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.
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.
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.
|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)|
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.
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.