Goa Diaries: Palolem

Technically speaking, my trip had started with a one day halt in Bombay where I only got to visit Leopold Cafe and a part of Colaba. However, I found Leopold to be little overrated and I did not get much time to explore Colaba properly so I will skip that part and take the reader straightway to the platform of Margaon railway station where we would arrive after a very comfortable overnight journey that had started at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. Train journeys are so much more enjoyable than sitting up straight inside the belly of an airplane while half-witted, miserable Indian co-passengers around you are busy taking selfies from every possible angle. Even though my anxiety-stricken ass stays half awake all night in fear of getting groped or having my luggage stolen, I still find train rides are far better than flights.

My first ever Goa trip was long time back. It was extremely short and poorly researched. Except for the things I had shopped during my two days trip I did not have much recollection. And this time destination was different too. Instead of being stuck in dirty, overcrowded North Goa with stupid Indian tourists we had chosen to stay in South Goa. And that too in a studio apartment in Canacona.

We had four beaches near to our place and we started with the most popular one. Palolem. During the following two weeks we would visit Palolem a myriad number of times and by the time we would leave Goa I would have explored almost every shop on the way to beach. I will probably remember their faces even after a decade.

What to do in Palolem:

Enjoy the beach. Play some football. Drink a few beer. Take a boat trip to dolphin island. Sunset looks beautiful from Palolem.

Food! Palolem is not exactly an off-beat beach. It's pretty much full of people. But still one would find very less cheap Indians there. On the other side it has some very good places to eat. The most popular of them would be Dropadi. We went to Dropadi a multiple number of times during our stay and we weren't disappointed even once. Special tip? Do try their crab biryani. It's heavenly.
The other good places worth mentioning would be Round Cube, Cuba, Cheeky Chilli, and Tatva.

Shopping is another fun thing to do in Palolem. It has some of the best of shops and boutiques. One can buy boho dress, silver jewellery, vintage patches, leather-bound journal, spices, herbal skincare products, showpieces and many more. Although I feel that Goa may not be the ideal place to buy authentic silver jewellery. They are painfully overpriced. Palolem has some exclusive boutiques also including a Fabindia outlet.

Palolem has many spa and massage centres where one can get different types of massage treatments depending upon one's requirement. Some of these places are run by Keralites and one can have a little taste of Kerala's famous Ayurveda on their trip to Goa.

Visit Chaudi. It's about three kilometers from Palolem. Chaudi is basically the marketplace of Canacona. Unhealthy but utterly delicious street food, adorable stray puppies, local women selling anything and everything from fruits to fish. Chaudi is a small picture postcard of everything quintessential Goan. Just be careful of  head on collision with cows on stealth mode. I had close shave not once but two times. But I am a rare species anyway.

There's a liquor store en route Palolem where we had our first ever Mead.