Goa & Gokarna - Post Lockdown with Plankton sightings

29th Nov 2020
Photo of Goa & Gokarna - Post Lockdown with Plankton sightings by ItinerariesByDnKomi

I will like to start the blog with the glimpse of drone video of Goa.

2020 has been a difficult year for all of us and as the year is about to end we wanted to rejuvenate and celebrate our anniversary on a high note. As public mode of transports seemed to be a less safer option at the point, we decided to take a road trip .

We carried a lot more stuff than we usually do as we needed to be careful and safer in Covid times. I will add those items and tips at the end.

Day 1

Packed with enthusiasm and sanitizers , we started our journey in the morning at 7 from Pune. We stopped for a quick tea and vada pav on the way . Due to some traffic situation on highway we got delayed and reached Kolhapur around 11:30.

We met our friends from Kolhapur for lunch at Sayaji hotel which is on the highway itself . The food and ambience is really good.

We started around 1 pm from Kolhapur for North Goa. We chose the Amboli route via Nipani. The route is scenic with ghat section in between. We had a stay arranged at a friend's flat near Titos lane, Baga beach .There are plenty of stay options in North Goa. We reached there at 6 pm.

After having food , we roamed the market and went to Baga beach. The row of shacks with colors and light has a different feel of its own and something you should experience as well. As it was long journey that day , we retired early.

Day 2

Next day , we woke up early and had a wonderful breakfast and went to Baga Beach. The beach is clean as opposite what you expect from a crowded popular beach and has garbage bins at some distances.

Photo of Baga Beach, Goa by ItinerariesByDnKomi

After Baga, we went to Chapora fort. It is around 9 km. There is parking available for both 2 and 4 wheelers. You have to climb a decent number of stairs to reach the fort from the parking, but the view is worth the effort. You can see Vagator beach and the long coastline with unending blue sea.

We met this guy at the fort displaying 'invisible man' at Chapora. It was so hot and he had his head inside we were totally shocked how was he managing it. A local vendor told about his shocking story that he has suffered loss of strength in both legs due to acid reaction and now, this is how he made his living. Some people never give up and have the true zest for life.

After 10 , it is really hot in Goa, so try to visit places either before 12 or after 3:30-4.So, we left for South Goa. Our first stay was Acacia Palms, Colva. It was very beautiful and well managed resort with a very good sanitization and 100 meters from the beach.

We had food and rest during the afternoon. We went to colva beach at 4 for the sunset. The beach was mildly crowded and we could stay at safe distance from anyone. The sunset was beautiful. Colva beach also offers water activities like parasailing , motor boat etc.

Photo of Colva Beach, Goa by ItinerariesByDnKomi

We had dinner with one of our good friend from Goa at Jamming goat in Utorda. The food is delicious and place has good ambience.

There are decent number of shacks to hang out at night or in the morning as well.

Day 3

Next morning started little lazy and relaxed ... having breakfast at shack looking at sea and reading book.

Then we had a quick swim in the sea and went back to resort. Had lunch and rested in the afternoon. We left around 3pm for this less visited church - Three Kings church which is on a hill and gives a view of vast coastline and amazing greenery across. You have to climb a few stairs to reach the the top. There are stories on internet about this place being haunted which is totally untrue.

Photo of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

We left around 4:30 from here and started for heart shape lake. Please do not follow google location till the end for this as it is incorrect. Once you are a few kms away ask a local for directions. If you have a bike you ride till the lake but the road is bumpy for last km. If you have a four wheeler, park before and walk. This place has its own beauty and totally different all other beaches in goa. It was mesmerizing .

On our way back we stopped for dinner at this great restaurant with live music and great sanitization.

Day 4

Next day we left early and headed to Betul lighthouse. Due to covid you cannot go inside the lighthouse but you can go till the top and view from there is breathtaking. You can see the estuary , mountains , backwaters and bridges.

Photo of Betul Lighthouse, Betul Bridge, Quitol, Goa, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

In awe of the view , we decided to visit the estuary which is visible from the lighthouse and on our way stopped on Cavalossim bridge.

Photo of Cavelossim - Assolna Bridge, Navelim Village, Goa, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

And after exploring a little reached Mobor beach which had the estuary. It was a long walk till the estuary but it was worth every step of it.

Photo of Mobor Beach, Goa, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

We did all this before breakfast :p , so after this we had breakfast on Mobor beach shack and headed for our stay at Patnem Beach. We booked a beach hut there and it was stunning. We could see and listen to the sea waves sitting in the room. The hut was literally on the beach and could enjoy the sunset sitting in the balcony of the room.

The food and service was also great at this resort.

Photo of Sea Front Beach Huts Patnem, Patnem Beach Road, Palolem, Canacona, Goa, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

After sunset , we experience what was one of the best travel experience of our lives. We saw bioluminescent planktons. The entire wave looked florescent blue. It was something which cannot be described in words. We just sat there for hours on the beach watching and adoring it.

After enquiring we found out this phenomenon can be seen in Patnem and Paloleum in December if you are lucky.

Day 5

Next morning, we went for kayaking. You can rent a single or double kayak .

You can see Palolem beach on the other side

Photo of Patnem Beach, Goa by ItinerariesByDnKomi

And so finally we checked out around 10 and left for Gokarna.

For the first day , we had booked the stay at Zostel , Gokarna. It has a beautiful view Gokarna Main beach from the resort.

Photo of Zostel, Kudle Beach Road, Dandebagh, Gokarna, Karnataka, India by ItinerariesByDnKomi

After lunch and some rest , we left for the famous Om Beach. It was mildly crowded. Gokarna has a lot of small secret beaches along the cliffs. There are even ferries available to take you there. We took a ferry to Paradise beach and it waited for us there.

Photo of Paradise Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka by ItinerariesByDnKomi

After that we went to half moon beach via ferry and it left after dropping us there. We were like only people there except the one guy who was managing the shack. It was beautiful and peaceful.

Photo of Half Moon Beach, Gokarna, Karnataka by ItinerariesByDnKomi

From here we climbed the cliff and followed the trail to reach back to Om beach. Trust me you should go via cliff route as the view and the experience is worth it.

Photo of Goa & Gokarna - Post Lockdown with Plankton sightings by ItinerariesByDnKomi

It was a long day so we had a nice dinner and called it a day.

Day 6

We rented a bike in gokarna to go Yana caves next day. It is one and half hour to two hour drive from gokarna. There are 2 ways to reach there - one which directly takes you the cave entrance and is via sirsi but the road is in bad condition and the other is the one which takes you the entrance of the nature trial which leads to yana caves. I would suggest the later and this was the one we took.

After the climb through voices of waterfall and chirping of birds and through the flock of butterflies

And then we finally reached the caves . They are majestic and truly a wonder of mother nature. You should visit it once.

Photo of Yana Caves, Karnataka by ItinerariesByDnKomi
Photo of Yana Caves, Karnataka by ItinerariesByDnKomi

We had booked nature resort for today as it was our anniversary. So we checked in there and relaxed for the rest of the day.

Day 7

The next day we left back for Pune, halted for the night in Sangli. Had a really good time with old friends and back to Pune.

Tips: Here are few things we took for precautions:

1. We carried our own bedsheets, pillow covers and blankets.

2. Carried a big sanitizer spray to sanitize the room and especially bathroom in hotel.

3. Always sanitize after any outside interaction or cash transaction.

4. Eat preferably only hot/freshly made food outside and avoid the cold beverages and items.

5. Have Vitamin C tablets and some things like Chawanprash or ayurvedic immunity tablets everyday.

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