well.........we got back on monday after flying scheduled with Kingfisher (very good)and have to say we had a fantastic holiday.
the weather was hot,sunny and HUMID, we were pretty glad of the breeze on the beach, away from the beach you sweated for england!! ( but we somehow manged to cope with our faithful friends mr kingfisher & co lol)
we stayed on holiday st and found enough places still open to eat and drink nearby. Stopped a week in Seagull Hotel,basic but
comfy enough, then stopped in Maggies further down for a week, rooms were very nice, clean, airy, would recommend Maggies.
Not many western tourists but we don't mind that as we go on foreign holidays to meet local/natives not brits etc.
Goa was not much of a culture shock(rubbish etc) as we toured Delhi & Agra before and believe me...goa is clean compared to those places (never saw anyone asleep in the roads gutters etc).
The indian drivers are something to experience!!...a taxi/tuk tuk ride gave us more of a nervous thrill than any ride at Alton Towers! LOL
The food we can only describe as fantastic, never had one bad meal and never got the "ten bob bits". king fish tikka,chicken xacuti,veg caldrin, butter chicken, veg mutter, jeera rice and sexy naans...yum yum....all washed down with 2 or 3 kingfisher strongs (well i did say it was hot, got replace lost fluids etc LOL
the beach was lovely,soft clean sands (apart from near the steps which others have mentioned). we loved to walk from holiday street to the river princess or the other way to baga, stop in a shack, have the customary "kings" and watch the world go by...ahhhhh heaven.
sellers were no problem used to just say no thank you, even after sometimes looking at there wares.
there weren't as many beggars about, the few what we encountered were ok, we wouldn't give them money but bought them soft drinks and sometimes food, this seemed to please them, after all whats 20 rupees??
another thing we encountered was the amount of times we had our photo taken by domestic tourists. as we walked along the beach,they would ask if we could pose with their friends/family and on one occaision we were interviewed for the tv!! we felt like minor celebrities lol
you cannot explain to folks back home the feel/experience of india, you've got to go and see/feel it yourself. When we'll go back (cos we will return) we don't know as their are so many places we want to see , but india/goa is a holiday we'll treasure.