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Goa, India

New year 1997

From 1988 to 2001 I did some world travelling, usually over Christmas / new year. In 1996 I headed off to India, making it down to Goa for New year.

India was one of the most interesting places I visited, although I found it a hard place to really like. Looking back on my photos decades later and I remembered the good bits, especially Pushkar in Rajasthan in the north.

But these good memories were somewhat eclipsed by those of extreme poverty, nearly getting killed in a head on road crash and the threat from corrupt police.

The extreme poverty was everywhere, skin and bone kids following me around with outstretched hands. I would have got killed had I not missed a long distance bus but Goa was the place with dangerous police.

In truth, Goa could have been wonderful and probably was a year or so before I went. But by the start of 1997 the drug war had started and paranoia was everywhere.

The reason for this of course was cannabis, which was also everywhere and very cheap, which is why so many people went there. The police were really fishing in a bucket.

But the place was beautiful, at the time still unspoilt and it was famous for "Goa trance" and the beach parties of Anjuna and Vagatar beaches.

So I arrived at Anjuna beach and hired a room with some other British travellers there for the rave parties.

New year I found a party on Vagatar, the next beach to the north while the others having travelled in land somewhere to find one. A nice party but it finished at dawn and everyone left very quickly, leaving me alone. I was "rescued" by some travellers who explained the police would likely be looking for party people to hassle.

Anyway, a few days later and another party happens at Anjuna and this one I took the camera to. This one was more laid back, it's as if they knew the police weren't going to pounce. I assume someone had been paid.

So I came back to the UK a couple of days later with very mixed feeling about India. I don't think I'll go back again.

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa

Anjuna Beach Goa