There was this strange thing in the khazi
MY ROUGH GUIDE
Sunday 26 January 1997
You don't expect to find many deserted beaches in Goa, but I stumbled across one a few years ago cycling north up the coast to the village of Arambol. I found myself at the end of a vast sweep of white sand backed by coconut palms. The beach below the high-tide line was hard enough to support the bike, so I pressed on for half an hour as far as a shack cafe, run by Claude. In the couple of hours I spent lounging on his deckchair, watching dolphins arc in the surf, the only passers-by were two fishermen. Mandrem beach is still a relative backwater, although last time I was there I ran into a Dutch couple who'd found it in the Rough Guide, which left me with mixed feelings.
The Panjim Inn in Foutainhas is one of the few hotels to have preserved some old Portuguese charm. The rooms have shutters on the windows, carved wood furniture and tiled floors, and there's a relaxing veranda where you can gently sip Indian Scotch.
Hyped by the tourist office as one of south India's most colourful festivals, Goa's annual Carnival turned out to be a rather lame affair. The float procession was a lively enough spectacle, but the bus loads of drunk men hanging around in "I Love Goa" hats made it feel like a sad stag night.
The local tipple is feni, a rocket-fuel concotion distilled from coconut sap or cashew juice. Mixed with lemonade or soda, it can be delicious, although the cause of monstrous hangovers. A bar-owner I once met in the feni-mad south flavours his with cumin and ginger, and sold me two large bottles for about pounds 1. My other big bargain was acquired at a spice plantation state. For 50p, I returned with enough cardamom, cumin, mace, chilli, fenugreek, coriander, and tumeric for a couple of years' worth of curries.
MOST USEFUL PHRASE
Since the Rough Guide to Goa was published, I've received several suggestions for Konkani phrases to add to the glossary, the majority insults to hurl at beach hawkers. My most useful phrase, though, has to be the Hindi for ''slow down'' (dhiri, dhiri), which helps in traffic. Having said that, I came unstuck once after yelling it at a rickshaw-wallah. "Dhiri?'' he replied, confusedly and left me five minutes later at a dusty patch of wasteland. Unbeknown to me, dhiri in Konkani means bullfighting, and he'd thought I wanted to see the big match.
A cotton kurta (long Indian shirt) that I bought in Panjim's khadi shop. Khadi is the hand-spun cotton Ghandi encouraged Indians to wear during the independence struggle, and the government still runs shops to supply city dwellers. They're old-fashioned places, and the one in Panjim has dusty wooden shelves and a different assistant to fetch, carry, wrap and issue receipts for your goods.
Near the village of Parvath in central Goa lies a hilltop Hindu temple called Shri Chandeshwar. Having bought the requisite flower and incense offering I started to walk around the shrine, but was stopped by a dour- faced, saffron-clad priest waving an oil lamp. I should, he said, be walking in the other direction, "same way as sun and moon''.
Holed up 12 years ago in what was then a remote fishing settlement (and is now a holiday resort) I'd been struck by a dose of the local equivalent of Delhi Belly. After picking my way through the palm grove behind the house, I located the khazi - a hut with a hole opening on to the sand. Suddenly my motions were interrupted by a low grunt. I nearly leapt through the roof when a black hairy face appeared at the hole between my feet. I'd seen gangs of pigs rooting around the yard, but no one had thought to tell me that they doubled as waste disposal units.
David Abram is the author of 'The Rough Guide to Goa' (pounds 8.99). Keep up with the latest developments in travel by subscribing to the free newsletter 'Rough News' which is published three times a year by Rough Guides, 1 Mercer St, London, WC2H 9QJ. A free 'Rough Guide' goes to the first three new subscribers each week.
l Mandrem beach lies some 12 miles north of the resorts of Calangute and Baga, and is reached via the ferry at Siolim. By public transport, head for Arambol and rent a cycle for the four-mile trip down the coast.
l A double room at the Panjim Inn (E-212, 31 Janeiro Rd, Fontainhas, Panjim; tel 0832/226523, fax 228136) costs around pounds 15 per night.
l Goa's carnival takes place in Panjim in late February - early March, while the biggest beach parties, around Anjuna in the north, usually happen on full-moon nights in Dec and Jan.
l Village-distilled feni can be bought in local bars for 10p a glass. Factory-made feni is available in towns. Tours of spice plantations are offered as excursions by most holiday companies.
l Goa's two largest markets are held at Anjuna on Wed, and Mapusa on Fri; the latter is more authentic.
When it comes to promoting equality of the sexes, we tend to think that we’ve come a long way in the past 40 years.
21 November 2014 06:44 PM
Your children have it all, your partner gets nothing
21 November 2014 07:12 PM
Halfords is gearing up for Christmas
21 November 2014 06:54 PM
Fields of dreams: venture capital trusts help young companies to grow, potentially delivering big returns for investors
21 November 2014 06:32 PM
There are many reasons for people to turn to high-cost credit, but being turned down by their banks for a loan is one
21 November 2014 07:15 PM
The £150 incentive from Yorkshire and Clydesdale runs from now until 28 February next year, but you must use the official Current Account Switching Service (CASS) and close your existing account to qualify
14 November 2014 04:42 PM
For the rising number of homeless women, the struggle is compounded by health problems and by losing their children
14 November 2014 05:37 PM
Research from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards this week revealed that 15 per cent of people making a large purchase on their plastic didn’t use one with 0 per cent interest on purchases
14 November 2014 05:23 PM
Last week was hangover time, when Stock Spirits, a vodka producer, distilled a profit warning that sent its shares crashing more than 25 per cent
14 November 2014 05:17 PM
Investment melting pot: the price of gold may have fallen but Artemis Strategic Assets believes its value cannot be debased
14 November 2014 05:05 PM
Interest rates are currently as low as 0.1 per cent
14 November 2014 05:01 PM
The energy watchdog Ofgem has slammed Scottish Power, while Citizens Advice reports a string of complaints about it
14 November 2014 04:57 PM
John Lush from Hampshire got into debt with payday lenders and had the help of a debt management adviser to clear the £20,000 he owed
08 November 2014 12:00 AM
01 November 2014 12:00 AM
01 November 2014 12:00 AM
Money Alert: Surviving Winter
Simon Read: There may be trouble ahead for cohabiting couples who don’t make a will
Mark Dampier: Strong returns can be found if you go the opposite way to the crowds
Money Insider: Would £150 make you switch banks?
Bargain Hunter: Find the deals that have real value beneath the Black Friday hype
- 1 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 2 Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
iJobs Money & Business
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Age Concern Slough a...
Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Crossroads Care is s...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000: SThree: We consistently strive to be ...
£50000 - £90000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Markit EDM (CA...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens