I spent 4 nights in Arambol (Harmal) beach, which is the northernmost main beach in Goa, keeping in mind that Goa is about 100km long from north to south, as the crow flies. Plus, if you want to leave by long-distance train or plane, you have to back to/near Margao/Madgaon anyways (originally I wanted to go to northern beaches because I though it would be a little more “on my way” to Mumbai, but no).
Each beach in Goa has its own character; the two I went to were very different, but neither one was picture postcard perfect (supposedly Agonda beach in south Goa comes closest, while still being quiet).
Highlights (or rather points of interest) of my 2 nights in Benaulim beach (technically I might have been in Serabatim beach, which is in between Benaulim and Colva beaches):
Conveniently close (6km) to Margao (Madgaon) where the train station is (recall that i was sick in the train while getting to Goa…)
Mostly an older crowd
You could walk northwards to busier Colva beach (lots of watersports – parasailing was only Rs500/$12.50 with some haggling!!), which is popular with Indian families
Photos: my hotel and resto Coco Huts; barefoot on a shaded beach lounge chair (free); view north from my hotel resto; little crab that digs itself into the sand at edge of surf (even on my hand, it would dig into the little pile of sand and tickle my hand); fishing boat and family on the beach
On Monday I moved from Benaulim beach to Arambol beach, one of the northern-most beaches in Goa (which is a comparatively small state for India).
The move required an auto-rickshaw, 2 express buses and a local bus (3 ¼ hours total), plus some time in one of the towns to hit an ATM and top-off my Indian mobile.
Hanging out on the beach with new friends, listening to live music in the evenings, etc. Non-busking western saxophonist on the beach for sunset last night!
Much busier here than in Benaulim, way more stores and restos and Internet cafes along the road leading to the beach (the village of Arambol is inland over 1km).
I burned some more photos to DVD to free up 2 full memory sticks and now it looks like my first DVD might be corrupt?! This was on the laptop of my Quebec friend Nicole, who I ran into again here (having first met her on the train from Mysore to Bangalore); now she’s in Rajasthan at an Indian wedding, crossing paths with her daughter who is also travelling in India…
(I bought 3 blank DVDs for Rs100/$2.50)
I’ve had surprising trouble getting on the Internet here – either the connection is down, or hotmail has been down, or power outages, or simply closed (they open late, close early).
Update a few hours later: I’m trying again, but the power was out, though I did get to use one of the computers on their battery back up, but the Internet is painfully slow so more highlights from recent places will have to wait 2-3 more days until Mumbai.
I decided to stay an extra night here, so my next move will be tomorrow back to Madgaon (Margao) to catch an 11-hour night train to Mumbai, where I will be for 2 days.
I did take a second yoga class here, which was great, way better than the first one! The yoga instructor makes all the difference…