I researched so much before the trip and got some great information from travel blogs for prices of things, stuff I could work into my budget; so I’m going to put the costs of stuff here in case it helps other people thinking of doing the same trip.
Flight London-Bangalore, October (British Airways, 10hours): 426euros each
Flight to Goa (Spicejet, 1.5hours): 27euros each
5 nights in Beach cottage: 25 euros altogether
Taxi to Agonda Beach, South Goa, 90mins: 1400rs, 12 euros altogether
Dinner for 2 people: 800-900rs (7/8 euros) with no budget, 600rs (5euros) at a push if on tight budget.
Breakfast/Lunch for 2 people: 500rs no budget (4euros). 300rs on tight budget.
Scooter for the day 200rs each (less than 2 euros). With a litre of petrol, add 80rs each. On a budget 2 people could ride on the one scooter.
Goa is on the south-west coast of India. It’s one of the wealthier parts of India due to the booming tourism during the high season of Nov, Dec and Jan.
Ok, I’ll start with the not so good parts of our time in Goa and then I’ll end on a high note with the good stuff.
The not so good stuff:
28 hours of travelling: Stoke-Manchester-London(1hr flight, 1.5 hr delay)-Bangalore(10 hours and 6 hours in Bangalore Airport)-Goa(1.5hr). Not very enjoyable. Especially the flight to Bangalore beside a, um, bigger Indian lady who kept elbowing me every time she moved positions and not even caring she was doing it! haha!
The separate men and women queues for security in Bangalore airport where women are brought into private booths for frisking. One female officer kept me for about 15 minutes in the booth asking me questions and frisking me. Intimadating. Also, not being allowed leave the airport once you enter. We hadn’t even checked our bags in and we wanted to go outside and look for another ATM but we weren’t allowed leave. Very odd.
ATMs not accepting our Bank of Ireland Visa Debit Cards. BOI said that we can only take out 4000 rupees every day, which is about 35 euros, and that they charge 5 euros for every transaction along with the Indian ATMs charging us 2 euros. OH GREAT! Rip-off w@nke*s!
Our beach cottage losing electricity one night and the fan not working = Luke and I waking up as puddles.
The hassling. We went to Palolem Beach (20 minute drive from Agonda) and although it’s a lot more livelier with more westerners etc., we were hassled from the second we got off our scooters for dolphin boat excursions and with people selling stuff. Telling people ‘no, thanks’ every 2 minutes was very annoying. I didn’t like Palolem beach at all.
The mosquitos. I have around 30 bites (not even exaggerating). I look like I have the chicken pox. I hope I don’t do a Cheryl Cole, or whatever her name is now, and get malaria. The malaria tablets make me so ill for about 30 minutes every day, they’re disgusting. *scrunched up angry face*
Not being able to pet all the doggies on the beach in case they have rabies :,(
The Good Stuff:
Watching ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ on the plane - it’s aaaamazing! Watch it.
Our cheap beach cottage - 25 euros for 5 nights. Bargain basement stuff. We got it so cheap because it’s off-peak season right now so most of the tourists won’t arrive for another 2 weeks. It’s a really nice cottage in a lovely resort called Jardim a Mar. A nice German woman called Henny runs it. We found it on Trip Advisor where it has great reviews.
The 90 minute taxi journey from the airport where we got to see India for the first time. The Indian taxi driver singing along to melodramatic songs like ‘Nothing Comapres to You’ and ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ was amusing. I had to resist an urge to sing the version from the movie ‘Old School’.. What a song.
The Sun, Sun, Sun (sang in the tune of the beatles). 35 degrees everyday; it’s both a blessing and a curse. I love it when I’m on the beach but when I’m in the room I feel like I could quite possibly collapse and die. Plus, I still haven’t got that golden tan yet. An Indian woman shouted ‘why are you so pale?!’ at me as I walked down the street the other day. I must literally look transparent to them. Ghostie Murray. Fantastic.
The amazing Agonda beach right outside our door. Paradise. It’s so beautiful and quiet.
Simrose restaurant next door to our resort. The chillout areas with canopes are perfect. Also, eating dinner practically on the beach, especially during sunset, is breathtaking.
Renting a scooter each (and for the first time) and driving to different beaches. We found an amazing desserted beach by accident called Rajban. It was only 200rs (less than 2euros) each to rent the scooters for the day and no previous experience/licence/insurance/helmet/instructions needed apparently!! It was loads of fun!
The bizzareness of cows everywhere. Two of them walking down one lane of the motorway as we drove to our resort. Ridiculous! They’re on the roads, in gardens, camoflauged in the shrubs and trees, on the beach.. everywhere!! One sat down across from us on the beach when we were sunbathing and just stared at us for about an hour. He was milking it at that stage!! He was probably trying to listen in to our moooosic too… Ok, ok, I’ll stop now.
The food!! The Indian food is just amazing. And so CHEAP!! It’s food heaven for Veggie heads like us. Luke and I have had lunch and dinner each day and it’s only cost about 15 euros between us everyday.
Being able to stick to our budget so far of 20euros a day as everything is sooo cheap. Woo hoo!
No alcohol. Even though cocktails are only about 100rs each, less than a euro, we haven’t had one alcoholic drink in 5 days. We get up early and are more productive because of it. Besides, I think I’d want to drown myself in the sea if I woke up with a hangover in this heat. Dead.
They have western toilets!! Yay! No holes in the ground (yet)..
The funny road manner. A family of four on a moped and one guy on a push bike carrying so much stuff that it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen! Drivers beeping the horn constantly at each other for no apparent reason. Oh, and nobody wears a helmet. Nobody.
Our neighbours each side of our beach cottage. On one side is a woman from London, travelling alone. She’s a fellow veggie and she told us she quit her job as a teacher in London and is here for 2 months doing yoga and being organic. She corrects exam papers here in Goa everyday for 25pounds a paper and it only takes her 5 minutes to do each. I want this job right now. She wants to set up a yoga retreat in Portugal and teach it there. Hippy Dippy! The other side is an American couple from San Fransisco; the guy has quit his job and the girl has a 4 month leave of absence. They’re doing a four month trip around Asia. They just came from Mumbai and they said the rats on the streets are as big as cats. I’m going to genuinely scream my head off if I see any when we arrive there tomorrow. I feel sick thinking about it.
So that was Goa and Agonda Beach. We had an amazing time. We’re leaving at 4am to go to the airport for our 4th flight to Mumbai. The biggest city in India (I think) and the most polluted city in the world! Woooo!