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Hugely popular with foreign holiday makers for its sandy beaches and year-round warm weather, Goa is the Costa del Sol of India, replete with loud nightclubs and as much seediness as India will allow. Goa is a state a few hundred miles south of Bombay, with most of the established resorts north of the Goan capital Panjim, and much quieter beaches to the south.

Our trip to Goa was only three nights, and we stayed in probably the most established resort, Calangute. It was much shabbier than equivalent places in Spain, but that was part of its appeal. It was the most raucous nightlife we found in India, but that's not saying much, as India is not the best place to go clubbing.


Lone boat on the beach at Calagute. When we arrived it was night and we walked down to the beach, to find that there were villages all round the horizon out to sea. In the bright light of day it was apparent that these villages were in fact dozens of giant ships sitting offshore, some just visible here.

The previous shot gives a false impression, as I just waited (a while!) for it to be a clear shot. The beach was actually extremely busy.

Calangute beach

Beach shacks

Beach shacks, many of which served excellent curry.

Calangute town itself, main street. Most of the shops sold t-shirts and souvenirs, it was very much a tourist trap.



I was keen to get away from my fellow Johnny Foreigners, so took a trip into colonial Panjim, the Goan capital, to see what the Portuguese had left behind. Churches like this left me not disappointed.

Another Goan church, this one contains the remains of St Francis, kept in a box out of arm's reach.

Another Goan church

Church courtyard

Inside a church courtyard. It didn't feel like India anymore (except for the nagging feeling that lunchtime's curry was giving me).

The Archeological Survey of India is keeping things in check.



This church is more central in Panjim, and looked especially good in the fading light.

Not everything was in such good shape - this church tower had all but crumbled away.

Ruined tower

Mr Motivator?

This bethonged geezer was having a rare old time strolling about the beach on his hands.

I really like the way that Indian women dress for a day at the beach - obviously it's due to their conservative nature, but the juxtaposition gets me every time.

Indian women at the beach

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Copyright © Ross Wattie 2008