You can read my previous posts about my trip in India: Reflections of India; Desi Chinese, Ice Cream, Dabeli and Other Street Food in India; Mumbai – Bombay : Traffic and Bollywood; An Indian Wedding Ceremony and Feast in India, and Gandhi, Dandi Beach, and Eating Sugar Cane in India.
One of the most famous beaches in all of Mumbai – Bombay is Juhu Beach. In the evening the beach is packed to watch the beautiful sunset.
There are tons of street food stands surrounding the beach and numerous carts on the beach selling corn, roasted peanuts, shaved ice and fresh coconut, with gadget, photos, and even a biorhythm / horoscope readings with TVs.
This display of fruit, nuts and other traditional snacks was one of many. On a related note, almost an exact replica of this was at the Indian wedding as well.
People aren’t the only ones eating – this cow got to peacefully partake of the corn leftovers.
Just after the famous sunset on Juhu Beach.
Goa and Baga Beach at New Year’s Eve
After my friend’s Indian wedding, we spent the days following and New Year’s in Goa, India. The weather was perfect the whole time we were there and we spent a lot of time at the beach or at the pool.
It’s not only sunsets around here – we actually got to see a sunrise in Goa, too. Of course, it was the first full day we had in Goa, and every evening after that kept us out too late to see the sunrise at 7am.
We were staying at a timeshare resort in more than 5 apartments (there were 21 of us) and luckily for us, it was in walking distance to Baga Beach, where there was always action during the day and all through the night. This water taxi stop looked like it hadn’t been used much lately, but I’m used to the concept of a water taxi from Venice, so I would have done it if needed! Later we “taxi’d” in a boat from Anjuna beach back to Baga.
Baga Beach is kilometer after kilometer of beach shack and accompanying restaurant. There are a few public beach spaces, but I recommend renting a set of chairs and umbrella for the whole day so you can relax. We bargained so hard we had them down to 4 beds for 100 rupees (about 3 euro) for the whole day. Of course, they will get this money back later when you spend all day eating there from their bar.
Big tip: If there are more than 2 or 3 of you, I suggest asking for the bill after every round of ordering. The first time I did this (there were about 10 of us) we pointed out an extra 3 beers and a pizza that hadn’t been ordered, and were then taken off the bill. It’s easier if you can remember who ate what!
But people aren’t the only ones eating on Baga Beach – the cows come to the trash “area” to snack while they’re on vacation, too. No wholesome corn husks here.
Of course, there is the sunset. A popular activity on the beach was renting a jet ski for a few minutes, or going on a parasailing ride – you can see several of them in the background still making the rounds.
In the evening, the beach chairs are cleared, along with you if you’ve bought them for the day, and the real entertainment in Goa begins: the nightlife. Instead of chaise lounges, big, high-backed cushioned chairs are brought out surrounding low tables, and other tables are set for dinner and late evening.
There’s something about eating a meal with your feet stuck deep into the sand.
Because there were so many of us (21), we decided to spend New Year’s Eve on the beach but inside a “private party” and not outside in the crush so we could keep an eye on everyone. We were in good company because we had the likes of Shaan (a popular Bollywood singer) in there with us, and who knows who else!
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, the kilometers and kilometers of bars and restaurants on the beachfronts all had their own fireworks displays, so up and down the entire coastline you could see explosions and beautiful fireworks.
Here’s a video of a minute of that night (you might have to click through if you’re reading in a feed reader). In the background is “Deewangi” from the Bollywood movie, Om Shanti Om, and the most popular song of the time. (Read my post about Bollywood if you’re interested)