So my friend and I decided to just take a relaxed two day break and we picked a beach called Palolem in the south-side of the popular coastal state in Goa.
Here’s the funny thing – a lot of travellers tend to treat Goa like it’s just one big beach-city, and forget that it’s a state, however tiny, with several towns and villages. My friend had a hilarious experience when were on the train to Margaon, the closest major railway station from Palolem beach. We were supposed to reach Margaon at 5 am, so when we woke up at 4.45 am, our co-passengers were already awake. She asked a girl if the next station was Margaon, to which the girl replied confused – “the next station is Goa right?”. My friend probably died laughing inside her head. Here’s the thing – there is no station called Goa. It’s a freaking state!
I met the most clueless solo-traveller on the same train. A young guy asked us if the train would stop at a place called “Thivim”. This was when the train was just one stop away from its last stop. Forget that it did not stop at “Thivim”, the place was not even on the route. There are a lot of times when trains do not stop at small stations, but that wasn’t the case. I asked the guy if he was joining some friends, but he said he was travelling solo. So he basically booked train tickets to who the fuck knows where, but it wasn’t even on the train schedule. Was my turn to laugh on the inside. Covid19 masks are a big boon in these times.
So well, we had a hilarious start to our day. We then got fleeced a little by the auto drivers, who charged us Rs 150 to take us to the bus stop which was just 4.8 kms away. It was too early in the morning to haggle, so we just paid up. But if you ever decide to go to Palolem, you can just walk to the Margaon Municipal Council and ask someone for the bus-stop, it’s just a 1.4 km walk from the station. We found this out on our way back after ther trip (so we walked to the station for free). The local bus from Margaon to Palolem costs Rs 35, which is less than half a dollar.
The bus drops you on the main road, which is about 1.4 km from the Palolem beach, a distance we walked. We were at the beach by 7.30 am. Our hotel check in time was 12 pm, so we dropped our bags at the reception, had an early breakfast at one of the beach shacks and then explored the left stretch of the beach till 11.30 am.
We stayed at a place called “Resort De Palolem” and had a fantastic beach facing single-room a/c cottage to ourselves. The view was so amazing that we had no reason to step out of our room after checking in. It begins to get hot in March in the coastal areas, so our room offered us a perfect view of the beach, without us having to step out of the air-conditioned comfort it provided!
The picture from my phone does no justice to the view from our room. While we stayed in most of the time, we did step out for lunch to a tiny restaurant called “Rian”, which was a 1.2 km walk from our room. The place was recommended by friends for home-made food. We had rawa fry prawns for starters, which was amazing. And there was pork curry and rice for main course. The pork was slightly under-cooked, so it was mediocre. Be sure to tell the restaurant that you are in no hurry for your pork and it should be fine. Their service was very prompt and the staff was super-sweet. It’s a very modest looking restaurant, but worth a shot. So pay them a visit.
We went for a long walk to the other side of the beach in the evening, before heading out for dinner. There are a lot of water-sports options for those looking for adventure. There is kayaking, boating, something akin to surfing and a bunch of other water activities that one can do. Since we were just looking to relax, we just walked, danced and then went to a place with Karaoke and sang an old Hindi song.
Palolem is a great weekend getaway if you are looking for a calmer beach destination in Goa.