It was indefinite that the hostel crowd in Anjuna would soon disperse, most heading up or down the coast. It was time for a change of scenery so I loaded up my bike and cycled to Vagator, just 3km up the road. Like Anjuna, Vagator is one of Goa’s crazy “party” destinations but thankfully being out of season my stay was very much a low-key affair.
Our main reason for visiting Vagator was to stay at Jungle Hostel which we had heard so much about by others we have met on the way. Part of the same chain of hostels to the one we stayed at in Fort Kochi, Jungle Hostel certainly lived up to expectations. It took me two days to explore any further than Mango Tree, the restaurant next door, but I managed to cycle around the whole area in a short while. That’s the beauty about cycle touring, you can go anywhere any time. I don’t have the stress of trying to find out how to get from A to B, spend hours booking train tickets or trying to find the correct bus stop, plus I never work up a sweat having to walk with my life on my back. It’s SO much easier, trust me.
If anyone fancies joining me on my next cycle tour, applications are now open 😉
Like my father, I like to research where best to eat and what’s going on wherever I go, I hate missing out. Through my research, I heard about Antares Beach Club owned by Sarah Todd from Masterchef Australia. Her recently opened restaurant-come-bar was amazing and I could have spent many afternoons there with my girlfriends sipping on Mojitos, listening to the chilled summer tunes. Sadly I am cycle touring on a budget so unable to indulge in many of my favourite pastimes, but I did treat myself to a sunset beer and a chocolate brownie totalling to a staggering £10. Not much in the “real world” but in India, this is two days worth of living expenses. “Why not?”
One day on the bike I spent just 70p but my days in Goa are totalling way over £10, a pretty different lifestyle that’s for sure. That’s to say I am living like a queen here; a daily Americano, sunset beers, AC room and my biggest luxury, the option to choose from an actual menu. There’s no “point and eat what you’re given” here. Needless to say my body has taken just as much of a battering than my wallet, Goa’s added a few years on I’m sure.
Every day in Goa I’ve woke up saying “today is the day I’ll be healthy, swap my pancake for a bowl of fruit, my burger for a salad and have just one sunset beer”. Gone are the days where I had ample self control, I can no longer restrict myself and if I’m honest, I don’t think I want to. Life’s too short. I am, however, craving a spot of exercise and this whole Yogi (Yoga) thing really isn’t me so I jumped on my bike and cycled 25km to Arambol to meet some lads I met in Hampi – more on that in my next post. After a night there I cycled 25km back to Vagator and then 5km back to Anjuna for Tuesday’s big beach party, as you do. Hugo, the lads from Arambol and new friends from Vagator joined us for one last party arriving at 8pm and returning at 10:30am the next day. “What goes on in Goa stays in Goa” or so they say!
Jungle Hostel is the perfect place to relax after a heavy night and we spent the evening smoking weed (not us Mom!) and listening to Mikael jamming on the guitar. My first impressions of some of the more hippie characters of our group were not so favourable, I have to admit. But then it was 4am and they had taken a fair few things they shouldn’t have, where I was completely sober. What I’ve learnt is that you can’t judge people by their choices, their clothes or their views on life. My two young “hippy” friends are some of the most interesting and genuine people I have ever met and are providing me with much entertainment. Sadly I’ll never be able to pull off those John Lennon sunglasses or hemp sandals, it’s just not me.
So, my time in Vagator was spent near enough in the same way as my time in Anjuna: relaxing, eating, the occasional party and if I’m honest not really leaving the hostel at all. This travelling the world malarkey is tiring don’t you know! It’s a tough life and sometimes it’s good to sit still, soak up the sun air-conditioned room and chill the hell out. Life’s a beach!