Thoda sa badal, thoda sa paani…aur ek kahani!

Day 2

I am floating atop the sea waves going up and down along the crests and troughs. Lost in the magic of the sea, I look around but am blinded by a dazzling beam of light falling on my face.  Sun-rays filter through the curtains and wake me up. Aaaaaaaah! Good Morning Goa!
  🙂

 

Feeling fresh after a long night of the stress-free sleep, we move towards the eating area, Tentacao. It’s a tastefully done hut with a thatched roof and offers a lovely view of the pool side. 

 

After breakfast, we now have enough fuel to keep us going at least till the afternoon. Me and Mr.V now chalk out the plan of action for the day. We first inquire at the reception about bike taxis. He says he can arrange one for us and tells us the rates for the day. My prior research tells me that he has quoted an obnoxiously high rate. I get a brain wave. We decide to drop the hotel taxi and head out to the Colva market area,that we had visited last night, taking the beach route.


 The sea is looking beautiful in the morning and has a different colour at this time of the day. We walk along the beach which has now changed its shape. The sea has cut through the beach, making it impossible to wade through, we are forced to take a long detour to get across. We meet some tiny little friends on our way…running with lightening speed into small holes created in the sand.

As we walk along we also collect some sea shells. There is one particularly beautiful shell..I pick it up but something black is moving inside it.., Ouch! It’s alive! I put it back in water…
 We finally reach the market and spot a taxi stand. We talk to a guy standing there. We ask him if we can hire a bike to go to North Goa and Panaji. Although we can get a bike, but he suggests that we should rather go for a car as our programme sounds a little too ambitious! And it might rain too! Although I am hell bent on getting a bike, Mr. V sees reason…and agrees that we should hire the taxi as it might get difficult to drive and figuring out an unknown territory at the same time, specially when its raining! Reluctantly I give in. 
We hire an Innova. The driver looks like a decent friendly chap. His name is Aman. We share our day’s itinerary with him, and start the journey. As we head northwards, it starts getting dark, thanks to the clouds.  In no time, it starts raining heavily. The downpour brings an evil grin on Mr. V’s face…The naughty glint in his eyes seems to say…See, I told you! Oops!!! Ok. I concede defeat. It was a right decision to get the taxi. 😛
 
On our way we cross some fabulous Goan villas, numerous churches of all sizes and some beautiful local rivers like Zuari and Mandovi, looking resplendent in their full glory. It’s really an awesome drive.

As we cross the Mandovi, Aman points towards the various boats lined along the banks of the river. He tells us that the same boats go out in the evening for the river cruise. He advises us to get an advance booking so that we do not have to wait in long queues later on. His idea seems sensible, and we decide to get the tickets right away. He takes us to a shop from where we collect the tickets.
We plan to go to Anjuna beach first but there is some diversion as a tree has fallen on the road. So we change the route and head to the Baga beach, which is considered one the most happening beaches in Goa. It is still raining outside. V forces me to wear the raincoat lest I get my fever back! We walk towards the beach. The red sand here is very different from the golden sands of Colva Beach.

Even in the off-season, there is a pretty large crowd on the beach. Most of the crowd seems to comprise of   boys, probably students from some engineering or management colleges. They are having fun in the surf. I spot a few couples who choose to just walk along the beach holding hands. Some families also seem to be having a good time playing with the waves. Kids jumping on their father, mommy looking affectionately from a distance and taking care of all the chappals and bags..and whatever stuff they are carrying..!



We sit there for some time soaking in all the fun happening around us. The beach is lined with many food joints. We enter one seemingly popular joint, Britos. However going through the menu, I find loads of our sea-friends, but nothing vegetarian! So we decide to move back to the taxi. Calangute beach is next on the agenda. This one is another happening beach of Goa. As we inch towards Calangute, I can see an entire row of shops selling beautiful beach wear in bright colours, lining both sides of the roads. 

We reach a a chowk like area, and it is Calangute. In the middle of the chowk is a statue of Dr. Jack Sequiera, founder president of the United Goans Party.
On one side of the statue is the GTDC hotel, Calangute Residency. Must say, Government hotels have the luxury of the best location among all the hotels. Colva Residency that we saw in the morning also enjoys a similarly great location…just a stones throw from the main Colva beach. On the other side are again lots of shops. Some random people keep coming to us, asking if we are interested in getting a tattoo…Sadly, I am not that adventurous! I spot Sagar restaurant, which I had already read about earlier. Aman tells us that the food in Sagar is very good and we should have our lunch there only.

Calangute is again a pretty crowded beach. Although the view is lovely, but I am not too impressed! May be the crowd is a turn off. Too many people around…Madam, Do you want a tattoo? Sir, head massage? Madam…earrings…coconut…pineapple???? Blah blah blah.. I am missing the solitude of Colva Beach.

We walk down the beach into the waters…water is a little muddy..We move back. To get rid of my boredom I decide to something totally dumb, or you may call it a bit cheesy too. I draw a heart complete with an arrow cutting across it, and write our names in it. As soon as I complete it waves wash it away…much to the delight of Mr. V. I make it again, and once again it gets washed away. Not to give up so easily, I move a little backwards and draw it again. Success at last!  😉

By now we have started to feel hunger pangs and hence move to Sagar. It is a small restaurant overlooking the Calangute chowk. While we wait for our order to come, I make waving friends with an ultra cute baby. She gives me a toothless grin every time I wave at her. I then start playing peek-a-boo. As we continue with this remote gaming, our food comes. The aroma of sambhar is heavenly. The food is simple but delicious nevertheless. With our tummies full, we are now back in the taxi.

Aman takes us to the Candolim beach next. For a change, it is a very isolated beach. I am feeling a little sluggish now after lunch. So I just decide to lie down in the sand. Mr. V however has some energy left. He moves towards the sea and gazes at it in one of his deeply contemplative moods. 

I am feeling recharged after this short break. I get up and join Mr. V. We hold hands and just stand their, our feet immersed in the waves that keep going back and forth. It is one of those moments when nothing seems to matter and all you want is to be one with nature. It’s a very  spiritual and greatly rejuvenating experience and the best thing is that I have my soulmate to share this divine moment with me. 🙂

From Candolim, we hop down to Sinquerim Beach. This beach is not too crowded. I love it’s tranquil, serene atmosphere, and its glistening sands. We relax there for some time.


Enough of beach bohemia for the day! Now I desperately need some change. 
Next on the agenda is the Aguada Bay.To reach our destination, we drive along a hilly terrain. The road looks so clean and BLACK as if newly laid.On our way we also spot the Kingfisher Villa, Mr. Mallaya’s den in Goa. Some guys have all the luck ! 😦
We move up towards the Taj’s Fort Aguada . It’s a huge hotel campus with some beautiful villas and cottages, looking down the Aguada bay. 
We get down the taxi and head to a point which must have been a part of the Aguada fort. Huge stones line the walls..The view from the point is beyond words. We see waves rushing towards the shore, running into the rocks with a great vigour.. At a distance we can see towering palms lining the coast. It’s a lovely landscape, and we are thrown back into our reflective frame of mind. I close my eyes, taking in the sound of waves crashing against the walls of the fort. It is a surreal feeling.


We are now headed to the Fort Aguada. On our way we spot a small temple along a small rivulet. Aman enlightens us with some valuable info…This is where the (super-flop)movie, Bhoothnath was shot. Wow..I should not miss this temple! Click! 

Aman now seems to be in real hurry to take us up the fort. He tells us to keep time, so that we don’t get late for the river cruise.
We reach the fort and walk towards it. A huge number of people are also headed towards the fort, most of them students again. I catch a few words in the air… DIL CHAHTA HAI! A boy is saying that he will tell his friends that he went to the same place where the movie was shot. Poor guy..he, like many others doesn’t know that it is NOT the same fort, that gained an iconic status with the presence Aamir, Akshay khanna and Saif. That fort is Chapora near the Vagator beach. Although Chapora was in my original plan of things, but Aman tells us that due to rains, the clay around the fort has become very slippery and it will be difficult to climb our way up to the fort. So maybe next time we are in Goa, we will go there!
 

Coming back to Fort Aguada, it’s a magnificent monument. A board tells me that the Portuguese built The Fort of Aguada to protect old Goa from any attack and prevent the entry of any enemy into River Mandovi. We now walk along a  dried up moat and enter the fort through colossal gates. There is a light house too standing in the middle of the fort campus. I try a trick shot, made so popular by photographers in Agra.
Not bad, hmm??
 
There is a splendid view of the sea from the fort. We see a huge dark cloud …looming at the horizon…casting its shadow over the sea. The sea changes its colour to dark grey! I get a feeling that the dementors are approaching!!! Expecto Patronum!
We explore the fort campus and then a quick look at the watch and some huge raindrops force us back to the taxi. Now it’s Mission Panaji. On our way I see a derelict church standing in the middle of nowhere. It looks really mysterious. I want to catch it in one of my frames but Mr. V is hell bent on not letting me go. I somehow persuade the driver to stop for sometime. By the time Mr. V can stop me, I run inside the gate and enter the church premises. It has a very haunting feel.
I click some photographs. Just then I see hubby dear rushing towards the gate, very sure that some serial killer has taken me! He pulls me back to the taxi and now I sit back like an obedient child looking forward to the river cruise on Mandovi.
We get down at the gate of the ticket counter for the cruise. As he had told, we are lucky to avoid the late evening rush for the cruise. We smoothly slip inside and enter the cruise. It’s a 3 level boat. We take two window side seats in the middle level. Usually they have cultural programmes on the upper deck, but today because of rains, the arrangements have been shifted downstairs. A siren goes off and the cruise starts. The  emcee for the evening comes on stage and announces  the start of cultural programme, which would include local dances and DJ. Frankly, we are not too interested in the programme. I would rather look out and enjoy the view of Mandovi. There are lines and lines of boats along the banks of the river. 
 As we move ahead, we see some more cruises in the middle of the river…On a closer look, we get to know that they are floating casinos. There is one Casino Royale too.

As the local music blares out of the loudspeakers, we go around, exploring the cruise, checking out the stalls…Not much variety for food here. The anchor is asking all the couples to get on the stage to dance…Ohh.. we better run before he spots us! So we escape to the upper deck. Hardly any people are there as it is raining hard..As I am forced to wear my raincoat once again, I hand the umbrella to Mr. V. who very efficiently breaks the handle 😐 Huh!

Anyway we go out, and enjoy the rain..Mandovi is now looking even more beautiful as it reflects the lights coming from the boats..We lean on the railing and enjoy the view.
After having some fun in the rain, we go downstairs. I am feeling hungry, and what better way to get rid of the hunger than having our very own 2 minute noodles. Yes, there is a maggi stall too, and both of us being maggi freaks rush to the counter. Mmmm..nothing like a bowl of hot maggi noodles on a rainy day! M loving It!

The cruise is now back to its origin and as we ready  ourselves to disembark, a group of some fat men in Bermudas standing in front of us start roaring Ganapati Bappa..Morya…The whole boat reverberates with Ganapati’s chant. We get down the boat and head to the parking lot.
 
Our next stop is Kamat’s which I have read is a good veg hotel in Panaji. This time we have some North Indian food. Done with our rather early dinner, we now head back to our hotel. Discussing the next day’s plan, we realize  that we will again need the taxi. Aman is a great help in chalking the next day’s plan. He advises us to get ready early the next day as we have another very ambitious endeavour on our hands.

Alright the hotel is here. We say good bye to our friend, and he flashes his close-up smile.  I am quite exhausted now, and sneezing has resumed. Both of us badly need some rest now. So we move towards our villa. One of the boys rushes to tell us that our stuff has been moved upstairs…Yippie..!

The room is not too different from our first room, but it opens into a small balcony. I will have to wait till the sun rises to see what view the balcony has to offer. Till then, lights off people! I am already on my flight to the dreamworld…..zzzzzzzzzz

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ragu
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 17:16:18

    🙂 Love the narration..
    and i cn actually imagine you savoring every word as you must have written this piece…
    Good Going Didi…!!
    <3

    Like

    Reply

  2. trash_u
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 17:28:01

    phew.. thts a loooong day!
    n soo many activities
    🙂 u ppl had awesome time!
    and i had no idea so studiously poured urself in doing research abt goa before going there…
    Kudos to Mr. V for takin the controls and gettin in taxi..! :p

    ~tht river cruise are good.. except i dnt enjoi dance
    ~~n i hate crabs. (they are Creepy..)

    Like

    Reply

  3. G2
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 06:13:13

    @ ragi- 🙂
    @ shr- crabs..creepy..did u by any chance watch a particular stunt in khataron ke khiladi???

    Like

    Reply

  4. Nitiksh Srivastava
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 07:06:55

    Hi, awesome writing….reminded me of two yrs in Goa…..well i m waiting for more 🙂

    Like

    Reply

  5. Sayesha
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 08:23:12

    Great stuff! Reminded me of my Goa days. 🙂 And oh, steaming maggi on a rainy day?? Awesome! 😀

    Like

    Reply

  6. Ruchita
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 09:53:04

    Gr8 Writing!!!

    Like

    Reply

  7. Ruchi
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 23:50:20

    When ever we got to Goa, your blog will be our guide – good in-depth research and great narration!

    I loved the pictures too (the heart), the crab and many more…

    After your romantic description, folks will choose monsoon season to visit Goa!!

    Like

    Reply

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