A short flight from Mumbai took us to Goa, the beach vacation destination of India. There is a range of beaches here, from crowded, noisy spring break party spots for young Indians to serene and secluded stretches of sand barely touched by tourists. Towards the latter end of the spectrum was our spot, Agonda Beach. Recommended by fellow staff (Nan and Kate) with whom we rendezvoused, Agonda is a quiet and picturesque stretch of sand about 3km long on the Arabian Sea. Based on appearances, the locals number in the 100s during the busy (winter) season. There is exactly one road, lined with shops, which runs along the beach and is only partially paved. The whole town (if you can call it that; it’s more of a fishing village) gives the feeling of existing, Brigadoon-style, for only 3 months each year. It’s one of the few places in India that serves convincing western food and drink, though the local seafood specials deserve top billing.
The beach itself is lined with rental huts, which range from about 500 to 4000Rs per night. We stayed at Rainbow huts, which was 600Rs/night ($12) and had the best food on the beach. A plate of Chinese noodles ran about $2 and a local beer was about $.80. Though we didn’t get much in the way of cultural education (90% of the people on the beach were European tourists), it was a perfectly idyllic escape from the chaos that is typical of Indian travel. There is nothing to do in Agonda, which is what makes it great. It freed us up to accomplish a lot of nothing while we were there.
As for what that looks like, I will paint for you a picture. With pictures.