The feeling that is Goa

Photo of The feeling that is Goa 1/5 by Sohini Sen
Photo of The feeling that is Goa 2/5 by Sohini Sen
Photo of The feeling that is Goa 3/5 by Sohini Sen
Photo of The feeling that is Goa 4/5 by Sohini Sen
Photo of The feeling that is Goa 5/5 by Sohini Sen

My friend has just started a wonderful travel related website meant and done up by women. Here’s my first (of hopefully a long line of write ups) for TheNomadess. This one is about the state that is on every Indian’s bucket list. The funny thing is, no matter how many times you travel here, Goa never ever gets old. As Amrita, founder of The Nomadess says, it is a rights of passage for every college student.

The feeling that is Goa. 

I have been a South-brat as long as I have lived. I grew up in South Calcutta – the undoubtedly posher part of the city. In Delhi, while studying I traveled to the North campus only once, by and large I stuck to my college and shopping joints in the Southern parts. Now in Mumbai, I live sort of in the center – in Bandra. And yet I see myself travelling towards Nariman Point and Colaba at least twice a week – all because South Bombay – or SoBo like it is pompously called – has the best eateries, the best clubs and the sea.

However, it is in Goa that I find that the South is exactly the opposite. The popular joints – Calangute,Baga and Anjuna are all in North Goa. That’s where the delicious sea food dripping with butter gets served to you in the shacks, where the live orchestra lets you jiggle a leg or two. It is there that unsuspecting rave parties crop up, where clothes are cooler, beaches warmer and the people – livelier.

But South Goa is a different world. It is quaint. It has the making of a beautiful coastal town with lots of small cafes which serve personalized breakfasts. And going by my happy, gloating stomach, a pancake or two is way better than the booze and cold meat I have had to gobble down in the Northern part of the city many a times.

The best part about our trips to Goa has been the accessibility of beaches. Wherever we have stayed, in the peak season of December, the Colva beach has always been a 5-minute walk away. And yet it is quite enough to not get bugged by hundreds of cars driving down.

The Colva beach itself is a part of Goa one can enjoy. Go early enough and you will be able to see fishermen bringing their daily catch in. Smile a bit, wave your hand, and then you can very well join them in selecting which fish goes into the wicker basket, and which gets tossed back into the ocean. An hour of that and you should be famished to have some food yourself. In that case, a steady line of intermittently strewn shacks can come to your rescue. Most of these places serve the fresh catch, with nice butter garlic fish and prawns, or even a deep fried variety to go down with your evening drinks. Wash it down, if you go in season, with a tall glass of Avocado milkshake.

Once you are done eating, thanks to the less than average population of the beach, you can linger on. Thankfully all the shacks I have been to over the last few years have been reliable tough theft is always a problem in tourist places. We were brave enough to keep our stuff in a bag at the shack and leave for a salty, sunny swim in the sea. Ah! The waves. And you know that insane circle where if you swim you want to eat some more, and then when you have eaten, you need to move to burn off the calories? That’s a day at the beach in Goa for me.

A bit of sailing, a whole lot of riding and maybe just some amount of trekking can be squeezed into a weekend trip to Goa as well. But, always, focus on the food. Be it North or South Goa – the food is going to be delicious everywhere. One can try freshly baked bread and cake, some Goan Sorpotel, sausage curry and fish. Wash it down with Feni or wine. And put up your feet and just let the feeling soak in.

The feeling of being in Goa.

This travelogue was first published by CURIOSITEA .