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For those who want to really explore and understand the essence of the Goan psyche, you would have to walk down the curving tree-lined roads with large gracious mansions set back from the road in large gardens. Itís a whole different experience and Goa is a walkerís paradise.

The towns have tree-lined avenues and promenades, the best of which can be found in the capital city of Panjim. Donít attempt a long walk in the heat of the midday sun, early morning and early evening are the best times to see the city and its people at their smiling best. Make certain you wear good comfortable walking shoes, carry enough water and wear a sun hat. This is the city where the river meets the ocean. Any road of Panjim is great for walking, whether it is the boulevard along the Campal Miramar stretch, the riverside walk to the Santa Monica Jetty, the shopping areas of M G Road and 18 June Road. The Rua de Ourem road that edges the Ourem Canal, and there is the more strenuous but worth every deep breath you take Ė the wonderful roads of Altinho where you see a different vista around every curve of the road.

Margao is built in sweeping curves and the best walk are in and around the Holy Spirit Church square, with leafy avenues and some of the most beautiful old houses that are as lovingly cared for as children. The Baroque church of the Holy Spirit is a magnificent piece of architecture dating back to 1675. The view from Monte Hill is especially charming when you see the smiling Salcete countryside unfolding before your eyes.

Coastal villages
Calangute and Saligao are villages just perfect for walking through. So if you have had enough of the sun, sand and sea, put on your walking shoes and revel in the interior roads of these two lovely villages. Arpora too is beautiful with its cottages and mansions and pretty gardens. Colva village is another great walking

Chorao has boat tours taking you through the backwaters for birdwatching or crocodile spotting, but you can explore the island on foot and spend a delightful hour or two at the quaint houses of this pretty village with its bird sanctuary. Divar is also especially fascinating with its houses and chapels and long winding roads.

The best part of these walks is you get to meet local Goans, maybe have a chat about the background and history of the village. The small restaurants in the villages will seve you authentic Goan food, especially if you stop by a taverna. Sample their brew, but make certain you eat a meal there too. That is the composite taste of Goa.