Thursday, July 06, 2006

Goa Trip

Date:28 April 2006 to 31st April 2006.
The Goa tour plan was the brain child of Shafeeque, who decided one fine Monday that we should go to Goa that fine Friday. Like most under-prepared and non-planned ideas, this was a major success.
In those short 4 days he got hold of 6 friends to travel along with him though he did not get any tickets!

Shafeeque alias captain
Rohit alias ulta
Azim alias azi
Suraj alias cheenja
Joseph Antony alias poolu-vayan
Shailesh alias Muniyandi
Abraham Menacherry alis abru

Muniyandi started from Madras, four of us from Bangalore joined him in the general compartment of "Chennai-Vasco" express and two others came direct to Goa from Kerala.
Train ticket cost from Bangalore to Goa (Vasco) was 150 per person.
The overnight journey was tiresome coz we did not get any berth to sleep in. Five of us had to share one berth. It was un-eventful except that the train started late and we drank a bottle of Vodka in the train (Punishable under Indian law!) and spend most of the time near the door (again punishable under Indian law) with the cool night wind in our face. Two of my company were ardent smokers and they smoked their fill all through the night (punishable again, but the law be damned!! with a few pegs in one's stomach everything is lawful).

We reached Margoa at 12 Noon sharp. It had taken us 14 hours to reach from Bangalore.
In the Rly Station we met up with the other two traveling from kerala. Some local bike-taxi men came up and told that they knew the best places to stay around Goa, anyways we went along with them, 3 in each bike to Colva. On the way the Goa police flagged us down, but due to the law being an ass the intelligent bike fellas were able to talk out of that one.

They took us to a very decent looking place called Caza Roiz, very near Colva beach. It was a very "family" type place with the room rent being 200 per person per day (after haggling). This is the off-season rate though. During season time it could be 4 to 5 times higher. The rooms were very neat and tidy and spacious, the bathrooms very clean. I would recommend this room to anybody traveling with their family, but bachelors really have other options. These guys don't entertain any sort of rowdy-behavior or loud noise or getting into drunken fights, anyways we came back to our rooms only for sleeping so there was no problem.

Goa is gem of a holidaying centre. The people here really understand the concept of holidaying. Like most tourists we too had come with a big itinerary of places to visit but the itineraries go for a toss in Goa. The whole "laid-back" attitude can really get into you. For example on the second day of our visit we went for a biking trip, our plan was to visit 4 beaches and one port we ended up visiting one beach and no port.

We started of our visit with a dip in the sea. It was terrific; bathing in the sea is not so common for land laggards from Bangalore, so we enjoyed it to the hilt. Of course we had downed many a bottle of Feni before we went in for the dip; there was a sign on the beach saying "bathing after alcohol consumption is dangerous". I tell you it is a load of crap, just don't go too far into the sea and you will feel right on top of the world... water all around you, water inside you.. ah the feeling is too good.

Next was dinner an outdoor in a restaurant just outside Casa Roiz. I forgot its name, but the food there was terrific. We went there for most of our meals on each day. As night "dawned" we decided to go to some discotheque, and let loose all that bottled up energy. But to our dismay we found out that the real good discotheques were about 60 km away in Calangute. But then when did a mere 60 km stop us from our destiny, we booked a cab(Rs 1.8k after haggling, usually it is 2k and during the season, you will have to sell you home to pay for it), went to Calangute and paid an entry fee of Rs.600 to enter the Titto's discotheque. Saturday usual rate is Rs.800. We were all rather pissed off by that time coz it seemed that we had already spend twice our estimated quota.

Initially it seemed that the entry fee was not worth it, coz, there was a distinct lack of the fairer sex on the dance floor. But as the night progressed they came in droves... to cut a long story short we had one "rocking" time. Each and every muscle in my body ached as we left for home by about 2 a.m in the morning.

Sunday must have dawned beautifully; I was in bed so can't vouch for it. After having a late break fast we decided to go biking. When we went to get rental bikes (Rs.400) at the Colva beach, we were shocked to hear that there was not even one bike remaining there, all of them being rented out to some big group that had come before us. This was a blessing in disguise, for in search of bikes we reached Margao and to our surprise found out that the going rate there was only 250.

We made some really ambitious plans about visiting a number of beaches and ports, but the less said about the plan the better. The Goa'n charm permeated our very being... infact the speedo hardly ever went over the forty mark, you really dont feel like doing anything fast in Goa.

The ride was from south to north of Goa, we covered about 150 km or more but at a gentle pace, soaking in all the sights, taking time to drink Feni (but not too much of it, we may be irresponsible but not criminally so) at most stops and generally getting a feel of the Goa'n way of life.

We went to Calangute the only beach we could actually visit, an we just about reached Vagator beach but it won't count as a visit coz we spend too small a time there and missed sunset by a few minutes. Calangute is considered to be "The best" beach in Goa, but as happens to "The best" beaches in most places it was heavily overcrowded. If you ever visit Goa you must visit Calangute but make the visit very short coz the crowd there is a big turn off.

The two who had come from Kerala departed that night. Unfortunately they missed out the best part of the trip. After their departure (at about 12 pm in the night, some train from Margao) we decided to take a stroll through Colva beach. It was an absolutely exhilarating experience. There was a cool night wind as we walked through the sands; it was thoroughly refreshing, soul-cleansing stuff. I felt as if I were alone in this world, at peace with myself, as if everything was right with this world. Believe me a night like that could make Attila the Hun philosophical. Another thing of interest that we noted was a number of people sleeping on the beach, with the sand covering their entire bodies. We gawked when we saw the first guy buried in sand and snoring away happily but later we saw that this was a common practice, the beach was littered with these "sand burials".

Monday must have dawned beautifully, again I was in bed... but today was the day of our departure, and we had to leave at 5 p.m. We could book bus tickets to Bangalore from the Margao bus stand. bus ticket Rs.400 per head, bribe given to official to get the tickets - Rs.100.
breakfast was from a hotel near the beach. I had had enough of Feni, and the others too wanted to try something else for a change. So we decided upon wine. We had two bottles of champagne (local stuff but real good) some pegs of Whisky and then I ordered "Peach Schnapps" a really cool drink, it tastes good, smells like spirit and gives you a very laid back kick. It's a good drink when in Goa.

Later we visited the beach again, this time a guy came up and told us that we could do Para-sailing for Rs250. It was Rs500 in Calangute beach the day before, so we jumped at the offer and went for parasailing. It was an awesome experience, the sea below you, the wind in your ears and the roar of the waves all combine to give you a real thrill. It's really worth for 250.
Later we took another dip in the sea and then it was time for departure. We reached exactly on time for the bus, and had to jump in fast. Unfortunately during the hurry we forgot to buy any drinks that we had promised our room-loving friends back in B'lore. This later caused some "avoidable-injuries". Anyways we were back in B'lore by 7 pm the next day, with some good memories and a nice tan.


Blogger Arun Pillai said...

Awesome post.This throws out to everyone what are the Do's & Don't when planning for a Goa trip..Thanks for the detail tariff rates too,which would definitely help all crazy soles to fine tune their expenditure.

11:54 AM  

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