Travel for mind, body and spirit: HAIR A beauty parlour in Goa

HAIR A beauty parlour in Goa As I come down the spiral stairs, I am already looking a million times better than I did when I walked into Claudina's Beauty Parlour in the Goan capital, Panjim. Upstairs, while sitting in a rickety booth with my legs sticking out into the corridor, I have been waxed and buffed to within an inch of my life. Georgina and two assistants have also given me a perfect manicure and pedicure, despite the fact that there's only one electricity socket so they have to keep unplugging the foot spa to use the hand massager.

The finishing touch is a session in the hair salon, crowded with local women sitting under plastic hoods, the design of which would be called "retro" in London. I have declined the the shampoo and rather ferocious set that seems to be all the rage here, and opted for a wash and blow dry. I brace myself for the usual questions about my private life, but Michelle has other ideas. She grew up in London and wants to talk about what's happening in the UK. We gabble on, ignoring the trellis of hanging wires and the shiny pale pink paint on the walls.

The best bit is still to come, however. I have been in Claudina's for about three hours, but my bill is less than a fiver - even with a tip. I float out into the hot, dusty street feeling like a millionairess. Claire Gervat

Charter flight operators to Goa include Inspirations (01293 822244) and Somak Holidays Direct (0181-422 9966).

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