February 8, 2015

Go Goa With The Missus !!!!!!

With this trip, I have been to Goa in all possible seasons and with all possible company. First in the scorching summer season with family, second in the pleasant spring with college friends, next in the lively monsoons with my trek friends and finally in the winters with my wife. Of all the seasons that I have been there I must confess that I loved the monsoons the most. Totally deserted beaches, lively greenery everywhere is what that appealed to me the most. December to January is considered to be the peak season in Goa wherein most of the westerners descend upon the sunny beaches of Goa in order to get away from the chilly weather of their homeland. Therefore as expected it can get quite crowded during this time. So much so that there were huge traffic jams in the streets of Goa, something which I had not encountered earlier and much to my disappointment since with this I felt, I was right back in Bangalore :P.

Candolim Beach Shack
So on a long weekend thanks to the Republic day we planned for a visit to Goa after visiting relatives in Belgaum. So after visiting relatives in Belgaum we set for Goa in the afternoon. The route between Belgaum to Goa is quite scenic with dense forests to be traversed. By nightfall we had reached the place, and had close to 2 days to explore this mini state. Because of the obvious shortage of time we decided to stick to the main touristy areas of North Goa, namely Calangute/Baga/Anjuna/Candolim circuit. Our accommodation was booked at Candolim beach (Summerville Beach Resort) which was a steal considering that I had got nearly 55% off thanks to a credit card promo offer. After the checkin in the evening we went for the stroll to the nearby Candolim beach and it was a good experience walking along the beach which was illuminated with the various shacks dotting the beach and teaming with activity.

Agoda Fort
The next day we decided that we would rent a scooter for the next 2 days which is one of the most easiest and cheapest way of going around in Goa. Got a Honda Deo scooter for Rs 300/day , which was much  more expensive than the usual 200-250 charged, because of the peak season as well as the long weekend wherein domestic tourists especially from Mumbai and Bangalore had come down for their vacation. The first thing we did was to visit the Agoda fort. There is nothing much to be viewed in this place when compared to the dramatic views Chapora fort provides, but still this is one of the most sought after destination in Goa.

Selfie of Barbie doll and Superman :P
After exploring the fort we went for a dolphin ride which is quite near to the fort. During this ride we were taken in a boat to a spot which are frequented by wild dolphins busy hunting down their afternoon snacks :P. We spotted dolphins quite frequently, but the most we could view was their shiny backs when they surface for a breath. Along with the dolphin safari the boatsman showed us the various buildings dotting the shoreline such as the old central jail and so called Vijay Mallya"s guesthouse and so forth. This trip lasted for around an hour.

Dolphin Hunting
With the temperature rising with the midday sun we decided to move our exploration to indoors and hence decided to head towards Old Goa, home to Churches and museums. Took some time to travel from Calangute area to Old Goa, which is around 25 kms from here, but the route is quite picture-some with the roads to Old Goa flanking the banks of River Mandovi. In old Goa we explored St Xaviers Cathedral which is really majestic from both inside and outside and considering that this was built way back in the 17th century by the Portuguese makes one wonder in awe. From inside one just feels very small in comparison to the grandness offered by the structure and I guess this was actually intended by the builders, so that people loose their ego when they come to worship God.

St Xaviers Cathedral
Apart from that there is a glass coffin with St Xaviers body who had come to India as a missionary and died here during the 16th century. There is also an art museum which was just ok. Opposite to this church is a museum run by the Archaeological Survey of India, which gives an insight to the history of Goa. We spent majority of our afternoon in here, and what more "it was air conditioned !!!!! " :P.  While returning back we had short stopover at the ruins of St. Augustines church and by looking at the size I wondered whether this was more majestic than St Xaviers church considering the size of single wall tower standing.

We returned back to our room and decided to go to Baga beach for the evening. And when we reached the beach,  boy-O-boy the beach was so crowded that it resembled Kumbh mela. With such a crowd everything was a headache. We decided to do parasailing and it took all the time in this world for our turn to come. By the time it came it was dusk with the sun already down and this activity lasting for just a minute or so. Overall I felt these watersports were such a big scam in Goa especially in the peak season. After this we went back to our room and retired for the day.

St Xaviers Dead Body
St Augustines Cathedral
The only things that were remaining in our must do items were Chapora fort and Anjuna beach. Therefore we decided to relax a bit in the morning. We decided to head towards Candolim beach and considering that this early in the morning the beach was quite deserted we played in the waves to our hearts content. After getting refreshed back in our room we checked out, stored our luggage in the resort office and headed towards Chapora fort also known as Dil Chahta Hai fort. After climbing for around 15 mins we came to the best viewpoint available all over Goa in my opinion. Miles and miles of sea, beaches and a huge confluence of a river to the sea. Even though it was midday it was not that hot in here because of the strong breeze blowing from the sea. Spent a lot of time in here absorbing the views.

Baga Beach at Night From the Sea
Near the entrance of the fort there was a guy from Country Club who said they are doing a promo and gave us a scratch card and from it we got to know that we had won an assured gift of either tv, fridge, holiday, phone etc. It was written scam all over, but still I was curious since this seemed to be an authentic scam from Country Club :P . Therefore we were taken to the country club resort near Anjuna Beach and then we got to know the catch. One has to attend an hour or so presentation of Country Club and wherein they would persuade gullible couples to register themselves as members after paying 30-40k. After an hour I lost patience and flatly said that I am not going to register now and please give us our gift. After scratching our gift card, we had won a vacation in any of the Country Club resorts, but again with a catch, one has to attend this presentation all over again :D :D. In summary I would call this white collar soft scam :D.

Anjuna Beach
From here we went to Anjuna beach, hanged around there for some time and then decided to return back. Surrendered the bike and took a taxi to drop us to the private bus stand from where we had to take a 13hr bus journey back to Bangalore. Overall it was a good trip, but I guess with me been to Goa so many times, this might be the last time in here and definitely I am not coming again in the peak season of December and Jan :D.

View From Chapora Fort

1 comment:

  1. Hi I really enjoyed reading your blog post. When it comes to beaches in Goa, Baga beach and Anjuna beach are the most famous ones. My most favorite beach is Baga beach, it is just full of life in every sense of the word. For accommodation, check out these hotels near Baga beach Goa.


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