Go goa

You find yourself driving down a lovely winding road with small houses all along the way, dotted with indian version of picket fences, coconut trees swaying to direct you, reflection of the same on the backwaters which you cross over so often…. craning to see sign boards that read “End of the World beach”, “Simly the Best, Bar and Rest.”, “Dmellos guest house… Dsouzas Room to Rent”… It must be Goa !!!

It was Christmas weekend and never having visited Indian christmas paradise Goa, we decided to head there… My husband Roy, Nimesh (a colleague from work and a close friend) and I decided to be travellers in arms for the weekend… Roy and Nimesh may be referred to as Guys or guy in the travelogue hereinafter…

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It was about 2 months ago that we started planning this trip… After a lovely backpacking trip to spain and portugal and having imbibed laziness, I was ready to hit any place for a lazy trip anytime soon… Nimesh having visited frozen lands of England and Scotland wanted warm waters and the beaches… (actually, any place would do for Nimesh far away from office)…. Anu (Finnish couchsurfer taking a sabbatical from Finland, coding in a software company in Goa and going through a ‘find myself’ period in her life) decided to join us in Goa as well…

I had searched the internet and after calling about 30 guesthouses managed to find accommodation in Candolim beach in a guest house called Tropicana guest house… Well, the guys were not extremely happy about the choice and they were generally cribbing without a reason… They were pretty sure than anyplace at Rs 550 for a double room during season time in goa would be close to a hut… To top that, i booked second class train tickets for 196 Rs one way… I was still on backpacker mode and this trip was turning out to be a super budget trip and i loved it.. (guys were terribly skeptical)

Come december and something unexpected happened… Terrible emotional blackmail coming from our parents about how Goa is the next Al quaeda hit destination and about how we should be safely holed up in Mumbai… Were we gonna back out? Well.. if we had backed out, you wouldnt be reading this travelogue..

All went better than expected.. we reached Candolim beach and found out that most Europeans had taken the Al quaeda threat pretty seriously and had cancelled their bookings.. Pretty perfect for us… Infact, just 30 metres walk towards the left or right and the crowd increased… The beach which was just opposite our guest house was so beautifully clear and free of crowd by sheer coincidence… (or did God will a perfect holiday for the Mumbai three).. The guest house was so quaint that the guys even managed a Hip Hip hurray for me… they did not expect such fantastic planning…. (I have to admit I was surprised with myself)

Tropicana guest house had wonderful caretakers Dilip and Kavita, who took it upon themselves to feed us omlettes, 6 pieces of toast with loads of butter, jam on the side and unlimited black coffee/tea till we could barely drag ourselves from the cottage to the shack by the beach…

On day 1 itself, we found Bono’s shack, which had the 3 most interesting things that we could ask for – Kings Beer, vegetable pakodas (only for Nimesh) and Chicken lollypops (For the nonveg threesome)… Manas and Sumit (the guys from Bonos shack) were happy to serve us anything as we were the only Indians around… They also managed to give us a special discount (no charges for the sun beds)… After long conversations with them, we figured out that we treated them with respect unlike many other Indians… (the whole dignity of labour debate was something we spent a lot of time on)

Day 2 agenda was basically a heavy breakfast, swim, beer and pre lunch snacks, swim, beer and heavy lunch, swim, beer and early evening snack and a heavy dinner… (Day 3&4 look very similar to this)… Apart from this, we also managed some beach hopping…. but, beer was always the common string…

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I shall be jumping here and there in this travelogue because I am currently in office supposed to be working on my annual brand plan and I want to pen down Goa on a hidden blog page…. So forgive me for that..

On day 2, Simren Singh (Punjabi born and brought up in Malaysia, a barista at Starbucks, a fellow couchsurfer and a walking music system) decided to join us… Simren shall also be referred to as guy hereinafter in the travelogue…. He came with a cool Black honda activa self starter bike and a nokia phone which had 200 + mp3s (Music is a topic that would be discussed later in my blog as it has a whole new meaning in the life of an Indian, a Finnish person and a Malaysian)

Guys on 2 bikes and Gals on Nikita (Anus bike has a name) headed to Arambol and Mandarem beach, first and last leg of beach hopping for us.. Just a pineapple seller, a few shacks, a stranded boat, a yoga ashram and very very few sunbathers… What happened to Crowded Expensive Goa??? Ok.. we wont complain about that… After a swim and some capoeira stunts on the beach.. trying to do a handstand and a headstand and some crab like poses on the beach, we felt that our quota of exercise for 4 days was over…. We went back to the beers and the pakodas…

Well… It was already two days and we were going through an internet detox, a coushrufing detox… we had not logged on in two days and that was like breaking free… The minute Anu started walking in a diagonal direction, one knew that there was an internet cafe in the corner which was pulling her like a magnet.. But, we managed to keep our resolution and stay away from the internet… It is a must take resolution for anyone visiting Goa.. its just phase 1.. next time i hope to go into Detox level 2 – no mobile phones.. and 3rd and final stage would be Detox no 3 – No return ticket…

In the 4 days, we landed up meeting a lot more interesting people…. Simrens friend Gurpreet was one such example…. another Punjabi born in Malaysia and visiting India for the first time… wanting to listen to Pearl jam in a shack which possibly only played Himesh reshamiya….

There was a brief meeting with Oliver, an English guy, who currently lived in Finland, visiting Goa on a 3 week Yoga course…

Oops.. its criminal if I miss out Darren, Malaysian from Hong Kong, current Mumbaikar, escaping to Goa with Malaysian cousin from Singapore (bored with her current engineering company job)… Darren is a natural stand up comedian… well, i dont know whether that is his intention.. but he sure lands up being funny all the tim…

The Goan guys were something.. Chris, ever welcoming guy who worked on a cruise boat & Clinton the nature lover who travelled from Benaulim to Candolim to meet us (thats like seven seas distance on christmas eve)…

4 days went by in Goan pace…. Goan time does not follow normal earthly patterns.. days are long.. nights are long too… but, it is never enough for a traveller… it is never enough for a traveller from Bombay especially… its definitely not enough for greedy travellers from Bombay…

If one cant visit goa atleast twice a year living in bombay, it must be considered a criminal offence punishable by law… Thats my one and only key takeout from this trip…

 

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