More specifically, since the bigger towns in Goa are well-spaced out, it is possible to stay in one or the other, and make short day-trips to places off the beaten tourist path.
With in Goa itself is an intricate network of roads and rivers. The buses services may be casual but they are extensive; the launch services negligible, having been ousted by buses-and barges which carry iron and manganese on to the sea. But the rig ours of unpunctual travel are comfortable padded with the good humor one encounters everywhere.
Take a small village along the coast: the fisher folk and farmers, the brewers of Feni and the owners of teashops. A gentle rhythm imbues their lives. you hear it in the lit of the konkani folk songs, in the strains of the dakni, the fado and the mando, sense it in the devout faith that sustains them; it ehoes in Church bells and temple songs.
Most of all you experience it in the simple friendliness that envelops you. Visitors have been known to succumb to it renting the small touch -and- mud-plaster houses and living there for an entire holiday. The idea is not as impractical as it sounds- and its success has been, in large measure, due to the warmth with which a newcomer is accepted.
The Hippy Influx
Anjuna was one such village, a few km long the beach from Calangute. From eight miles inland, Mapusa had extended a proective wing over it, providing employment and amenities. Then the hippies came, like strange migratory birds, every year. The villagers, for the most part, have been accommodating and tolerant. But there are times when their tolerance wears thin, as for instanance when a recently put -up notice on the beach, saying, `Nudism Prohibited,’ has one of the `outsiders’ leaning against it, stark naked, oblivious of the world.
Not all villages, however, share Anjuna’s predicament. South of Vasco, right down to the border of Karnataka, the coast punctuated with the hamlets of fishing and farming communities, clusters of houses that practically paddle in the sea. Small, unexpected hills slope down to the sands, the water is gentle and inviting to swimmers during the dry three -quarters of the year, and the towns are not far inland.