ANJUNA, the next sizeable village up the coast from Baga, was until a few years back the last bastion of alternative chic in Goa – where the state's legendary full-moon parties were staged each season, and where the Beautiful Set would rent pretty red-tiled houses for six months at a time, make trance mixes and groovy dance-clothes, paint the palm trees in their gardens with fluoro colours and spend months lazing on the beach.
A small contingent of fashionably attired, middle-aged hippies still turn up, but thanks to a combination of the Y2K music ban and overwhelming growth in popularity of the flea market, Anjuna has seriously fallen out of fashion. Even the young Israeli hellraisers who inundated the village during the late 1990s – and were largely responsible for the government's crackdown on parties – come in much reduced numbers these days.
As a consequence, the scattered settlement of old Portuguese houses and whitewashed churches, nestled amid a labyrinth of leafy lanes behind a long golden sandy beach, nowadays more closely resembles the place it was before the party scene snowballed than it has for decades. With the airport only an hour's drive away, full-scale tourism development must eventually creep around the headland from neighbouring Baga, but for the time being the village is enjoying a well-earned break from noisy crowds.
The one day of the week when the relative peace and quiet is completely shattered is on Wednesdays, when Anjuna hosts the famous flea market, held under a coconut plantation backing the south side of the beach.