dsc02384Goa is often described as India lite, a simpler version of India that is easy to take in, and easier to enjoy. Suitable for those who like all the comforts of home, in a tropical and exotic setting, layered with culture and a relaxed vibe, something for those who don’t like too much exploring, or challenge.

I don’t know if it’s the Portuguese influence? the palm trees? the Yoga concentrations? or the fact that beach time translates to relaxation in most cultures. Whatever it is? Goa is chilled, a really nice contrast from the hustle and bustle, and for me, it really couldn’t come soon enough, I really needed a break from India full strength.

With a plan to stay a while in Goa and to visit different locations and to really try to experience an overview of this small state. Perhaps not the most relaxing way to visit Goa, but as someone who is writing a travel blog while on holiday it is clear that full on relaxation and I are not comfortable bed fellows. On the itinerary is; Calungute for a series of beach shack experiences, Panaji for the old quarter and Portuguese heritage, Mandrem for a yoga themed retreat and Agonda for a relaxed low key beach experience.

I have avoided eating fish since Kolkata, having grave concerns about fresh water quality, along with concerns about food transportation and storage in many other places. I was really wanting to be able to see the sea, pollution and industrial free, before I ordered fish, happy with the views of the Goan coastline, I am now eager to grab some seafood.

p1070151The food is slightly different all over India, with Goa providing yet more variations, the spices that brought traders to these shores, centuries ago, feature heavily here, spicy, sour and pungent flavours and smells. Traders brought with them their own culinary influences too, that over time is incorporated into the local diet. With the Portuguese influence clearly obvious, with Pao, a distinctly Portuguese style bread roll readily available.