You know what, Goa is not just all beaches and bar shacks, but it is a very laid back and fun place to explore outside the limits of its famous beaches. I know there is notion out there that Goa = Beaches, Beer and Casino (do not know when did this become a "thing" to do), but I beg to differ from this thinking and through this post I want to bring out a different Goa that one should experience.
Like all first-timers, my first ever trip to Goa included visiting all the famous beaches especially in the north and chilling at the shack. So when the thought of a second Goa trip came to my mind, I decided that this trip won't end up me just visiting the beaches (maybe this time in the south), but I wanted to experience the real Goa - even if it is just scratching the surface of the Goan life. And so I took a wise decision of pulling in a friend of mine who was raised in Goa. Now, I know, not all of us have friends from Goa, but in this post I will try to write down my moments of discoveries that you can try out on your next visit to Goa.
To travel to Goa, we decided to board a bus for both onward and return journeys. Now, you guys might be thinking - in 2019 who travels via bus, when the flight tickets are way cheaper, the journey is more comfortable and less time consuming. But here's the thing, i found my bus operator to be just fine irrespective of the bad reviews and ratings on ticket booking sites. The bus interiors were pretty clean, well lit, had mobile charging units and one water bottle per seat. The only down-side of bus travel is the timings. Though our bus started from Bangalore right on-schedule, by the time we reached Goa we were just an hour delayed, which i believe is absolutely fine with me, after all i am going to Goa for vacation, so i am in no hurry at all!
But above all, here is the great advantage (according to me) of a bus journey. When travelling by bus the next morning, when you have entered Goa, you can start imbibing the essence of this tiny state. That's exactly, what I felt! Looking out of my seat window, my bus was spiraling down the hair pin roads of Canancona, driving through lush forests (filled with cashew and eucalyptus trees) and evergreen patches of rice fields and villages and as you are enjoying this ride, you cannot just ignore the fact that Goa has such scenic and untouched countryside hidden behind its overcrowded coastline playground. So, let's begin my vacation in Goa.