Backpacking in Anjuna: Goa, India


Look, I found the motorised version of my bike!

We took the highway from Palolem to Anjuna as there’s likely to be hills, rough roads and more chance of finding a bike shop. This busy highway was, however, lined with roadworks and had a fair few inclines. With this in mind I would definitely recommend the coastal road for a more scenic and enjoyable ride. The decision to take this rather tedious route paid off because I found a bike shop in Margeo (this town is probably your best opportunity for a taste of what the rest of India is really like if visiting Goa) and spent a hefty sum on another botch job to “fix” my bike but hey, at least I was now moving at a reasonably good rate. 


One of my favourite beach hangouts

Now in North Goa, things have become busier and even more westernised. Famous for it’s crazy psy-trance parties, nightlife in Goa doesn’t stop and Anjuna is said to be one of the busiest. After two months of not having a beer or a dance, we decided to stop here. We checked out the hostels, which had been recommended to us and found absolutely no sign of life. Wah. We at least found staff at Roadhouse Hostel and got a really good vibe from the place. The weekly social BBQ in the garden got everyone up from their naps and soon formed a nice group to hang out with.


Evening beach rituals

After two weeks of no alcohol, it didn’t take long for the free flowing rum punch to hit me and the night was spent dancing away at Curlie’s Techno party, which I’ve been told was an extremely toned down “quieter” version of what it’s like during high season. I didn’t have anywhere to store my money as I had no pockets, bag and wasn’t wearing a bra, so I had no other option than to put it down my pants. Typically it wasn’t long until I needed the loo, completely forgetting I had my money down there and flushed almost £20 down the loo. I was so annoyed at myself, £20 may not get me many cocktails in London but it goes a loooooong way in India.

The first stages of bruising. My nail is now totally black.

I continued to be unlucky stupid and managed to get my thumb jammed in the hinge of the taxi door when leaving the club. Without hesitation I put my other arm through the open window and quickly opened the door, freeing my now blue thumb. Ouch. The next day was spent lazing around with my new friends at Tangra, a cool hippie hangout at the south end of the beach. The benefit of it being off-season was that I didn’t get charged for using the sun lounger plus there weren’t so many pestering beach sellers.

Hostel crowd

One thing I love about travelling is that it really is *sings* “a small world after all“. Turns out the English girls I met in Tangra’s loo are the same English girls that had been hanging out with my friends from Hampi who were now at the next beach up the coast. We all joined together for another party *sighs* and although I only went “out out” on two days out of the four, nocturnal Goa had got the better of me. I since returned to Anjuna for one last crazy party, blogpost on this coming up!

Eva’s Cafe – a pretty awesome food find

After the ultimate lazy day I needed to do SOMETHING so I went to bed at 10pm, woke at 7am and headed straight to Artjuna for an Americano and a spot of blogging. I had been asked to do some free-lance content writing and social media work for a charity in Goa, which helps children in poverty get off the street into education. This kept me busy for the day while I indulged in my favourite food finds, a blue cheese salad from Eva’s Cafe and real Italian Gelato from Cream Choc

This sums up my time chilling in Anjuna

I also got my first Indian massage which doubled up as my first ever massage on a beach. I managed to get the old Indian man down from £5 to £1 so I thought “why not“. It was relaxing but it certainly didn’t last a full 30 minutes and the majority of it involved the old guy taking great length to mend my cyclist glutes. I had to try and stop myself laughing at the situation as my arsecheeks were severely wobbled while wearing a bikini on a sun lounger.

Twice-daily fish man

I mean, this guy has a pretty awesome job, getting paid to rub half-naked girls in a county where something like this would be outlawed (like I said Goa is a world away from India). What’s more, he even used my bottle of mineral water to wash the sand off me and then asked me if he could have a sip of my juice as he was thirsty. The hostel crowd joked that he should of been paying me!

Goan street food truck

I had a great time in Anjuna and although it was off-season there are still plenty of parties going on and many decent restaurants still open. I wouldn’t like to come here during the main season as it’s just too hectic with continuous trance parties and so many drugged up tourists you just can’t move. I’m sure it’s good fun though, just not my thing. I’d definitely recommended a stay at Roadhouse Hostel in Anjuna as the staff are great and it’s one of those social but homely hostels where you can just leave your phone in the common area and it will be totally safe. Big thumbs up.

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