The delicious shacks, cheap beverages and romantic beaches, GOA is a perfect holiday destination situated in a quiet country setting. The beach shacks –truly a romantic retreat for couples under the blue sky and sea tides. Located just minutes from the major beaches luxurious and serene accommodations create a romantic getaway where hospitality is an art.
We a group of 3 doctors (My hus rajesh and friends Sarath and Nikhil) and me arrived in not so quite GOA airport, Dabolim. It is the only airport in the state and operates as a civil enclave in a military airbase named INS Hansa. As soon as we entered the airport we understood, local rules apply, don't queue - push in.... And just accept others will too! :-).
Next was the war for getting our baggages, the casino model baggage belt was funny and it took more than half an hour to get our baggage from that rush. Getting out of the airport we got our taxi a WagonR, and the driver a not so interesting person. We kept on asking our questions about Goa and he seemed less interested in answering the questions.
The hotel was also far less glamourous than we had been expecting, which seemed to be serene and green in the website. After one n half hours of journey, we reached our resort near Anjuna beach at around 11 in the morning. By that time we were starving and I screamed in my knowledgeable Hindi ‘’bhayya Nashta dedo”. My friend Nikhil was sharing his gyaan in kongini, Call him Paathra, Friend. Finally after calling the reception a number of times, we got our breakfast: tea, juice, Aloo paratta and omelets.
At Anjuna we took two bikes for rent. (it cost us a bit:Rs250/ day!!!!) And we set for North Goa beach, guided by our GPS!! We landed at a restaurant/bar where we met a small less than 15 year old boy who gave us where to visit in Goa. We had the famous Goan local beer, Kings Gold. The body cautious Nikhil had a sprite. The sun was already setting and we hurried to hit the sea shore before it is getting dark. We left the noisy Brittos to next day and chose the quietest of all the dazzling shacks on the Candolim beach front and settled down to the country couch in the beach with a pint of the cheapest beer, quite literally for in Goa you get alcohol much cheaper than anywhere else in the country. Imagine 30 INR for a beer, that too the premium quality. The fine dining experience with a reasonable bill!!
Our hotel was just a comfortable 2kms away from Baga beach front, a clean sandy beach so most of our mornings (which never was before 12’ o clock) were about emptying the sunscreen bottle, sunglasses and heading to the beach. Unlike the the other not so clean, stalking public beaches, the world famous (yes I said world famous, it is!!) Baga or Calangute, Candolim is colorfully quiet, pleasingly clean and mostly occupied by quiet sun-bathing foreign tourists, and the shacks here served decent snacks and juices or drinks as fuel while we enjoyed the sun, the sand and the sea. The food was worth the money and quite decent at most of the shacks, with extravagance of the chilled and drought beer. The evenings were fabulous by a beautiful sunset as the sun sinks deeper into the sea’s cove. And then you can see the Goan night life, the music catch up its rhythm, grows louder and the shacks come to life, gradually the entire Goa will slip into a full-swing party mood. No other place can replace the get to party mood in the Goan air.
Our next destination was the Fort Aguada. Our Dil Chahtha hein fort. Like every Indian group we also took our DCH pictures, the sitting ones, careless ones and jumping ones (in 5 takes). We climbed up the Aguada which was open that faced the sea. Oh man! You will wonder about the beautiful creation of sea waves dashing up the shore. We enjoyed the sea, dived into it, swam, bathed, drowned and obviously the water was too salty. Then we went back to our resort after the effortful sea session. We took bat and set for the Casino. We had a doubt on the dress code for Casino, The knowledge guru Nikhil said, No need, after all its Goa guys!! Yea after all its Goa, we set to Casino Royale in our three fourths and shorts.
But the story was different; you should be in your formals to enter the casino for the guys. Nikhil managed to get pants from the casino reception and sarath got formal shoes too. We had our lucky coins and headed in the boat to our casino Royale to try our days luck. It was an exciting experience however, food was worth for the money paid and unlimited drinks had great options with 15 cocktails. The star attraction was the gaming area. Our lucky casino player was Thulsi from which we got back 6000 bucks in three card poker. (We lost all in the next game though.)It’s not a place I can recommend unless you can keep all your temptations under check. It’s fun as long as you keep reminding yourself that it’s just a game, you are here just for fun, and keep reminding yourself that you won’t be tempted to put more as you lose more, before entering the Casino. We spend till 2 o’clock when the original casino experience begins. We went back to our home winning nothing and losing nothing much too. The driving back experience was fun, we all were high and we drove back like 4 holy spirits in two rented bikes.
It was the day of packing back; we spend four full days in Goa, our love trip. We all went to the alcohol supermarket, to grab our favorite bottles. There are, of course, many reasons why people always have that hype about Goa. You should go to Goa at least once in your life. It is nothing else but the beaches, Shacks, All night parties, the goan tan, sea food, yoga/meditation, cheap alcohol or all of them. More over there is something magical about this city which always attracts, It’s the way that life flows in a blissful rhythm through its air, the sense of calm and respect that the beaches offer, the taste of Goan seafood, the sharp musical whipping of the waves on the shore, the friendly smile on the shack guys face, the beautifully laden curio shops sprawling across the sidewalks, the young crowd riding on rented bikes, the crazy discos night life. The spirit of this happy city as a whole is perhaps what brings a smile to me when I think about Goa.
Getting there: Goa is well connected from every other place in the country. The airport is at Dabolim and is about 100 kms from Panjim. Two main railway stations at Vasco and Madgaon. Bad bus connectivity through the city, you should get a taxi.
Local Transport: You can take a cab, or hire a bike of your choice.
Accomodation: Google for suitable places to stay in your choice.
Must see places: Ford Aguada and Baga beach.
Best time to visit: October to March is the season. Avoid Goa during summer and monsoon.