It was just another boring Wednesday evening, and the hot green peas soup was the only delight. We were happily relishing the pasta when I had that craving for my favorite white sauce pasta from my favorite shack at Baga beach. That was all needed to spark the longing. One visit to the local travel agency we were all set to bag pack for another uncalled holiday.
After a no sleep night from excitement we reached Goa by 10.30 in the morning and it was drizzling already and it was an absolute turn off. But the road from Panjim to Candolim treated us with all the greenery in the world. The smell of wet earth, the humble paddy fields, various shades of green and the cool breeze was brushing my skin while I was dramatically swaying my head from the car window immediately told me that I was going to enjoy this trip.Happy as we were there was some hunting to do for a decent hotel . After much debating and moving around we settled for a hotel in Calangute. The hotel staff was decent enough and more than willing to aid us with all the help required. It was almost 12.30 until we were ready for the days excitement.
After a quick brunch at KFC we headed towards our first stop of the day on our rented bikes- Aguada fort. Fresh august rains showered us with all their glory and charm during the journey. We stopped by a huge banyan tree midway to keep ourselves from getting drenched and saw a small temple of the local deity decorated with love. Standing off a cliff showing the Mondovi river that light drizzle was a wonderful monsoon treat.
The Aguada fort is perched high on a hill, with wonderful views west across the Arabian Sea and east across Aquada Bay to Panaji. Built in 1612 and named for the natural springs that supplied not only the fort but also passing ships this fort is in excellent condition. Inside one can take a good look at the solid stone architecture and the old lighthouse. The fort's defenses actually enclosed a much larger area than the bastion at the top of the hill a seaward bastion still juts into the Arabian Sea on Sinquerim Beach, near the Taj cluster of hotels. The panoramic view of the entire goa can be viewed from this place. On our way back we again took shelter at St.Lawrence church to escape the rain, a few hundred meters away from the fort. its exquisite Portuguese architectural style, its artistic carvings and the beautiful decor have all made the church premises a beautiful place..
Not having much time to spare we left the place around towards the Fort Aguada jail, down below the fort gazing out mysteriously to the broad mandovi river is the Fort Aguadas jail. although we weren’t let in, a sneak peek here and there gave us the thrill of the place and creepiness at the same time. On the road down to the jail we whizzed past the compounds of the huge palace of the reclusive tycoon jimmy gazdar that left me wondering about his reclusive lavish lifestyle.
By the time we reached calangute it was almost 4 and my tummy reminded me of the need to munch on something. We dined at really cozy place opposite the Novotel Hotel in Calangute. The Veg biriyani was redolent and buttery treat. Content and satisfied We scooted to panjim at 5 and headed straight to the Conception church. It’s a perfect combination of portugese art and architecture and the ambience screams devotion and spirituality. Once we were outta church we quickly sped off to the Miramar beach to relish on the lip smacking chat and yum yum Gola. It was nearing 7 and we didn’t wanna run late for the Ride on the cruise over the mandovi river.. With a population of 200 people on the boat we were on board ready for some entertainment. The shows mostly consisted of performances telling us about the Goan culture and tradition. It was amazing fun watching the hippy dance in fishermen attire and the peppy Konkani songs. There were even games conducted which were mostly enjoyed by couples and kid. The deck on top gave an amazing panoramic view of goa at night giving us a close view of the majestic Deltin Royalle standing still on the rushing water.One hour later We were all tired and done for the day.I wanted nothing more than to relax on the beach and sip onto some beer. How could a trip to Goa be complete without some shopping. On the road to Baga from Calangute scores of local vendors have small shops setup selling varities of western wear,accessories and footwear. I was made to buy something for all my friends who couldn’t make it on to this trip. Am I to be blamed?. Nevertheless, after what felt like an hour of buying clothes, handicrafts and kajus I headed to the hotel to dump the luggage and get ready for the party. Yes, finally it was time to hit the beach and down some water ;). It was heavenly when we finally beached. We chose to walk from the Tito’s side of the beach towards the other end of Baga, rather than riding there. The sound of waves and the smooth sand beneath was enough to dissolve the days tiredness. I made my way straight to café Laval and a smile immediately crept on my face. I was already imagining the aroma and taste of my favorite pasta- the reason that dragged us all here. I spent the rest of the night lost and wasted, lying on the beach and picturing the stars dance:). Going to Goa during this ‘off season’ turned out to be adventurous and advantageous unlike our predictions. The cheap hotels , smell of wet earth, unexpected drizzles and the lovely nature made our trip dreamy with peace and solitude.
- Do not rely on the taxi driver to show you around a good hotel. You could probably walk down the road in Calangute with your bagpack and go searching. Trust me you ll end up with a good deal.
- Travelling during Monsoons is highly recommended. The beauty is magical and the showers dont usually last for more than 20 minz.
- If you re a first timer to Goa, you can probably skip the cruise in Panjim mentioned in my blog. Rather go around the place and treat your tummy to the amazing food as there a lot of good restaurants and food joints.
- Make use of the time during the day going about as much as you can, cuz we all know the night is reserved for the beach side.
- If you are on a low budget travelling in the local buses is a good idea. The connectivity and bus frequency is just perfect.
- Never miss a trip to Anjuna beach anytime you are in Goa. The place has just about everything to make you go gaga.
- Try hiking the small island that falls between Anjuna and Baga. With a faint path and sound of the mighty waves, this is one adventure you can do free of cost.
- Every place has its own hidden beauty and mysterious places thats waiting to be explored, and same applies for Goa. Be it monsoon or summer the place will never fail to surprise you with all the things it has to offer.