If Anjuna is the party animal of Goa, then that makes Palolem its sleepy, laid back sister. Situated around 3 hours south of Anjuna, it has clean white sand, clear water and only the most basic of structures and accomodation which lead to it feeling removed from the fast pace of the rest of India.
Almost all of the accomodation in Palolem is tiny beach shacks. We chose to stay with Rococo Pelton as there shacks had good reviews and were a little cheaper than some as they were not directly on the beach (they were still close enough that you could hear the wave crashing as if they were in your room at night though) and as there seemed to be little available on booking.com. With most other towns we had simply rocked up and had a hotel in mind and would go there and inspect it first, but we were worried that due to a Hindu festival being on at the same time that there may not be any room if we didn’t pre book.
Getting off the bus after our four hour journey that included 3 buses (they all connect easily and the conductors at each station are very helpful in pointing you in the right direction) and a lot of stopping while Stu regained his wellness, we arrived to find our worries about lack of accomodation offers was unfounded. As we stepped off the bus we had at least 3 people approach us with the offer of accomodation on the beach for 600 rupees, 400 less a night then we were paying. We didn’t see this accomodation so I cannot comment on its quality, but I was told by Rococo Peltons manager that there are still many places in Palolem that do not advertise online so rocking up and trying your luck here is still a good option.
Our shack was very basic, but it had everything we needed for our stay. Cold only shower, comfortable enough bed, fan that was enough to cool you at night and most importantly access to the beach 24/7 as it was only 100m away.
I could write about the next 3 days in detail, but in truth it would probably bore you as all we really did was lay around, swim, play cards and I had a few drinks and watched live music each night while Stu stayed off chilli and the drink to try and get his stomach right. There was also a carnival put on by the local youth group which was great fun and saw the whole community turn out. Overall Palolem really felt like a place of community; many people we met had been coming there for years and the locals seemed happy to get to know you.
Rather than write anything more for this post, I’ll leave you with some photos of the beauty of this place and the gorgeous little carnival we had the pleasure to be part of.