My stay in Goa was entirely too short. It’s the type of place where you immediate relax and never want to leave. In fact, many people do just that. Agonda Beach and Palolem are two of the lesser known gems of the area. They are located only about 30 minutes apart from each other in the southern part of the Goa coast.
Agonda is tiny and very laid back. It consists of mainly one road that is lined with vendors from one end to the other. Everything you need is there, from colorful clothing, to a pharmacy, tourist booking offices, laundry, fruit stands and so on. In India, your entire day can easily be taken up by running a few simple errands. They don’t have giant one stop shopping centers like we do in the USA. Instead, you buy everything individually from small shop keepers. These people quickly because friendly faces that brighten day with their big smiles.
I stayed in a small bungalow at a place called the Seat Star Resort. The cost was about $30 USD per night. It was about the size of a small hotel room. It consisted of a bed, a small wardrobe closet and a private washroom. It was simple but cute. The best thing about Sea Star is that it is situated on the beach. A short sandy path leads from the reception desk, down to the café and finally to the beach. The sand is brown and a little rougher than some, but still a lovely place to spend the day basking in the sun and watching all the beach activities. There are volleyball nets set up and ready for play, along with boat rides and kayaks available. The beach is lined with resorts and restaurants so anything you need is readily accessible.
One of my favorite activities was my ride in the outrigger style boat that line the shores. The cost was around 1,000 rupees, which is about $15 USD. The captain and his first mate were waiting for me promptly at 7:00 A.M. The old wooden boat that was probably about 15 feet long. It had a stabilizer on the right-hand side made from branches and logs crudely tied together. They push the boat out into the water directly from shore. It is setting on round logs that roll as they push it and they rotate the back one up to the front as they push. I could see them carefully watching the waves and timing the launch. When they said to jump in I wasted no time and we made it through the crashing waves out to the calmer water quite easily. We were out for about an hour. The sun was rising over the mainland and the golden hues reflected beautifully on the sandy shores. We cruised by Butterfly Beach (called that because of its shape) and saw several dolphins near Dolphin Beach.
One day I rented a scooter and rode to Palolem Beach to check it out. Surprisingly, there was no paperwork to fill out to rent the scooter. They didn’t even look at my passport. They just took my 400 rupees and handed me the keys. I had to ask for a helmet. Most people ride without them there. I had never ridden a scooter before, only a motorcycle. It was fun and easy to ride. I got lost twice on the way to Palolem but people are friendly and happy to assist you. Be cautious with the potholes though. The roads in India are a little rough and scooters don’t have great shocks. I hit one particular pot hole too hard and too fast and almost lost control of the scooter.
Palolem is a lot like Agonda but a little bigger and a little busier. Agonda is much more laid back. If you want to party, Palolem is a better a choice. If you want to chill out in a quiet place with a book, Agonda is the beach for you. Both beach towns have great handicraft shopping and lots of fun activities available. I enjoyed my drop-in yoga classes near the Sea Star and the delicious variety of seafood. It was a nice relaxing stay and is on my list of places to return to, perhaps for an extended period next time.