Goa, the priced destination of burgeon adolescent!
GOA: The beaches, narrow roads, and alluring houses possess the gravity to mesmerize anyone and everyone. Goa is connected to all major cities via roads, rails, and airways, but if you are setup at more than 2000 km away from Goa, you got to do an exhaustive planning to utilize every moment you spend at this place. The inception of this trip was initiated keeping the fact mentioned above in view.
In order to fix the perfect time-table, brainstorming started from July 2015. Ideas, opinions, and experience of 12 people collided for a couple of months to decide a date of travel, the number of days to be spend, places to explore, place to put-up, etc.
Few arguments, dropouts, and persuasion lead us to block: 22nd January to 27th January 2016, as the period for this exotic trip. Around this time in Goa, the huge rush of New Year starts thinning down; the weather remains a bit supportive, and the surged price for every alternate good recedes with the receding foreigners. Next came the ticket booking ceremony, due to the unpredictability of a distant future, 3 of the group member backed off, out of the left nine people we booked a train ticket for eight from Nizamuddin (Delhi) to Madgaon (Goa) and a return Air ticket from Panaji to Delhi, I was in Pune, so I hopped on from there. We also figured out a place, kind of guest house to stay; it was the closest thing to Anjuna Beach. The owner, Miss. Yvette D’Souza, an amiable lady proudly named it Café De Nouz.
22nd Jan 2016: The train blew last two horns, power generated from electric engine kicked in and changed the inertia of the train. It took around 40 hours for the train to enter in the most happening state of India. Crossing different terrain, puffing through tunnels and plains finally it landed on a sea shore. It was around 02:00 pm, 24th Jan, when eight of the group member hit Café De Nouz, our abode, in the vicinity of Anjuna Beach. I joined the group from 25th January, 07:00 am onwards.
Exhaustion of the long journey couldn’t keep these eight wanderers contained. Excitement pumped enough adrenaline to help them overcome all the fatigue; no one waited to catch a nap. Everyone changed into typical Goa attire and went out to hunt for bikes.
From the last trip, we learned that an enriching experience of a place comes only by exploring the place on a bike. You get to learn a lot when you get lost in a street of an unknown city, reach an unknown place, workout any breakdown of the bike on your own, ask all sorts of wrong locals for right road ways, try to read signs put up in different languages, it’s so much fun!
Wandering for more than 4 hours as if the Spartans hunting the prey for a meal, our gang rented two scooty and 2 FZ. Everything set; everyone shot off on the new machines to a pre-decided place, the Arambol beach
A beach 35 km from our place of stay. Tiredness and exhaustion couldn’t stop the gang from taking endless pictures and walking few miles to try out the famous cuisines of that place. They make relish cuisines out of the seafood.
Everyone came back to the guest house to prepare for next day itinerary, and to visit the Saturday local market at Anjuna, true colors of Goa can be experienced in these markets. A long tiring day ended, but before everyone went to sleep an important task was left, cutting the B’day cake!
The most adorable guy of our group, Ankit had his B’day on 25th, a b’day in Goa! Nothing better than that!
25th. Jan 2016: I reached Goa at 7 am, I had asked my friend to pick me up from Mapusa bus stand. Mapusa is a small town filled with all sorts of an urban amenity. It isn’t like a typical Goa town, but you can discern Goa from the hawkers, language, and signboards. I patiently waited for my first Goa ride, musing about the near future adventure. Vivek arrived at the rendezvous at 8:00 am, his Goa experience already added the first chapter at 07:20 am, when on his way to Mapusa he met with an accident (to save a small kid who appeared on the road from nowhere). Still he managed to pull up to Mapusa, we looked for a repair shop at Mapusa but couldn't find one, or couldn’t find one open at 08:00 am in the morning. We decided to head towards Anjuna beach. The Morning was reserved for Calangute beach, evening for Vagator and the night for Club Cubana. We decided to fix the bike in between the latter two reservations.
Around 11:00 am, everyone got ready for water sports, boys sporting sexy lowers and girls robed in hot pants. We rode off to Calangute beach. It's the ruling attraction of Goa, full of food joints, shafts, water sports. You’ll start feeling the aura of this beach as soon as you grab visions of jam Street, a plethora of outlets and foreigners. The beach offers five different water sports; we decided to take on two because the scooter ride, Bumper Boat, and Boat trip were looking kind of repetitive. We opted for Parasailing and Banana Ride. 750 for 2 Sports! Sounds kind of hefty and that’s too in offseason! Well, that’s how Goa is, land of expenses.
First came the banana ride! The ride is not as innocent as it sounds. A banana kind of boat, hooked to a steamer, they take you for a ride on a banana boat up to 600 meters in the ocean and then with a jerk topple the boat. Thanks to the water jacket, usually you return safely! Ours was the second turn, we hopped on the banana boat, water jacket tied to the skin and the adrenaline tied to heart, we started sailing. Exactly after 56 second the boat went upside down, people on the boat were thrown at few meters because of the inertia of the boat they carried.
For a second I felt like I was going down, the water jacket wouldn’t work I thought. The fear gripped in, pushing the heart to pump faster for last few cycles as its service might not be required after next few seconds. I heard a faded voice, someone commanding, “Leave the rope, it is pushing you down”, by then I already had lost the strength to hold on the rope. I followed the order; the water jacket lifted my body up. Next to me was floating, to be drowning Pooji, she was already bashing the banana boat captain for all sorts of irresponsible sports Goa offers. However, we were pulled up by the banana riders, till the time we settled on it, it toppled again stuffing different genre of sands, salts, and fear in us.
Next water sport was para-sailing. A boat took us to 0.5 Nautical Miles away from the shore towards Parasailing point. A parasailing steamer fitted with a big balloon like a kite, dragged by a steamer, the speed of the steamer controlled the height of the kite. In the boat, we discussed the possibility of the para-sail getting disconnected from the rope with which it was tied to the boat. Everyone of us gambled on the idea of how far that kite-cum-balloon could take us, if disconnected from the parent boat. It was frightening, adding to the misery was the fact that water jacket could keep us floating on the ocean only for 12 hours. I was 5th to go, tied to the para-sailing kit, clinging on the hope for my safe return. The speed of the boat increased, the air lifted the para-sailing kite up, the feeling of fear soon transmuted into exhilaration, it felt as if I was flying I could see the shore, feel the air brushing against my skin and the ocean beneath me.
Excitement doubled when my friends made the boat driver play the trick and lower the para-sail kite to touch the ocean. It was like surfing on the ocean. It took a total of 1.5 hours for each one of us to touch the sky and come back.
Tired of the sports, the next stop, was a food joint at Baga beach, the crowd at Baga beach was startling, the hot sun could do only little to the spirit of traversing the best food joint. After walking along the stretch of Baga beach and checking out every alternate food joint, we decided to take our hunger game to some other place as we were getting late for the next schedule. We hopped on our machines and left for our guest house. It is the luxury you enjoy when you have your own vehicle to travel. We stopped at a small restaurant on our way, took lunch and rode off.
We had around 2 hours in hand before next excursion to Vagator beach. We changed to a new pair of lowers/hot pants and t-shirts/top and in next 2 hours hit the road again for Vagator beach.
The beach is famous for its amazing sunset point. Well, we found something more amazing, on a prepossessing evening, when you take a right turn and walk to the end of this beach you will come across few rocks blocking your way, once you manage to cross this big rocks you will find a small private beach. No one around, the big rock casting a shadow on wet sand, calm, peaceful and sumptuous place. We spend few hours there, clicked some pics and then left for the guest house.
By the time we reached, it was half past 07:00 pm, we had only 4 hours to get ready for club Cubana. We utilized that time to fix the bike; we took the bike to every single store around Anjuna, but no one was able to put the pieces together. Tired and dishearted we came back to our place, we picked few packets of feviquick and small wires just to try and doctor the bike ourselves. When we started with our desi way we found that someone had already used wire, taps and feviquick over the moribund bike. It encouraged us to try our engineer mind and reunite the pieces of the broken machine. Over next 2 hours, we held our patience and applied our imaginations over the broken part. Voila! We succeeded. It was like we won a battle, the battle against crooked bike rentals.
Club Cabana! The one place you don’t want to miss in Goa is the CLUB CABANA. Nightlife starts at 10:00 pm and goes on till 04:00 am in the morning. We dressed, in the best of our capacity. Girls into ladies and boys into Gentlemen.
We argued over taking a taxi for Club Cubana but settled on using our favorite scooty for the transport. We reached the place at 11:45 pm, took our passes (1000 per head couple, 1500 stag). We hurried inside the club because we had to cut a birthday cake. Pooji the sweetest member of our Gang, her birthday was just 15 min away. The club authorities allowed us to take our cake inside the club. A couple of wanderers in Club Cubana joined us and sang the B’day song for Pooji, mixing our traditional song with Cubana-ian flavor!
Club Cabana: A club cut out inside a hill. The most happening place in Goa. Filled with foreigners, drinks, music, fun, and life. The club has a swimming pool area, a dance floor, a Couple dance floor, a bar area and lots of stairs! The music blends with alcohol, the perfumes with ambiance, the lightening with ecstasy. After a couple of shots, the place looks even more happening and fun! We drank, danced and repeated these two steps till 3 am in the morning.
The next big task was to reach our guest house. 5 of us were supposed to drive; the rest were high obviously. The problem was none of us would pass the alcohol smell test if we were made to undergo one by police. We asked the club people about the chances of a police checking on our way back to Anjuna Beach. The odds in favor and against of us were equal! We decided to form a chain, turned off the headlights of our scooty and rode past the empty street of Goa. Luckily we reached our guest house without any hassle. Everyone dozed off…
26th January 2016: Dudhsagar trek was scheduled for the day. 160 km to and fro road trip on scooty. Sounds Insane! And that’s what we love to do, insane stuff! We stuffed light meals in our bellies, at our favorite food joint the Avalon Sunset Restaurant. Luscious food with striking ambiance and lavish bills. We hit the street at 9 am in the morning.
Riding, singing, racing we left the Goa behind. The hot sun above and the narrow highway beneath, high on the zest. The journey was a walk by the old Goa. Beautiful streets, trees along the road. We were sure we saw those roads in some movie. Now and then the road changed into a picturesque landscape. Goa is indeed a delight! But it is more than just beaches; Goa lives in the narrow streets and beautiful scenic houses.
We reached Dudhsagar at 01:00 pm, booked a jeep and went onto trek. The best thing about traveling in a group, there is someone who motivates all to take any challenge and work through it. Before we reached Dudhsagar Fall everyone was skeptical about the place; we were given life jacket, not sure why until we saw the natural lake. Everyone jumped into the lake, the chilled water of the fall was a much-needed relief after an 80 km ride. We tried our hands, or rather legs on swimming. The lake has fishes, not the shy smaller one, but the big egotistic devils. Every time they rushed past hitting us, claiming and establishing their dominance over the lake. We floated in the lake for next two hours, took pictures, played, tried drowning each other.
It was more than what we expected. We left the place by 04:00 pm to reach Goa before the sun set. When we entered Goa it was already dark, the city was lit up by street lights, we missed few lanes, got confused in some streets, took a couple of U-turns, finally reached our guest house, tired and half dead. Before going to bed, we took our last stroll along the beach of Anjuna, a dark night filled with light music coming from shafts, a gentle breeze ruffling against sand, everything was at peace except for the sea. Water was being pushed to cover more earth with every wave.
27th January 2016: We had to leave Goa by 6 PM to catch the flight so we decided to visit nearby places. We went to the old church, again taking the same route we covered the previous day. Bom Jesus, the church, filled with mystic history and beautiful architecture.
The structure looked beautiful, perfect for our photoshoot. We spend 1-hour rounding off the church and next 2 hours in the photoshoot.
We left the place to check out Bean Me Up, a food joint. A connoisseur delight! If you love to try something different, this is the place for you. Everything made of natural fruits and vegetables with least use of oil. The ambiance felt like as if eating at Hawaii or Bangkok restaurant. Soothing echo with sumptuous food!
We wrapped up from there by 4:00 pm and reached our guest house, packed our bags and returned the scooty and Bikes. It was the time, time to bid adieu to Goa, to its street, landscape, people, smell...
We missed out on North Goa, The Cruise ride, and Casino but what we covered was the max that could be covered in the time allocated, plus we also needed few attractions to pull us back to the place….
Next: We dozed off in the plane, hoping to see the city again…..