21. - 29.12.2013: Agonda Beach, Goa

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Sat, 21.12.2013 to Sat, 28.12.2013: Agonda Beach, Goa, sunny, 27°C

We got up at 5-15am, packed and got a rickshaw to the train station. The train was 45 minutes late so we had just over an hour to wait. We got on at 7-15am and found our seats which were side bunks, one on top of the other. We moved the used bedding and most of our luggage onto the top bunk, turned the bottom bunk into seats, and stowed our roller bag underneath.

Despite being extremely tired, we managed to survive the 8 hour plus journey to Madgaon, south of Goa. We arrived 3-30pm which was 1.5 hour later than scheduled. We were going to go to the pre-paid taxi rank and already knew that the cost would be around 800Rs to get to Agonda Beach. So when a rickshaw driver offered to take us for 700Rs we hopped on.

It took one hour and it was surprisingly hilly. Our rickshaw was slow going over the hills as we weighed so much. Our driver was also a big man! But we made it to Sami's Beach Huts which had been recommended to us by Jenny and Gabriel.

We loved the place as soon as we got there! We had a choice of two cabins - one in the second row for 1500Rs a night ($23) and one in the third row for 1000Rs ($16). Really cheap seeing as we would be staying for 8 nights over Christmas.

We chose the cheaper hut which was basic but very clean with an ensuite bathroom. No hot water but we had a kettle so we could have hot showers. We got WiFi in our hut and we had our own little verandah where we were served breakfast and could walk straight onto the beach. Paradise!

We met up with Jenny and Gabriel who would be leaving the next day, heading south and went out for a meal with them at one of the numerous beach restaurants. We all ordered different dishes and shared it all - Chicken Tikka Massala, two different Thalis, and Dhal along with rice and naan bread. We ate the lot!! I ordered a Banoffee Pie for dessert and Jenny liked it so much she ordered one too!

We said goodbye to them because they would be leaving very early the next morning and promised to keep in touch and send tips etc for when they come further north. We might meet up again along the way.

We had all sorts of plans for our little holiday here, planning to go and see other beaches and go into Goa. In the end though, we stayed put. We thoroughly enjoyed the peace and tranquillity which was such a difference from everything we had experienced so far in India. No pushy sellers, we weren't hassled, plenty of restaurants to choose from and one of the best beaches in India.

Prakash and his wife Shamal, the owners of Sami's (named after their daughter) are really nice people. They made sure we had everything we needed and their breakfasts were wonderful. Pancakes, egg dishes, cheese and tomato toasties, muesli along with other choices and a range of drinks including freshly squeezed orange juice.

We phoned home to wish everyone a Merry Christmas where it's cold whilst we went for walks on the beach!! There were even motor homes parked at the far end, most with some kind of damage! We would never drive a motor home here and one French couple said they had driven from France to Nepal without an accident and within the first two weeks in India they had three - two involving rickshaws!!

It wasn't all holiday though as we phoned the Myanmar embassy in New Delhi to check what we needed to get a visa for that country, booked a tour in Myanmar and our flights, and almost got up to date with our website aswell.

Sadly our 8 nights were over far too soon and we wished we hadn't booked our flights to Delhi so that we could stay. If we had known what was to come we would've cancelled the flights!!