Tuesday, 13 December 2011


A long sandy beach with palm trees dotted in between the huts and restaurants that are crammed tightly behind it. As there are fortunately no all night raves going on here, the only noise you will encounter are the many stray dogs, a few pigs, cows, chickens, the dreaded 5am cockerel and the waves crashing against the sand.

Clothing: Bikinis and bare legs/arms acceptable.

Shopping: Many stalls, selling the usual touristy items. On one occasion we spotted a few tiny kittens and were offered them for 100Rs each, this eventually turned into a 'buy one get one free' offer that we politely declined.

Tip: All of the mopeds are hired out for 200Rs per day, we bartered ours down to 150Rs.

We arrived at Madgoen train station at 3:15am but hadn't booked anywhere to stay. We paid 750Rs for a pre paid taxi as there were no buses or rickshaws during that time of night, and asked to be dropped off at Palolem beach. Considering the lack of sleep, i was surprisingly wide awake and after making it down to the beach front we decided our best bet was to sleep on the beach. We wrapped ourselves in blankets, huddled together and looked up at the stars, waking to a beautiful sunrise.

Ian kipping on the beach

Ian went hut hunting but couldn't find anywhere cheaper than 700Rs - 800Rs per night. Some of the places were going for as much as 2,500Rs and some of the cheaper 700Rs rooms he looked at were dumps. He decided to go for a hut at 'D'Costa' on the North side of the beach for 800Rs per night. When i saw it i instantly fell in love with the place. Although a basic hut it had a lovely little balcony with chairs and most importantly we even had a direct view of the beach. The surrounding area was well maintained and it felt like a safe little community.

Tip: The north side of the beach seemed a little quieter, you can also find cheaper rooms that are not directly on or near the beach if you are on a tight budget.

Our hut

During December/January i can only imagine that Palolem is extremely busy and well over-priced, i was glad that we visited during November, when some of the huts were still being, or had just been built. There was one bar located in the middle of the beach that opened 24hrs, the rest closed quite early. There is also a 'silent disco', which is held on a Thursday and Saturday night until 5am on the South side of the beach, however we didn't attend.

Tip: Save money on drinks and buy a bottle of 'Old Monk' rum for 125Rs

Ian climbing the coconut tree outside our coco hut

Some of the sunsets here are absolutely amazing, the best i have ever seen. To get the perfect view head to the North side of the beach where there is a random bar, that looks deserted, just across from a shallow stream. Be careful not to get cut off by the tide, although this did happen to us, navigating our way back after a few too many rums was quite eventful and comical.

Bart, Rosie, Ian and I and the fire that we (ok, Ian) made at Sunset Beach

One of the many beautiful sunsets at Palolem

Tip: If you fancy some western food order a tasty pizza at 'Magic Italian' located on the road towards the beach.

We enjoyed a couple of days on the beach and met up with Rosie and Bart again, who also stayed at D'Costa. During our time here we all hired mopeds and cruised around for places to explore. The first stop was Agonda beach, which i would say was as big as Palolem but almost deserted, the perfect getaway beach if you want some peace and quiet.

Rosie & Ian on Agonda beach

The next stop was a place called 'Cabo de Rama Fort' that gave us a stunning view point and an interesting drive through a few local villages.

The view from the fort

Giant skeleton leaf

On another occasion just myself and Ian hired a moped and upon a recommendation from a friend went in search of a place called 'The Blue Lagoon'. The name itself made me want to find it, and after a 3hr drive in the wrong direction and back we eventually located it. It is a few miles north of Agonda, at a place called 'Cola Beach'. We stayed only 10 minutes and during that time both decided that we would leave Palolem the following day and although over our budget, bartered a tent from 1500Rs to 1000Rs per night at Blue Lagoon.

 Our moped

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