How it started:
Goa was not the original destination for a week long trip (which was initially a 4 day tour). It started with AngkorWat and when the dollar prices shot up, it moved to Bhutan and then the planning went awry and we missed the intended flight tickets go out of hand and then settled on Goa (we almost did rock paper and scissors 😉 ) , the other choice was Chikmagalur.
I was confused to join the week long tour, because of the work (which was going on a very critical stage) but then things settled down and personally I wanted a break and so decided to go with the flow. On Friday midnight or rather at the break of Saturday 28th Sept at the stroke of the hour 00:01 we started from Bangalore from my friends place in C’s car to Goa. Am gonna name the friends as A, C (the same who were there in my Wayanad Trip) along with K and myself. Since I am not a night driving person, A and C decided to go with the driving, them being the night owls and all.
Places we went:
Goa trip was planned in a way to be more of a fun and relax time rather than exploration of a city or tour of any kind. So I am not sure if it would need posts on a day basis. Because most of the days we got ourselves ready only by 11 or so and drive for an hour or more to our beach, have our drinks and lunch for almost 2 hours, walk by the beach, or enjoy the sun, before the rains drove us inside and the drive back again after roaming that place for another couple of hours or more. That was our main agenda and that is what we did on most days. So I will go by the list of places this time.
We stayed in a Villa or a house in a gated community ‘Luisa by the Sea‘ in South Goa, in Cavelossim. It was very near to the beach and a few minutes away from the river on the other side too. Well maintained and comfortable, with department stores and restaurant (Mike’s place) very near by. I went to the beach only for a day even though A and K went frequently when we were there. ‘A’ had a good time doing his morning runs and K went for his daily dose of morning photographs. It was a very calm, serene and uncrowded beach even though tourists from ‘The Leela’ nearby did come there, but then it was just a few people.
a) Beaches we visited:
As I had mentioned Cavelossim Beach was right next to our villa. So the access was very easy and it was sparsely crowded and had a good view. Even though I was there only for one sunrise (yeah I know, I did not see Sun rise in the West yet), but still the view was so calm and peaceful that the absence of Sun wasn’t a big deal and we had the beach to ourselves except when people started to come at around 6.45 am or so, even then they were from the nearby hotels who were there for their morning runs. Definitely a big plus if you want to rent it in a nearby place.
The day we landed there, we got settled only by lunch time, so we went to Mike’s Place near by and had our sumptous lunch (others mentioned that the Fish Curry rice in that restaurant was awesome. You see, I am a vegetarian, so no way you gonna get any useful tip from me about food in Goa, but I will get the feedback from my friends to update it here or ask them to put in their comments ;)) and after that we went to Colva beach by evening. It was almost half an hour’s drive from there. We parked in a less crowded area and walked all the way to the places where there were enough people. Since it was a Saturday, there were enough families around playing in the beach, kids building sand castles, with their nannies and parents.
We even found Star Fishes that came to the shore and we fished one , took photos and then left it back in the sea. It was cool. We also saw our sunset there. I have always loved beaches and sunsets. There is a sort of mesmerizing beauty to both of them, even though it indicates an end, but an end, which is calm and peaceful, with a promise of another new bright day. We were there for almost 2-3 hours if I am not wrong, before we left for our dinner.
We went to the Baga beach the next day. This one was a one day affair. We went there by around a little before lunch time (an hour and a half drive from Cavelossim to Baga beach) and we booked our table (even though we did not get any near the beach front) in Britto’s for a loooong lunch. It started with couple of round of drinks and starters. Then came the rain which made the people in the beach run (along with screaming ) to the nearby shacks and restaurants. Then we had a elaborate lunch which lasted for another hour or two :), enjoying the weather, the rain, the sun, the beach and everything with it. After that we started our leisurely walk on the beach. Britto’s was on right end of the beach and the day being Sunday, it was pretty much crowded everywhere. The food at Britto’s was good and worth the price (yes it is slightly pricey, but if you go there early book a beach facing table then you can enjoy the whole day there with frequent visits to the beach). After our hour long walk in the beach, we stopped for a few mins ( I really needed a break after walking that long) and then again we took a spot where I could relax (I couldn’t go to the water much because of my infection in toe nails, I didn’t want to make things worse) and A, C and K went for a swim for almost more than an hour. I am not a big fan of getting in the water, as in getting fully wet by dunking myself in it. But I enjoy watching people enjoying themselves. There were quite a few families along with us along with a life guard who was instructing people not to go too deep as the weather was shifting frequently (changing from Rain to Sun to Rain). These guys enjoyed being in the water (I remembered the Ad where they say it takes a few seconds to turn men to boys) and I got to relax and watch the clouds pass by (I have always loved that… to lie down in the beach and listen to the waves and watch the clouds pass by , trying to deduce the shapes in the clouds and watching the sun go down very slowly). By the time they were done, it started raining and we had to run to a nearby shack where we were huddled for a cup of coffee or two until the rain went down. Even after that when we thought it came down a bit, it started again by the time we left the shack. We were slightly drenched by the time we went to our car. We roamed around the place to buy a few things for us and started on our way back for our dinner at around 7 pm. But then we couldn’t find any less crowded place nearby so we went to Calangute beach on the other side of Baga beach for our dinner in a restaurant named Souza Lobo with live music and near the beach. It was fun and by the time we were done , it started drizzling because of which we couldn’t spend more time at night in the beach , so we started on our back to our place. These two beaches were crowded enough (may be because it was a Sunday). In Calangute there are enough street shops for the snacks if you are interested. We also found that Baga was filled with more foreigners, whereas Calangute was more with localites (aka Indians)
This one we visited , almost around 40 mins from Cavelossim, after I fractured my ankle and was on crepe bandage. So I had to really relax with my walking in the beach. As usual we went down by lunch time to a restaurant named ‘Zeebop by the sea‘, which was opened just a day before for the season starting October in Goa. We were one of the couple of people there so we got a beach view place and started with our starters and drinks after which they all went for a walk and nap by the sun, where as I lounged by the chair there and relaxed (nothing like doing my favorite thing). Then they came back for lunch and after our sumptuous lunch, where we had to move in once the rain increased and then continued till we finished our lunch. After that it stopped, so these guys went for another stroll and by the fall of the day we decided to start back, since it was starting to rain and there was no way we could get a sunset view. It was pretty calm and very less crowded beach. Not much activity down there.
This was the last beach we visited, again me in a crutch. It was an hour and more drive from Cavelossim. We went searching for a restaurant which was closed for the time being and they were planning to open a week later or so. So we went to Cafe Inn near the Palolem beach and had our lunch. This place , when we were there, was visited only by foreigners. Not a single Indian on sight. After our lunch, we went for our usual walk, but this time I really wanted to do the walk even though if I have to do it slowly. Then we got an offer (of Rs 100 per head) from a person to take us on a boating trip on the river that comes and joins the sea. So we took him on it, but the bad part was that I had to walk to the other end of the beach. With the help of my friends I did that. The trip on the boat was nice where we spotted King Fisher, and other such birds, of which I knew not their names. It was for almost an hour. After that by the time we came back from the time, it started raining and we had to hide in a small hut where a life guard was sitting. And after almost half an hour we started back. Even though it started drizzling, I liked it. Walking in the beach and getting wet by the drizzles. It was fairly occupied by both foreigners and Indians. When we thought we will start back, we saw that people have started kayaking. First water sport we saw which had started in the beaches. So K and C went ahead to try and they had fun. It was for 300 Rs for an hour for two people (cheap I say). They even fell in the water when they were near the shore. What is kayaking without falling down in the water at least once huh?. At least these two did it on their way at the end. There were a lot of people who were struggling to even get in the water. But it definitely was fun.
A few points on the beaches of Goa.
- All the beaches we visited in Goa were neat and kept clean enough.
- There were life guards everywhere and they did take note of people going a little too far and made sure they were not in any danger zone. We saw this in all the beaches.
- Since it was just the start of the season, most of the restaurants weren’t open yet. They are open only during the seasons, not all year through.
- We had to endure rain half of the time in the beach, but it was still fun.
- Even with the start of the season, we saw more foreigners in Palolem and Baga beach.
- The beach which I did not visit, but my friends did was Anjuna Beach, which they said was a good one, and there were shacks and restaurants just very close to the beach and they really enjoyed their time there and again it had more foreigners population than Indians.
- We did not have any water sports starting yet, because the season didn’t start (the monsoon got extended and the official season starts from October) the only water sport we did was the kayaking on the last day.
- The shacks were decent and people friendly and leaving you to your business except for a few people in Baga and Palolem beach who were a little shady (offering drugs, massages and stuff like that through hints) but otherwise there wasn’t any trouble.
Since the post is getting too long, I will continue the rest in the 2nd part of this post.