I'm a London-dwelling northern lass who swapped the East End for Far East on the trip of a lifetime. I blog about food, travel, yoga and spirituality. www.sophiesnotinkansas.com
Published December 9th 2012
seafood, shopping and sunsets
Quite possibly the most laid back state in India and former outpost on the great Hippie Trail, Goa has long captured the imagination of travellers seeking peace, love and sunshine. There is an old saying that "a Goan minute is a London hour" - time just seems to fly by in this former Portuguese colony. But try to take time out of the hammock to put the following on the 'to do' list:
1.) Soak up the Sunset Sunsets are an institution in Goa and every evening locals and tourists alike gather on the silvery beaches to watch the burning orb descend into the Arabian sea. The perfect place to kick back with a beer and meet new friends.
2.) Eat Indulge in typical Goan cuisine charatericsed by spices, rich coconut sauces and seafood. Half of the fun is bargaining with the fisherman who hawk their catch of the day on the beaches. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the many excellent chilled out backpacker cafes for lying-down dining. Our favourite is the infamous Anjuna German Bakery. Fellini and Pizza Olive in Arambol offer incredible Italian, while Shiva Moon Cafe does excellent home-made chocolate momos.
3.) Jam Fans of live music should head over to Arambol where jam sessions are not in short supply. Musicians from all over the world can be seen at the Loekie Cafe, which regularly hosts open mike nights and Opinhal Bar shows traditional Indian music most nights.
4.) Drive a Royal Enfield You won't be in Goa long before you hear the guttural roar of an Enfield, probably piloted by a long haired hippy. These iconic motorbikes "made like a gun, goes like a bullet" were made in India under licence from the UK from the late 50s. Now they are the way to get around the winding, lush roads between beaches. Book yourself a lesson to familiarise yourself with the gears (available in most places) and pedal to the metal.
A veritable treasure trove of shops selling clothes, souvenirs and knick knacks can be found on the high streets of most of Goa's beach towns. Be sure to bargain to get the best price - halfing what you are originally quoted is often a good opening gambit. The Anjuna Flea market takes place weekly on Wednesdays and is a great place to snoop out some hippy chic jewellery as well as gifts to take home.
Thanks Claire.. yes I have spent the last year travelling around India, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I've been blogging about it here:http://sophiesnotinkansas.blogspot.com I'm now back and trying to figure out what to do with my life, although haven't yet ruled out going back! xx