Holi after 10 years that too with people from different parts of the world. Travel isn’t always about planning and going through the unimaginable list. Such is the beauty of travel that it does not have a specific order that you must comply with. I will always cherish this trip.
PS: I have thought about two more blog posts just with this experience. How cool eh? :):)
If you have an experience that is similar please share through an email or just by leaving your comment. I love stories – listening as much as writing.