Garbage beaches are depressing

Once in a while, I have to write a post that is a bit of a downer. Here it is.

Our current hotel in the Dona Paula neighborhood of Panjim, Goa is a gem. Very reasonably priced, spotless AC room, good breakfast buffet included, helpful staff. When we checked in, I asked about the beach just down the road as shown on Google maps. The concierge told me “We don’t really recommend that beach to guests. It’s not very clean.”

How bad could it be? We decided to go down and see.

Garbage beach
It’s this bad.

To get onto the beach, you have to climb over a mountain of garbage. Interestingly (to me) most of the garbage is either 1. Bits of styrofoam 2. Empty liquor bottles 3. Flip-flops.

These things all float. Imagine how much more crap sank…

Once you get over the first mountain, things get slightly less horrifying, but not much.

This level of garbage is maintained almost everywhere else on the beach.

Until, that is, you arrive at this abomination…

The worst.
This is clearly used often by several households.

Up to there, you could maybe tell yourself that the tide was bringing it all in, or that it collected over a long period of time. Here you can see that the high tide takes some away, and more gets added regularly to the top.

While we were quietly weeping at the horror of it, some lady came out of one of the houses and pitched a pot full of food scraps over the wall.

Even clean, this beach would never make the Lonely Planet’s top 10 Goa beaches, but it’s within walking distance of at least 10 hotels. Many of them call themselves Beach Resorts. I think a little community clean-up day would be good for the place, and good for business.


I am a world-travelling, long distance runner previously disguised as a high-voltage engineer and now masquerading as a travel blogger.

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