Ever so often I am asked, what should I do in Goa? Which beaches should I visit? And whenever I’m asked this question I groan inwardly. Because I know what I’m really being asked is, “Tell me the hottest, most happening places in Goa”.
But here’s the thing, Goa is so much more than the loud, crowded beaches, shacks and clubs that constitute the holy grail of every tourist’s getaway weekend or New Year’s party.
For example, there are a number of beaches known only to locals, that are guarded fiercely from tourists. I’m going to go out on a limb here and introduce you to one such secret paradise. Use this information wisely the next time you visit Goa.
My favourite patch of sand in Goa is the Hollant beach, a tiny little patch of sand about five minutes from the airport. This sleepy little fishing hamlet is a popular picnic spot among the locals.
Unlike all other beaches in Goa, this does not provide a “western” view, so you won’t see the sun dipping into the sea at sunset. But this is possibly the only beach in Goa that gives you a view of the rising sun.
I have come here often in the early hours, just as the fishermen return with their catch from the sea. I’m always fascinated watching unravel their nets, transfer the catch to large baskets. Their banter and easy camaraderie belie the back-breaking labour of their trade. These hardy men spend a rough life in the high seas, in difficult weather conditions, often on small cramped boats; income from the sale of their catch their only livelihood. Their day ends just as the rest of the Goa stirs.
If you’re wondering why I’m willing to incur the wrath of my fellow Goans by revealing our secret hangouts, you’re not alone. I’ve been wondering about this myself as I write this post. I’m hoping that there is a tribe of people out there looking to see the Goa only a Goan knows about. And who will fiercely protect these secret patches of paradise like we do.