A Beach? or a Garbage Dump?
Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
54Trip End Sep 01, 2011
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Everyone says: "You must go to Goa...it's so beautiful there"...so we did. We landed in the evening and took the hour cab ride to the hotel. Looks great at night! Different from the rest of India. Then we went off the main road and started twisting through the small, scooter sized, back roads....wondering, once again, what we got ourselves into....lol.
Our resort was gorgeous. The swimming pool was fantastic with it's swim up bar. Great lounger chairs...wonderful!! Where's the beach? Ready for the excitement to see how awesome Goa is, we took a stroll to the beach.....
Five meters down a dirt road and we hit sand...a van tried to continue along the road, not realizing that it turned into sand and was stuck! He kept spinning the tires and digging himself deeper....we debated helping, but there was no way we were going to be able to push him out!! Another truck came soon enough. We continued to the beach....through a path made through bushes, stepping over garbage...and there it was!!! The beautiful Calagunte Beach!!....first you see the shacks, which unbelievably sell food, then your eyes do the panoramic view, and your mouth drops open....in....nope, not awe...in shock! The beach is like a garbage dump! You can't even take your shoes off for fear of being stabbed by garbage pieces! The stray dogs patrol the beach, sometimes chasing you down after dark....probably rabid.
But we didn't give up there! We were told to walk down to Baga Beach...a 15 minute walk along the coast. So, curiosity got the best of us, and we did. Walking right along the water edge, where the sand is harder and there's less garbage....being sure not to let the contaminated, oil filled, polluted water touch us...fifteen minutes later and there was no doubt we had arrived! WOW!!! There must have been thousands of people on the beach, playing in the sand, swimming in the ocean, doing watersports, building sand castles....and my heart broke! Looking around, all these families, on their one vacation for the year...taking their family to the beach for fun and enjoyment...and THIS is their only option??!! There is so much garbage at Baga Beach that they were burning piles of it...right there...on the beach...where kids were swimming and digging in the sand/garbage. It's SO sad to see families "playing" here...this is all they have...all they know. And here we are, refusing to even take our shoes off...disgusted that we are wearing sandals on this beach, concerned for our safety from the pollution and unsanitary conditions. It's hard to imagine that we are NOT exaggerating....the beach was like a garbage dump....there was as much garbage as there was sand. I don't know why anyone would want to...nevermind recommend...that anyone even go to Goa!
Baga Beach has some shops just up off the beach, so we took a stroll, looking for a dress. In a distance of about 10 meters, we were offered drugs about 6 times! Marijuana, ecstasy, LSD, hashish, etc...unbelievable! As families with young children in bathing suits, carrying sand pails, and no shoes, walk by to enjoy their "family vacation". Unreal. It didn't take us long to leave, dreading the walk back to the resort.
We met Andrew, a Canadian from Toronto. He's actually the one who was chased by the dogs on the beach one evening. He did advise us that the beaches in South Goa were much better....no hotels around, the beaches are clean, and beautiful. After what we saw, we couldn't imagine them being clean enough for us to enjoy, so we chose not to go check it out...just wait for our beach in Sri Lanka and hope for the best!
We spent the rest of our days around the pool, enjoying the live entertainment the hotel hired, and soaking up the sun...which was fantastic!! We took a day trip into the capital city of Goa, Panjim and enjoyed some local shopping...trying to find a western style summer dress for me...a feat on it's own!!
We weren't sad when the day came to leave...India was great! And we will be back...but for now...we're happy to say goodbye!