The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page ~ Augustine of Hippo
And yes! I finally lived my long cherished dream of visiting Goa (after juggling my mounting work and my leaves and assimilating a group of like-minded people). Thanks to the bunch of people who made it possible…finally! 🙂 A big shoutout to all you five – Ankita, Angira, Zaveer, Sujoy & Ankur!!! To say we had the fun of our lives would be an understatement. 🙂 Though all of us could manage time of only 5 days (including the to-and-fro journey) for this wonderful place, I was not at all disappointed. I loved and enjoyed every bit of the trip and of course look forward for my return visit soon. (!!!)
In Goa, there is something for everyone. You will definitely find something that will suit your bill. There is so much to enjoy out there and we, too, did enjoy to the core. You can feel it in the air of Goa – right after you land at the airport. The air there has a feeling of carefree-ness and makes you let it loose. During our trip we stayed at North Goa. It is very crowded but it never came in the way of our fun. In fact it was fantastic. 🙂 We checked into a guest house in Calangute for a very cheap deal :). And right after managing to get our hands on some rented bikes (Royal Enfield, yippee!) we kick started our trip. We spent some amazing time in those 3 and a half days and visited the following places –
1. Aguada Fort – It was a Portuguese Fort and is now protected by the Archaeological Society of India. One can have a nice view of the Arabian Sea from here. This fort has been the location of many Bollywood movies. We had a good photography session here 😛
2. Baga Beach – We spent most of our time lazing around here. The night life is awesome out here. We partied at Tito’s disco. Tito’s has been around in Goa since 1971 and one of the most popular places to be in North Goa. We spent a good amount of time in Britto’s too, watching as the clouds poured down and also the sun go down the horizon, at the same time gorging on some delightful sea-food. What an amazing experience it was!!
3. Vagator Beach– We found it to be a quiet and pleasant beach. It was not at all crowded. The beach has yellowish sand and black rocks. The water splashing on these rocks was quite a scene. We also saw a whole lot of rock coloured crabs here. J We three girls got ourselves colourful braids in our hair to get a hippie look 😛
4. Calangute Beach – Its is most popular and crowded beach. we found that shopping here is cheaper.
5. Old Goa – The road from Panaji to Old Goa is very beautiful as you drive along the Mondovi River to your left. When you take the turn towards Old Goa you get a Goanese feeling. The local people, the landscape, the architecture – everything looks so picturesque. On the way we crossed many small and quaint looking churches but could not stop as it was drizzling. We visited the two main churches there – Basillica of Bom Jesus and Church of St Francis of Assisi. They are situated on the either side of the main road and both have been declared as world heritage site by UNESCO. Basillica of Bom Jesus is a spectacular church built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and is the most famous of all the churches in Old Goa. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa.
We had also visited the Church of St Francis of Assisi. This one was less crowded. It has beautiful large wood panels of oil paintings placed on the walls of the either side of the main altar.
6. Cruise in the River Mandovi – it was an experience of a different kind. We were envisioning a delightful experience but it turned out to be quite a different & entertaining one. One of my friends (a Bollywood fan) had opted for this cruise which was supposed to show us around the locations where movie shooting had taken place. But what actually happened was very hilarious. We were taken through the river with Bollywood music playing in the background. All of a sudden the music stopped and a voice boomed out of the mike, startling us. it instructed us to look on our right and he showed a casino where some Hindi movie scenes were shot. Soon, every now and then, in between the music, the voice (in a fake western accent) directed us to move our head left or right to show us some casinos, churches, private cruises of celebs, etc. but from far away. At the end of the so-called cruise we realized that we had actually been taken for a ride!! 😛 😛
I was happy and elated that all of my check points of Goa has been ticked off, barring only a few (but that’s ok because I am definitely going back there 😛):
- Roam around aimlessly in bikes (preferably Bullet) – Check 🙂
- No hectic schedule of travelling from one place to another – Check 🙂
- Eat loads of sea food (pomfret/crabs/lobster/prawns/red snapper/chicken, etc.) – Check 🙂
- Wear whatever I feel like without any inhibition – Check 🙂
- Lose track of time and enjoy every moment of my trip – Check 🙂
- Lay in the beach and watch the sun go down – Check 🙂
- Feel the waves pull the sand from beneath my feet – Check 🙂
- Getting a tattoo – Check (partially because I got a temporary one only) 🙂
- Tasting the local Kaju (cashew) – Check (also got to taste Bebinca, a traditional Goan dessert) 🙂
- Soaking in the exotic beauty of the beaches of South Goa – heavy rains foiled our plans but will it check it off my list the next time 🙂
North Goa is very crowded and commercialized. Last year I had been to the Andamans. The beaches and scenery out there are much more picturesque and enthralling. But in Goa one finds relaxation even amidst the crowd and chaos. You can be a part of anybody’s party. That’s the best part 🙂
Maybe it’s the sea which relaxes you….maybe it was something else….I don’t know. But I loved my Goanese experience – the churches, beaches, colorful shops, mouth-watering sea food, friendly & helpful locals (guiding us our way whenever we asked for directions) and most of all the carefree-ness & free-spirited-ness that the Goan air fills you up with. That was the best take-away of my trip. I am definitely going back to live it one more time (maybe many more times, who knows)!! 🙂
“The sea, once it casts it’s spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~ Jacques Cousteau
Final words – I am a happy soul 😀 😀
Images: Clicked by – Me with Nokia Lumia 720 (we were impressed with its picture quality), Zaveer with Canon 1100D & Angira with Nikon Coolpix S4000.
Some more of them are here –
Riding around aimlessly in unknown roads 🙂
Saw this plane in an airport, cute na?
Rock coloured crabs (nature’s camouflage)
Cancelled our trip to South Goa due to heavy rains and turning back
Deltin Royale – a casino
A dead dolphin that was washed to the shore
P.S. I know I have used a lot of exclamatory marks & smiley’s but then I could not help it. I need them to express my state of mind 🙂