Goa. It feels like even just uttering the word Goa brings a happy spirit and smell of the beaches with it. But I wasn’t too sure if Goa was the right trip to start this blog with. Keeping aside my doubts I have decided to begin this blog with Goa. To give you a little background story about this blog.
Last year, I moved back to Bangalore after completing my masters and started working in one of the MNCs. By the time it was my birthday last year I realized I had been travelling way too much and was spending my hard earned money (believe me when I say it is hard earned) on my adventures. I was just about to embark on my first ever international trip (Yes Bhutan, but still it was international!) much to the surprise of my employers who might have had second thoughts on if they were paying me too much, and I thought I travel so much so let me just start a brand new blog with custom domain name and capture all the interesting tales from my journeys. Ola! I started this blog. However, my friends were expecting their names to feature in my blog stories and kept waiting for that blog post for a whole year, but somehow I just couldn’t get myself to write it.
Coming back to the Goa trip 2018, I had applied for two days leave in advance because of Murphy’s law in my life. To elaborate on this, every time I had to take the bus at night for a holiday or a trip, a very urgent and high-priority business deliverable finds me just right. I could never be sure if I’d ever be able to make it on time, and most probably wouldn’t have even packed because it’d also be crazy week at work at the same time. There was even a time when I finished sending out my last email and closed my laptop half an hour before the bus leaves and the bus stop was at-least an hour away, only I know how I safely (it was one crazy, scary night) made it on time, especially considering that I was the one who had initiated and convinced people to join me on that trip. Therefore I decided, nothing doing, none of it was going to happen this time around, I took a leave on the day we were supposed to leave and chilled at home the whole day.
However, guys took the 7.30 pm bus and we girls were to take 10.30 pm bus. Guys were pretty annoyed that us taking a late bus would hamper the itinerary of the next day, but we told them that they would get more time to get ready, as we would reach after they would (I Know you are laughing, but…).
Actually, we couldn’t help it as some of us were still working till 8.00 pm and others had a family event that could not be missed. So 10.30 pm bus it was. As luck would have it our 10.30 pm bus turned into 12.00 am bus, because punctuality. Guess who were super annoyed by now?
So we reached Goa by 2.30 pm (I know!). Our kind friends came to pick us up from the bus stop on the hired two wheelers. It was decided that there was no time to waste, sightseeing was going to be the number one priority now. So with our faces oily (from the bus journey) and google god guiding us through the strange land, we headed towards our first destination, the 450 year old Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (1541). We lit candles and posed for innumerable number of photos courtesy I-phones of the better ones in the group. Then it was time we had to feed our tummies, guess what was perfect for the first taste of Goan cuisine? The Kamat Hotel! Yes, that was the closest decent hotel we could find so we agreed that we were there for two more days so a bit of home food wouldn’t hurt us. After hours of hogging dosas, idlys, poori, mini meals, soups, north thali, sweets, coffee, cold drinks etc. we decided we should now head home (by home I obviously mean our rented Goan villa! Duh.) to quickly freshen up and hit the beach. I repeat, quickly freshen up (they said freshen up, and not shower because really who showers after traveling for 20 hours! Not us!).
Then we did quickly freshen up, but by then… the unfaithful one moved away too quickly to spoil all our plans for the evening, I am talking about, time of-course!
In our defense, we couldn’t just not shower after travelling for so long. And that would obviously take longer than expected, given that there were 5 of us using 2 washrooms. So the cruise didn’t happen.
We ventured out into the sunset on our two wheelers and headed straight to Dona Paula, following the orders of the direction god taking us into isolated and wrong places, one too many times. Finally the group unites at the view point and explore the location for a while. By now half of the group was tired and ranting, thanks to the other half of us. All of them would still smile and act pleasant with the rest of us suppressing their anger. We heard about the pent up emotions only after we got back to our home city, many days after the trip. So we click pictures, a few of us ignore a couple too much into each other while a few of us manage to make things awkward for them to continue. There was another group of friends like us, but they were all in matching red outfits blaring their throats attempting to sing like Kishore Kumar some of his evergreen hit numbers, I secretly even thought of befriending them but their matching outfits were such a turn off. Soon after we would head out to Miramar beach and spend some time frolicking around. Later, we hit the food street and gobbled away some unhealthy but tasty chats.
We got back to our villa around 10.30 pm or 11.00 pm. Some of us stayed by the pool and some of us were listening to some music. It was then a night of stories that would be repeated many a times in gatherings after this trip. Some of us would not remember all of the stories but again some of us are blessed with good memory.
Second day began and most of us didn’t have breakfast, we were to head to explore Chapora in Bollywood style. Some of us decided to go to Chapora directly while some of us would stay back to find something to fill the tummy. As we reached a bit early and had to wait for the rest of them to catch up we decided to rest at a thatched juice shop near the parking area. Dehdration and nausea got ahead of us and we decided to drink 3 bottles of lemon soda to keep us hydrated as it was very hot in the afternoon. We all then went on to fulfill our Bollywood dream and click as many pictures as we possibly could using the superior camera phones.
Anjuna was right beside and we soaked in the beach view, but even as we wanted to jump into the beach we were not dressed appropriately and hadn’t even carried spare set of clothes. So we get back to the villa, quickly get changed into out beach-wears, and have affordable and tasty Goan lunch at a restaurant on the way to Baga.
Then the magic began, we reached Baga. We could see the population explosion scenes right there on the shore. Many of the adventure sports service providers tried to entice us into picking them, so we finally picked one of them and cough up the charges. We nominated that Parasailing ( I think it was 800 rupees and 200 per extra dip in the water) and Banana ride as our choice of poison for the day. We were given our life-jackets and then the adventure began. I absolutely do not even know the S – of swimming, but I loved that completely. Banana ride was brilliant with them pushing us into the water suddenly from the ride, trying to get back to the ride from the waters gave us a feeling right out of those survival movies. Then came Parasailing. Parasailing, there’s nothing like it that I have experienced in my life so far. It was just beautiful. The sun was setting right behind me, the shore and the people and the blue waters right in-front of me. I felt like a bird just soaking in the beauty, feeling and the fact that sometimes we are just tiny dots in a mesmerizing big space. I felt so blissful, thankful and content in that one moment when I was suspended by a rope in the sky and felt that no matter what the rest was, this second that I experienced right there was worth everything. That was also a dream come true moment for me, I had one thing off my childhood check-list and it felt amazing to be able to experience that. I had drawn pictures of Parasailing and stuck it to the wall in my room when I was in 6th standard, that little girl was over the moon when she lived her dream.
Once we set our feet back into the beach sands and got reminders that life is not so bad after all, we went to play with the sandy waters for a while cherishing the ambiance that was building up slowly. There were the shacks starting to light themselves up and play loud music, it felt like an open disco. We went on to waters in-front of shacks that were playing the songs we could groove to and started dancing right there with our feet in the beach waters. Soon there were candle lights all over and charisma of the shacks started to draw us to them.
Later we went back changed into something nice and came back to Shacks on Baga dazzling and seducing us to dine in them. Somehow out of all the Shacks, my friends decide that the one with hearts all over would be the restaurant we would dine at. We all relax and start enjoying the good food and some of us still went back to dancing on the beach. I personally enjoy stargazing the most, there is something absolutely soothing about it. Stargazing is almost a therapy. So I went to lay down right there on the sand with a couple of my friends, stargazing and having deep conversations about life. Like typical deep conversations, there were advice by the peers to one another to stay strong, ditch the undeserving love-interest and move on etc. (You get the flow).
We went back and forth to laying down on the sand stargazing and back to savoring the dinner, we went on to order another plate of the special pomfret, which one of our friends had previously ordered and was delicious. It was soon 2.00 am and the Shack was closing for the night but we didn’t want to stop dancing. So the waiter brings in the bill, one of us checks the bill and then the dancing stops just like that. All of us were taken aback and now were rethinking our pomfret decision. It was delicious, but was it worth shelling more than how much we would pay for one night at our villa? Vegetarians in the group who were happy to split the bill equally before backed out looking at the bill of the pomfret. But now that the the deed was done and could’t be undone so we payed up and left the shack without uttering a single word.
So what happened? Pomfret was a special dish and the price was not mentioned in the menu, so when waiter was asked what he would recommend he did what he could do the smartest. Prices of the rest of the dishes in the menu were affordable and decent and therefore the first person who ordered the special dish thought it would belong to the same price range as the rest of the dishes in the menu and didn’t ask the waiter for its price. The rest of us who ordered pom-fret the second time trusted in the person who ordered it before as he would have clearly checked the price before ordering. And then the bill comes and proves us all wrong.
All of us walk a distance in silence contemplating our food decisions of the night and then suddenly everyone bursts into laughter.
We went back to the villa, pool and the swings. Some of us tired from the very eventful day and night fall asleep, rest of us sit in the hall recalling our college memories and laughing at the stupidity of our younger selves. It struck 4.00 am on the clock and we decided that coffee was the need of the hour. Few of us who were awake contemplated on if we should wake the others and take them along, but wiser ones decided that would be a very foolish decision. So we started our bikes and rode to the nearest open eatery. We fond an empty one with only another group of people sitting on one of the many tables, we took the seats that were two tables away from them. There was TV playing Savdhaan India, at a loud volume. The waiter took our order, the group in the other table had an arrogant man who was clearly drunk with one of the women very angry at him for his behaviour. The man showed no sign of remorse and was hurling abuses at the woman, there was another friend of his trying to calm him down and two other women trying the calm the lady down.
By now, we were unsure if it was safe to continue sitting there or if we should move out. Exactly at that very moment, the husband in the Savdhaan India series on the TV kills his wife. The whole situation was very eerie with the added effects from the TV with its crime show at 4.15 am. By now the lady in the table in the front walked out of the shop, the other women follow her to maybe console her. The man suddenly calmed down as soon as she stormed out and keept asking his friend if he was in the wrong by any chance, to which his friend subtly replied in positive.
We drank our coffee and walked out, only to find the women getting back to their table. We thank our heavens that we got out of that place without any harm and decide that a selfie, at that place was a must.
Then all of us hit the bed and wake up to do some shopping. We quickly get some souvenirs and bebinca for our family and friends back home, travel by the local bus to reach the railway station, catch our train and reach home the next morning to get back to the usual routine at work.
My Takeaways From The Trip:
- Fully live the moments that take your breath-away
- Never order any special dishes at the shack that waiter recommends without checking its price
- Go on trips with less itinerary and more time to relax every once in a while
- Get on to the next adventure on that check-list ASAP!
- If you get into a restaurant and see Savdhaan India playing and a couple fighting, just run out and run for your life
- Do something that is out of your comfort zone every once in a while (for starters I didn’t want to go on this trip, but I am glad I did)
- Showers are important after a long journey
- Remind yourself, to take a day off from work even on the day you are just catching that flight/bus/train (Believe me, it takes away so much stress. But yes you will miss the drama it added to your life, the anticipation of if you’d make it or not)
- Sometimes, it is okay to be a mess
- You need not act cheerful all the time just because people expect you to be, it is okay to rant crib and sometimes not speak at all if you are being honest to what you feel
- Take a chance, maybe it will be worth it after-all
- Count your blessings! Live Happily!
That’s my Goa trip. I’ll be back with a new entry, maybe soon or maybe not so soon.
Adios Amigos! 🙂
Sending Love Your Way,
Travellicious Bee :* ❤