I woke up in the morning determined to get to Baga beach that day and find the parties. First of all though I had to find my room key which I had lost and seemed to have vanished. Eventually I was just charged just 100 Rupees by the owners for the loss and set out for Baga beach.
Goa is the name of a state in India and the beaches are spread along the entire state. Baga beach was about 100km away, in India a considerable distance, so I knew that it would take me a decent chunk of the day to get there. I worked out that I could get a bus from Palolem Beach to the town of Margao and from there get a bus onto another town, where I could probably get another bus or motorbike ride down to the beach.
Things naturally did not work out as simply as that. The bus from Palolem beach terminated just a few kilometres away from the beach at the town of Conacona as there had been a traffic accident on the main road and so the road was blocked for the foreseeable future. I ended up walking along in the heat with my backpack towards the train station and eventually managed to flag down a rickshaw.
At the train station I had to wait for an hour for the train and when it arrived I was in the most basic class, which was also incredibly cheap at 9 Rupees (12p) for 47 kilometers!
The train took me to Margao and I then had to get a rickshaw to the bus station on the other side of town as the train line from Margao went further inland. There was some confusion at the bus station because when I paid for my ticket I was not given a ticket and then told that I had been! It was really not a good day. Anyway I managed to board the bus ok but it was so full I had to sit in the back corner with my backpack balanced behind my head as sweat poured down my body in the stifling heat.
That bus took me another 25 kilometers down the road to Panjim where I could have then taken another bus onto the next town, but ended up hopping on the back of some guys motorbike who agreed to take me to Baga beach for 150 Rupees (about 2 quid). The guy balanced my backpack between himself and the handlebars and a little while later we finally arrived.
Tired from the journey I found a guesthouse slightly inland in a maze of alleyways and paid for two nights. I then collapsed onto my bed, took it easy and drank lots of water. I knew how close to heat stroke I was and really didn’t want to spend my last days of travelling in bed.
After a while I ventured out and found the beach. It was crap. It was admittedly huge but the sand was really coarse and instead of the beautiful natural bay that formed Palolem beach, here there was just cliffs on one side and the beach stretching into the distance on the other. I tried walking along the beach past a couple of restaurant places and quickly discovered that most of the development in the area was inland and by the beach were mainly just some run down shacks. There werent even many palm trees but there were loads of flies! Bizarrely with all this the beach seemed to be quite popular with middle class Indian families and groups of young Indian men and women.
I ended up sitting in one of the beachfront restaurants that I had passed by earlier surrounded by India people in family groups and the very occasional Western couple being couply. I ordered a beer and started deciding how to make the best of the situation when a fly came along and somehow managed to fly into my newly opened large bottle of beer and kill itself!
That was it. This was officially a bad idea. I cursed the women of the night before who had recommended this place to me – Palolem beach while not having much of a party at the moment was at least a much nicer beach! I wandered around town for a while, found an internet place and after that realised that there was nothing really to do but go back to the restaurants by the beach and read a book. I really didn’t understand how this was supposed to be the party place – there werent even any bars!!
After a deathly quiet night of reading my book I headed onto bed and on the way came across a strange procession. First there was a truck with some large speakers on the back playing the “Chikara” song and then a load of locals dancing along behind. After that were two cars with religious (Catholic ?) icons in the car boots with the back open and light coming out. There was also religious bunting and lots of lights. It was interesting to watch!
I only decided to stay the second night because I had already paid for it and because I really couldn’t face moving again. It was such a mission. So it was that I got up with low expectations on the second day and headed back to the restaurant. It was a very quiet and chilled out day. I sat in the sun for a while and worked on my tan. There were some Indian lads mucking around in the sea with jet skis which also provided a little entertainment and also there were some small children coming along and begging for money by trying to do tricks in the sand. Otherwise it was book reading time.
I decided to have a decent wander around the area in the late afternoon and came across some nice Portugeese style churches. Otherwise I got some money out with my visa card and had a nose around a couple of shops that were open (most were closed still). On headed back to the beach I bumped into a western couple coming the other way and who I recognised from the restaurant the night before. It turned out that they were coming towards the end of their travels as well and had also been told that Baga beach was the place to go. They were leaving that day and were slightly disappointed with the area as I was. It was a shame as they seemed friendly but of course they were leaving so I spent that night by myself again in the restaurant reading a book.