So this past weekend I finally ventured further south than I ever have before and I finally get it. It’s totally worth it. Something about the vibe, the beach, hell even the bacon is different! If you go, check out Cafe Del Mar in Palolem (which I discovered on Nikhil Chinapa’s recommendation) run by a happy, helpful (and mostly invisible) chap called “Kennedy” who’ll even send a taxi to pick you up from the airport. The air conditioned huts are pretty basic but about 20 steps from the beach, the bathrooms are nice and roomy (and considering how hot it is you probably won’t mind the cold water showers.) Cafe Del Mar also boasts of a 24 hour bar which has a fantastic happy hour on from midday to midnight. You can easily spend the day watching the tourists play volleyball, trying to guess the next song on their eclectic music mix (everything from Bobby Brown to Madonna), or diving into divine waves on a pretty well-kept beach with no rocks to stub your toes on. Sweet!
Recommended Dinner & Drinks for 8: 21 tequila shots, 18 Red bulls, 2 baby sharks, 6 Kings beers, 2 prawn-curry rice, 2 fish-curry rice, 2 butter pepper garlic calamari,7 Capriocas, 2 chili jumbo prawns, 4 chocolate and banana crepes. (Damages approx: 15,000rs ($300)/AC double rooms are around 1650rs ($32 a night.)
Kennedy’s Digits: 09823276520
Another first for me was the “Silent Noise” party. Basically to combat the no noise after midnight rule some clever party planners have brought the concept to Goa. So you get to this party, put down a deposit and around 400rs ($8) for a headset and then pump up the volume as you play DJ for yourself with a choice of three channels to bop to. It’s pretty funny when you take them off and catch someone singing “…over the rainbow…so high!” at the top of their lungs but all in all a lot cooler than I had imagined it would be.
And finally on our way back I managed to slide in some celebrity spotting with erstwhile Bollywood villain Prem Chopra (minding his own business) and Sunil Shetty and his entourage at the Goa airport. This of course led to the obvious question “have they ever faced off in a masala movie?” The answer is yes. In Aao Pyar Karey, Sapoot (1996) and Raghuveer (1995). Interestingly enough Prem decided to show Sunil the love by walking across and saying hello and not vice versa. Sunil is a super guy though and was pretty accommodating about the stream of fans who wanted “just one photo please.”