Thursday, 4 February 2016

Travels in India, 2016 - Goa's Deep South



The tuk tuk dropped us off just over an hour later in Patnem on Goa's southernmost tip. As usual one of us minded the bags while the other went off in search of a place to stay. Over the last couple of years Patnem's popularity has rocketed; it took over an hour to find anything within our modest budget, eventually settling on a £12 a night room in the Sea View Resort.


Patnem beach is undeniably lovely,


The creek at neighbouring Rajbag beach is stunning.


Total tranquillity only a short walk away from the sun loungers and beach bars spread along rest of the beach.


Patnem Chai Shop serves up a spicy pav bhaji breakfast for 40p.


But Patnem seems rather soulless, a place created to meet the needs of the mostly British visitors, despite its obvious beauty it lacks authenticity and the only Indians we met were the ones serving us dinner. Its a great place to stay if you've never visited Goa before but lacks the vibe of the bigger villages. After a pleasant three day stay we packed up, jumped in a tuk tuk and headed ten kilometres up the road to Agonda.

 
We've been coming here since 2004 when it was little more than a fishing hamlet.


Twelve years ago, other than the locals' homes, there was a hut encampment, a guest house and a tiny general store with a payphone. We stayed in a thatched beach hut, washed from a bucket, ate whatever veg the cook had bought back from the market and went to bed at 9 pm when the electric supply went off.


Again, our accommodation was a thatched coco hut but, in 2016 style, came with an attached bathroom, a shower, free WiFi (not that we used it) and electricity 24/7. We've stayed here three times over the last few years, you can even book on-line (HERE).


These days Agonda is well and truly on the tourist map but at heart remains a fishing village.


Wander along the sandy back lanes and you feel a million miles away from the tourist scene.


Back in the days of Portuguese rule only the churches were allowed to be painted white, a tradition that continues today. Houses in Goa come in all colours.


Be prepared to share the beach with the cows and if, like us, you take a bag of fruit along with you, be prepared to share.



Many of the local fishermen offer boat trips after they've sorted out the morning catch.

We treated ourselves to an early morning punt along the backwaters. The young boatman told us he'd be spending his profits on a trip to the cinema in Goa's second city, Margao. He was going to see Star Wars for the third time in a fortnight.


It was so peaceful we had to keep prodding each other to stay awake.







Before 9am we'd already spotted kingfishers, egrets, parakeets and herons, saw monkeys swinging through the trees, heard the chirruping of squirrels & koels calling and witnessed all manner of fish leaping from the waters.


Like Benaulim, Agonda has some great no-frills meals joints (confusingly known as "hotels" even though there's no bed involved) where you can get a proper pure veg Goan or South Indian breakfast for around £1.

Clockwise from top left: Jon tucking into masala uttapam; me and my massive Masala Dosa; Pav bhaji; Our favourite breakfast spot in Agonda; Puri bhaji; Aloo paratha with curd; Tomato uttapam (click on the links if you're not sure what they are)
There's lots of good restaurants, too. We had a couple of fab nights out with fellow Judy's vintage traders, Saz & Andy, enjoying their first trip to Goa.


Dinner at My Friend's Place. We stayed in their coco huts, just behind the restaurant.


After two weeks in Goa (five days in Benaulim, three in Patnem and six in Agonda) we were relaxed, tanned and totally chilled out.


We could have easily stayed for longer but we needed to pack, we had a plane to catch. Goodbye Agonda! Adventure beckoned.


Part three to follow (if you can stand the excitement!)  More photos HERE

Its business as usual for Kinky this weekend. We'll be trading with Judy's Affordable Vintage at Bethnal Green (see HERE) on Sunday. Come and see us if you can.

57 comments:

  1. Look at you, all Hot Sauce in your bikinis!

    I had not heard of uttapam but now I want to go and look up a recipe. Perhaps I should start with pav bhaji instead, I've loads for that.

    It's strange when places change, isn't it? I suppose everywhere does, it's just easier to see when you return to somewhere rather than living there fulltime.

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  2. of course I can stand the excitement.

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  3. Great photos, your account of your boat trip had me feeling chilled too. Can't wait for part 3. x

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  4. Agonda looks and sound like a great place. It's so neat that you saw its transformation like that.

    The breakfast looks so delicious! And nice that you were able to meet up with some friends from home.

    Hope your weekend trading goes well and is not too jarring after a dreamy month away.

    xo

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  5. Look at you with your bikini bod you hot foxy thing you! Jon ain't half bad either! You do both look so well.

    It's all so bloody gorgeous I don't know where to begin and how brill that you met up with your mates too. Bring on part three!
    Loves ya.
    xxxxx

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  6. Welcome back Vix! You in your bikinis are quite the distraction from the beautiful scenery. What stunning beaches. Love how you matched your toenails to the inside of a boat. Good planning. xxx

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  7. Wow Vix! That first photo had me doing a second take - for a moment you looked stark bollock naked!

    Beautiful photos and I'm so envious of all the different birds you saw. The food photos had me dribbling and you both look so chilled and gorgeous....

    Roll on Part 3!

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

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  8. I feel really chilled out and laid back now. The punt did it for me.
    The best food I had was in a beach hut serving Chinese food. You could see the cooks hanging over the cooking pots with a fag dangling from their lips. No toilet but you could phone home from their phone box
    Looking forward to the next episode.
    Hope Bethnal Green is a good day for you.
    Lynn X X X

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  9. It just sounds wonderful. The punt trip sounds delightful and how nice your fellow traders were there!!! Mmmmm, the food looks Amazing!!!Xx

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  10. Thank you for showing us each year a side of India that the world never gets to see - the beautiful quiet natural side.

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  11. Bugger...every time you're in London, I'm working.
    Yes I thought you were in the buff at first glance too! Thanks for all the links for the fab food, was gonna ask you what a pav bhaji was...now I know. The punt sounds magical and how nice that you managed to catch up with your mates. Looking forward to the next instalment. xx

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  12. So wonderful Vix , fabulous blog post I enjoyed all the pictures ! Best wishes x

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  13. It looks so tranquil in Agonda and that boat trip looks absolutely blissful with those palms and the hills all misty in the distance.

    Love the colours on that shrine, how beautiful is that? And the painting on the boat too.

    As for you in those bikinis - you look so chilled, happy and sexy! xxx

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  14. Looks like a fabulous place Vix and you look amazing as ever. X x

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  15. Cor woman, you are a bombshell in that bikini! I think India just got hotter. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful photos. The ones of all the food have just made me hungry. I do love a good Aloo Paratha but they are like hen's teeth where I am staying. Looking forward to Round 3. Xx

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  16. Totally frickin' heavenly!
    Love! XXXXXX

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  17. your posts are stirring distant rusty old memories .... I remember Margoa it was very busy, noisy and dusty but exciting. I wouldn't mind sharing a beach with cows! Cant wait for the next instalment...

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  18. Your India travel posts are favourites of mine! I just love seeing India's beauty through your eyes! MORE PLEASE!

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  19. Really interesting thanks. You've brought back a long lost urge to visit India. x

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  20. Really interesting thanks. You've brought back a long lost urge to visit India. x

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  21. Vix, you look amazing in your bikini! You and Jon look happy and relaxed. Goa looks like an amazing place.

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  22. You are looking FINE!

    Another wonderful looking vacation. So fun you got to meet some fellow vintage sellers!

    Lovely photos.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  23. Beautiful! I'm imagining the feeling of the sand under foot.
    The beaches do look very look peaceful (except for the one having cows on it)
    and beautiful.
    You and Jon both look young and fit, and that indian food looks delicious!
    Love the pics.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  24. I love your vacay posts!! You enable me to come with you. I think of you all the time as there's a fabulous (!!!) Indian restaurant nearby. We go probably once a week for the lunch specials and I always think of you. I'll confess i don't know the names of all the dishes, but I know that almost without exception, they're all delicious. The clientele is heavily Indian, a good endorsement it seems.

    Welcome home. Hope re-entry has gone smoothly. Love you. XXOO

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  25. That's our ViX! Bringin' sexxxy back!
    Goas's so beautiful, a tropical paradise.
    Oh I miss the ocean.
    How a California girl like me married a Kashmiri Indian & ended up living in landlocked Nepal is beyond me.
    xox

    http://calmlycookingcurry.blogspot.com/2016/02/all-leaves-are-brown-sky-is-grey.html

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  26. I haven't seen a beach in over fifteen years, but I am enjoying your holiday snaps. You and Jon work so hard all year long, it is nice to see you relaxing and enjoying a break in such a beautiful place.

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  27. I'm loving this dose of Goan sunshine, your holiday photos are always so inspirational! Those photos on the backwaters in particular are stunning. I have started to get into making more curries from scratch, so thank you for the food descriptions! Looking forward to the next post! Xx

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  28. This post made me Think of the Diana Vreeland-quote "Pink is the navy blue of India" for some reason.

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  29. Wow what an amazing trip!! I love that you aren't all about the all inclusive. My husband and I love to just jump right into the neighbourhood of where ever we may be. Thats where you find the most amazing places and meet great people!! And food that cheap! I would be coming home with a big o belly from eating hahaha!! Thanks for sharing about the vintage fair I showed my daughter and she is super excited to check it out we are going to try and get to the one in Lincoln on Saturday ~Have a great weekend ~Heather

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  30. Wonderful photos and description I would love to go to India but John isn't to keen I love seeing it from your eyes I to like to visit the un tourist like places of a country. You look fabulous on the beach. Star wars film is great I took Jake to see it more for him than me but I can understand why the boatman wanted to see it 3 times :-) have a lovely weekend, dee xx

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  31. Beautiful pics , Beautiful vix , What more can i say xxx

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  32. Look at you in your foxy bikini making the rest of us feel all pasty and pale!
    What I wouldn't give to be on such a gorgeous beach, not sure about the cows though.

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  33. It all looks so lovely and relaxing. Sounds like you had a great time, that part about the boatman going to see Star Wars three times did make me laugh.

    Looking forward to seeing you at Bethnal Green on Sunday xx

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  34. it's all a wonder, especially the food, the beaches and you!

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  35. I'd have been tempted to abduct Roop Singh's shop sign -- what an entrepreneur!

    Keep posting the pictures, Vix! We're enjoying being dazzled by the colors while hearing the birds, tasting the food, and wiggling our toes in the sand (watching out for cow pats along the way).

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  36. That boat trip looks so tranquil and inviting. I love to see parrots in their natural world. And you, my dear, rock a bikini like no other. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  37. Looks amazing and so peaceful. X

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  38. Love this second installment of the adventure in India! It looks so peaceful, and that food looks amazing!Love your crochet bikini too you look fab xxxx

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  39. The beach looks amazing and those views looking out across the water are beautiful. What a stunning place! - Tasha

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  40. love love love, bring on part three!!!

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  41. i see you are still killing it in the bikini! everything you 2 do is done with such style and flair. love it all!!!! x

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  42. You look like the Little Mermaid in the first shot. So lovely. I also love the photo of your blue toenails and hippie skirt. It really just sums up the mood of your vacay. Masal Dosa. Yummmmmm. You and Jon look so relaxed that it's contagious.

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  43. Siren on a rock or what?! And Jon is looking very buff and relaxed too. Your photos are just stunning and making me long for some adventure x

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  44. Oh boy! It's almost midnight and I'm ready to go to bed - I hope these photos stay in my head so I can have awesome dreams! Ready for part 3!

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  45. i can almost feel the sand and sun and smell the tasty food.....
    your boat trip sound wonderful!!!! xxxxxx

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  46. Oh how wonderful! You look spectacular in your bathing suit.
    And that FOOD!! I shouldn't have read this post before my breakfast!
    The photo of the river is just gorgeous.
    xox

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  47. absolutely fabulous and relaxing places! loving to see all your pics!
    besos

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  48. The peace and tranquility shown in your photos seems like the perfect antidote to the hunting/washing/selling frenzy of your life in the past year. I so enjoy reading the recap of your annual Goa adventure. I've learned that a sun, sand and water getaway is not my preferred type of vacation, but seeing the two of you looking all tanned and rested, I can certainly understand the appeal, especially when surrounded by a different culture.

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  49. You are rocking that bikini, love! Oh what gorgeous photos - I am drooling over my keyboard (TMI?!) The food, the beaches, the colours, the wildlife (and the cows!) and meeting up with some mates too, how fantastic.
    Back to work then? I need you back on your sofa for a textfest over The Voice - still waiting for Jon to appear...
    Love you! xxx

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  50. This made me laugh; when you did your first post from India, I was going to put in the comment section 'bikini shot, please', but then I thought that sounds a bit like an old perve, so I restrained myself, and there you are, right at the start of the second post, looking fabulous in next to nothing. Brilliant. Your early morning punt around the backwarers sounds utterly idyllic, what a lovely thing to do. Thatched coco huts sound perfect, and what fun to meet up with pals. Keep the posts coming Vix, they are just wonderful xxxxx

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  51. Hi Vix, I have been dying to see your vacation photos. You never disappoint; thank you. I can not wait to see more. You two had a blast. Wish I had the money to tag along! :-)

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  52. You are sooooo beautiful, Vix! That first photo takes my breath away. You and Jon look so completely in sink with yourselves, I am often wondering whether you guys decide to stay in India forever... I haven't realized until just recently that you've been visiting India for 16 years! You always write about it with such deep love, it's a book waiting to happen - a wonderful, truly soulful book. I'll be back to savor your travel log again, thank you for all you do - selecting the photos, writing about it, it's all wonderful!

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  53. Such a beautiful and peaceful place! And I know Goan food is something fantastic so I can imagine how much you enjoyed your stay there. Wonderful bikini photos!

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  54. you seem to have had an amazing time! I love those beach photos....and the food looks yummy.

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  55. Delicious food and beaches? Sign me up! I also kind of love the fact none of the houses are painted white (says the lady who lives in a while flat!)

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  56. Look at you rocking that bikini! Bub's asleep giving me a chance to catch up on your blog - loving the India posts - so glad you got to go and you've done some amazing sights too! Thanks for bringing me some much needed sunshine to a cold rainy London night Xxx

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Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx