Friday, October 03, 2008

Goa Trip

Ennui, and stress forced me to take a short vacation in September. While I originally intended to travel some place remote, I realized I didn’t have enough time to plan it. So I ended up going to Goa instead, alone.

While I've been to Goa several times in the past, most trips have been related to work, and followed a standard pattern - reach Goa early morning, meet up with clients/distributors, and catch the bus back to Mumbai in the evening. The other type of Goa trip involved hectic travel to cove as many beaches as possible in the shortest period of time (and the maximum number of temples and churches too). I intended this trip to be different - restful and without an agenda. I got delayed reaching Mapusa because roads were flooded on account of the heavy rains, and reached Baga only post noon. First thing I did even before I found a place to stay was plonk myself down at St. Anthony's beachfront restaurant and stuff myself. Wandering around for a bit allowed me to find a clean lodging place a short distance from the beach and a bit of bargaining got me a clean AC room for Rs.600 a day. It certainly helped that it was off-season, and prices were low and accommodation was easily available. Baga and Calangute are very close to each other and there are a large number of lodges and hotels along this stretch. 

I spent the next 3 days lazing around on the beach, on the beach front, or on long walks around Baga. I relaxed stretched out on a comfortable chair on the beach with a good book in hand and good food and beer on a table beside me. I ate hearty breakfasts at Infantaria (the bananas with honey are excellent), lunched at random restaurants whenever I felt like it, and dined at St.Anthony's. I played pool at Mambo's (a popular nightspot with theme nights), tried pastries at Britto's, and watched a bunch of foreigners karaoke at St.Anthony's. I hired pilots (motorcycle taxis) to take me to Fort Aguada and the Chapora fort and watched the Brahminy kites and Indian vultures dive at each other in the clear blue sky.

I went to Panjim the last day of my stay and wandered around Patto for a while before catching a bus back to Mumbai. I did have to run around like crazy before I could reconfirm my 'already confirmed' bus tickets, but that's another story.

But to all my friends and acquaintances that think it's a ridiculous idea travelling to Goa alone, do try it once; you might learn more - about Goa and about yourself, than you would otherwise would.

[Some photos on Flickr]