I always thought of Goa as a big party/drug scene and was not interested in going there during my Indian journey. But I started hearing good things along the way and after a few weeks, Bombay was getting hot and sticky, so I decided to go for a few days and relax before starting my yoga teacher training in Dharamsala (I know, not very logical in terms of traveling directions, but that's what happen when you let your guts rather than your head leading the way...)
Now the dilemma was to decide whether to go to south or north Goa (north supposedly being more of the party scene while south more of a laid back quiet one). Because I always need to taste a bit of everything, I decided to start with 2 days in a beach hut in Patnem (south) and 2 days in a yoga retreat in the north (Satsanga, between Anjuna and Mapusa). And because all plans are meant to be broken, mine did too. I only ended up staying 1 night in Patnem after coming to the conclusion that India is just not a beach destination, at least not for me. Laying down among stray dogs peeing and pooping all over had nothing appealing to me... Thank God India is so flexible! It only took me the blink of an eye to check out and head to Satsanga day earlier, where I spent 3 blissful days... Beautiful rooms, garden, pool in the middle of nowhere, amazing yoga morning classes with Jodi and Amrita, in a studio high up a few steep steps offering a glorious view over a sea of green... And delicious ayurvedic food, that I got to learn by taking a cooking class with Mani, their beloved-authentic-intuitive cook from Kerala. Outside of Satsanga, I got to experience beautiful sunset at Vagator Beach (sitting on a rock with my clothes on, I didn't mind the dogs so much) but what I loved more than anything were the local markets. I first went to the Mapusa market where locals come for their fruits, veggies, dry fish, spices (there is nothing more vibrant than a spice display in an Indian market...). I then got to go the Arpora Saturday Night Market, an amazing concept of outdoor shops of all kinds, street food and live music! So Goa has not been what I expected but it's been the highlight of my trip in terms of beautiful, colorful and vibrant sceneries. I hope the pictures will convey at least a bit of the magic and leave you as speachless as I was...