Anjuna Flea Market
The road to North Goa - Patnem to Arambol via Anjuna, India
What better way to explore the coastline of Goa than to hire a fur lined minibus driven by a longhaired avid fan of The Smiths? The journey out of Patnem was exquisite.
We snaked along twisting roads lined with enormous palm trees, occasionally joining a road along the border of a mountain, where the edge dropped straight down to the blue ocean. The locals wandered along the road carrying wears on their heads, or harvesting the eternal rice fields.
Suddenly we were out of the trees and into the hub of the central Goan towns. Gliding through Margoa, Verna and Cortalim behind glass was an incredible sight. A jumble of vibrant colours replaced the greenery.
Tiny street stores selling Indian sweets were squeezed between old-fashioned boot polishing stalls and tiny flats. Many of the post offices in this region are stunning archaic buildings. We stopped off at Anjuna open-air flea market, and in the blazing midday heat, we entered the fray. The market is simply staggering- huge piles of hand stitched cushion covers and swinging curtains, thousands of carved figurines and stunning jewellery.
We spent hours getting lost amongst the spices and souvenirs before joining the road once more. Finally arriving at Arambol, we grabbed our bags and made our way along the beautiful coastline to the edge of the mountain. The beach itself had a very vibrant hippy scene, with several organised yoga and tai chi classes dotted along the beach. A short walk from the main beach through tunnels of stalls and houses is the famous Arambol sweet water lake. The beach here and the lake itself are much quieter and the lagoon is a relaxing break from the ocean waves. Later we collapsed at Panji on Arambol beach, a fabulous restaurant selling delicious Goan cuisine. It had an almost Moroccan air, with low tables and cushions to sit on. Watching the sunset at a table facing the ocean, we lay among the low hanging lamps, and indulged in 60Rps Kingfishers and wonderful food.
- We used The Goan Taxi Service, a family-run taxi service. As with most of the taxi companies in Goa, you will need to phone the company the day before your trip to confirm your booking. The first 80km were free and the cost of our journey was around 2000Rps, which included a few stops. Visit www.goantaxiservice.com for more information and booking.
- Anjuna flea market is open daily from around 9am (ish) until sunset. The live music is only on during the late afternoon and evenings. It is open from the first week in August until around the first week of May when the rain starts, but this varies from year to year.
- Panji is on Arambol beach. As with most places in Arambol, it does not have a website or set opening hours but it is around half way along the beach just before the biggest billboard.
Emily Rycroft (follow Emily on twitter @emilyrycroft22)