We have now been at Palolem beach for a bit over a week. We’ve got a little hut with a sea view, and we’re paying a “breathtaking” 700 rupees (less than 10 euros) per night for it. It is made of something that closely resembles cardboard and it comes with extra bugs, but we have a bar/restaurant right next to us (“room service” includes bringing beers (small Kingfisher 50 rupees) and sandwiches to our balcony), and it has a bathroom with an actual, working shower. It was very easy to get, as well; once we hopped off the taxi, there was immediately a man asking if we needed a hut, we said yes, and soon we had paid the rent for five nights, which we extended by another five.
Palolem beach is gorgeous. Naturally, you must have a ton of people constantly asking you if you need a taxi or a boat ride or shoes or an elephant or a castle, but unless you actually need something, you just say “Thanks, we already went there/ booked it for tomorrow with someone else” or “How much is it? Oh that’s cheap/expensive/outrageous, we’ll think about it.” But if you want, you may go see dolphins (we did for 800 rupees per two persons), take a taxi to a spice plantation (we did for 1600 per taxi and 400 ticket per person; shared the car with two other Finnish ladies), go canoeing (did not go yet, about 100 rupees per person per hour) or buy those hippie style Goa clothes for fixed or bargain price. You can also buy jewelry, for example rings (we did, price is a secret).
The beach has countless bars and restaurants, with just delicious food, and some with good food but sort of strange service. Salads are not that good, but nevertheless a vegetarian may find the place a little piece of heaven; same goes for a seafood lover. Local food is practically made of seafood and fire, but you can get pretty much any sort of food here (if by any you mean Asian or Western). Of course, having a cow or two or some puppies sharing the space with you comes with the deal J
If you’re looking for some luxury time, don’t worry; the beach has several hotels, houses and family guest houses, plus fancy but affordable restaurants and bars. Some you can even book online, but the best way is to just get here, look for someone with rooms, and just let them know what you need. Eventually you will find the exact bed chamber to best fit your royal needs; we were first offered a hut for 500 rupees, but I being a bit of a princess, insisted on getting one with a sea view. Two minutes later, we got one from the same guy.
So, next Monday we will have gathered our strength for ten days after what turned out to be a week of disgusting nausea and stomach cramps; next we will head to Northern Goa, spend a couple of days at Panjim, and then go see what the Northern beaches have to offer. And we will not eat any mayo sandwiches ever again.