The best picture from the trip, top marks Rakesh
Spent 16 days travelling around Goa and Kerala with my boyfriend and even though it was nothing how we had imagined it was still a great time. It was our first holiday and we came out of it a lot closer (well that's what I think) obviously being on holiday without having internet 24/7 makes everything a lot better, not as much trolling and more conversation (which was by far my favourite thing). We beach hoped mostly, starting in Vagator, Arambol, Anjuna, Baga and Colva then we got a sleeper train (never again!) from Goa to to Alleppey in Kerala and ending in Varkala. Our favourite place was Varkala in Kerala, we were both nervous in thinking that it was going to be exactly like the other places but it wasn't, it was a lot more relaxed and the beach was a lot nicer and cleaner! Before going I was searching the web for guides to India/Goa and didn't have as much luck as I had hoped so I planned to do this post and give some recommendations:
Arambol: Our second favourite bit of Goa, we stayed in a 400 rupee guest house for the first night (it was horrible) the next day we moved and stayed at Lotus Sutra which was our favourite room we stayed in, cutest little cabin with a view of the beach! Go for a walk along the beach and along the cliff to find the Sweet lake, it's a lot quieter around here and a nice spot to watch the sunset. I'd like to recommend eating at The Laughing Buddha - their mushroom masala was delicious and the best I had in India.
Anjuna: We stayed at Vista Praia in beach huts on the beach, wasn't as nice as the ones in Arambol though and Anjuna was not as we had expected especially from what people had said about it.
Baga: Full of old english drunks.... We went on a nice dolphin/snorkelling/fishing trip and made some Indian friends (that of course pester us on Facebook everyday) One evening we walked in search of a restaurant but instead of finding the restaurant we were looking for we ended up at Cafe Fiori (yes we wrote a review and got free desert) we were very glad to stumble upon this place!
Colva: We started making our way down to the south of Goa so got a taxi here from Baga and well it was a sigh at first sight kind of place BUT the upside was that we were near a Jamies (the restaurant that we were looking for in Baga) great food, we ate there two nights in a row. Also go to Goodmans for wifi as wifi isn't that popular here.
Alleppey: After a sleeper train to Kerala and a big hoo-hah over getting a taxi from the train station we arrived in Alleppey and I just wow, don't go. It's scary and weird. We stayed in Happy Rooms and if you want a weird dining experience go to Cassia, it was nice food but just weird. The next night we got a houseboat on the backwaters, they cooked us three meals - lunch, dinner and breakfast. It was probably the nicest experience, so quiet and we just talked for hours. We smoked an Indian joint in the toliet and it made for a very funny night.
Varkala: After a 3 hour taxi from Alleppey (they told us it would take an hour and a half...) we got to Varkala, feeling very nervous to see it because of Alleppey but we were shocked... Varkala was lovely! we saw three parts of the main area looking for places to stay, we really wanted to stay at Soul & Surf but it was a bit pricey so settled with Om Sum. Check out Abba Cafe, Little Tibet, Cafe De Mar and Sea Shore for tasty food. We also did surfing, I hated it except for when I kind of caught a wave then I loved it (neither of us managed to stand).
The places are click through links, enjoy.