Yes, holidays are about having a great time in a place we
have always wanted to go or simply a place we love and visit over and over
again. But other than that the main element that goes into a holiday for most
people is planning!
Planning a holiday is an amalgamation of juggling dates,
hoping to get leaves, choosing the place to visit, when to visit and the list
is endless! For me personally being a Virgo the perfectionist and detail
oriented person I am I always like my travels to be well planned and well ahead
This time round too it started off the same way, just that
it was Goa, a place I have visited several times as a child with my parents, so
of course my only job was to enjoy the sun, sand and have fun! But going to Goa
this time was a whole new experience.
Elements like where we would stay and how we would reach we
planned well ahead and we also had in mind that we would not want to hop onto
one of those tourist buses and take a tour. We wanted to see Goa from the eyes
of a local. Where do they go on Friday nights, what do they eat and what is
their day to day life like.
On these lines, we landed in the city of beaches and unlike
most tourists we walked up to the bus stand and browsed through the several
buses going by and finally hopped on to the one headed to Maria Hall, South
Goa, where we had planned our stay.
Our stay too was not the regular beach resort or fancy
hotel; rather it was the family home of Mr and Mrs Fernandes. Hopping off at
our stop, we asked around, lost our way and finally made our way to Aunty
Jovita’s humble home. She welcomed us home and showed us into our room, which
was very neat and tidy and had a balcony of its own. For a price of Rs 500 a
day this was indeed a steal.
Then we managed to get the number of the nearest bike hire
place and off we were to discover south Goa. Nothing was planned, so suggestions
from our host were welcome and after asking our way around we reached Benaulim
Watching the fisherman pull in their morning catch, our
tummies began to rumble and we walked into the beach shack. We were rather
surprised by the quality of food and as we ate the first spell of monsoon
showers hit the beach but was off very soon. We enjoyed the calm sandy shore,
walked along and got into the water which was well protected by life guards.
Then off we were to Panjim, looking at our map and scouting
around we made our way to the famous Church, captured it behind our lens and
headed to 18 June road, which we were told by a local is a good place for some
shopping! On our way we stopped by at one of the most common café’s found in
Goa, Nescafe. The cold monsoon evening and a hot cuppa got us going. Looking
around at the little souvenir shops and later stopped to try some authentic
Goan wine and walked along the river where we saw the very popular Mandovi
river cruise sailing by. Having been on the cruise as a child we gave it a
It was late in the evening and we decided to head back home,
the ride was a good 33km from where we stayed and as we entered Margoa, we lost
our way and landed up going a full circle literally and half hour later we were
back to the entry point of Margoa. Finally some locals and a police van going
by guided us and we got home to our worried host who had been waiting for us.
After a hot bath, an authentic meal cooked by our host, and
a brief idea of what we would do the next day we called it a night. Morning dawned;
a hearty breakfast set us for the day to explore the most popular part of the
city – North Goa.
The beautiful beaches, the crazy beads, braids and tattoo vendors
and some authentic Goan Prawns curry and rice later, we plunged into the salty
waters and did not want to leave! From the beaches we headed to the next
popular place amongst the locals the Friday Mapusa market.
This market is not your regular flea market, but a local
market put up where you can find everything from vegetables, fruits, small souvenir
shops, festive items and much more. Walking through the narrow alleys of this
market and capturing it essence we decided to head home. As we neared the
little pathway which led to our home stay, we could hear some happening music
and just knew that we had to hit this place. Dropping our bikes at home, and
all dressed for some Goan nightlife, we hit Fiplees Pub!
Going into this place we knew that this was not the regular
tourist crowd and many seemed like regular locals and being Friday night, it
was Karaoke night! After some singing and sipping, it was time to hit the dance
floor, and what a blast we had, hip hop, retro, meringue and some great salsa
number kept us grooving till the wee hours of Saturday morning!
Our last day in the city and we decided to visit Colva
Beach, got some good buys on the way at the several little stores and this
beautiful pristine beach with a bridge for an entrance blew us away!
The vast stretches of calm serene sandy shores beckoned, as
we walked along picking up lovely shells in hues of blue, white, grey, black
and pink! It was then time for some Goan delights and the seafood shack off the
beach served up a spicy crab curry with steamed rice. Tummy full it was time to
hit the road and head back to pack up, something which had this strong current
of resistance! We even planned to buy a holiday home in Goa, that was how much we fell in love with the
city every visitor does!
All packed we bid goodbye to our gracious hosts for our
journey back home, thinking back on a trip which was a combination of planning
So, if you’re in for some spontaneity Goa is the place to
start with and of course there are those several treks and day trips which are
always fun when decided on the fly!
Planning no planning, the fun of the trip and the adventures
of exploring a new town on your own is always fun! Happy travels…