Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..... I Love You!

Hey Guys….. Here is a sneak peak of my fourth “never cease to surprise me” trip to Goa.
“Goa is like a fridge – coz everyone just chills here!!”
Sounds cheesy right… but honestly so true! J
We all agree that Goa is about having fun and being carefree! It is about eating and boozing, singing and dancing to the live music at the sea side shacks, enjoying the reasonable (post-bargaining obviously) water sports, exploring forts, visiting the beautiful churches, roaming around on rented bikes, getting tattooed and clicking pictures, experiencing colourful carnivals, going crazy at Sunburn festival and so much more!! It is the super cool Indian land which should be marketed as “What happens in Goa, stays in Goa”.
Now I will share a little bit of what we were up to (Ssssshhhh……) We stayed at “Palolem Beach” in South Goa–the No.1 beach in India according to trip advisor and the most beautiful beach I have been to.

Palolem Beach
It is lined up with palm trees, cafés, bars and cute huts sitting in a U-shaped cove.  All huts here are very close to the beach, but if you pre-book or are plain lucky, you could find one like ours which opens right on the beach. Unlike hotel rooms, none of these huts have TV making them the perfect retreat from our monotonous lives. 
Sunset at Palolem Beach

Well, I generally plan all my vacations to the tiniest of detail but thanks to my Jiju who took the responsibility of this one, I took the liberty of not making a list, not managing my time, being more adventurous, spontaneous and much more fun!

Palolem is 80kms away from the airport and it is most convenient to take a prepaid taxi from the airport or pre-book from the hotel for approx. Rs.1500. Since I was travelling alone that day and I wanted to experience Goa like never before, I took a local bus from opposite the airport to Margao, then connecting bus to Palolem and then was lucky to get a drop at just 400m from our hut and that too for a total of Rs.70 (Hehe). I must admit that two hour bus ride listening to Goan music, sitting amidst foreign tourists and school kids, those Catholic old ladies wearing gowns, young cool boys with braided and beaded hair; and that walk with my backpack on those narrow lanes transported me to the song by Shaan “Jaane ye raahein abb le jayengi kahan, Tanha Dil Tanha Safar”!

As much as I enjoyed my journey, I fell in love with my destination in an instant. Since Palolem is quite far from basically every other place in Goa and is yet not-so famous among Indian tourists, it gave a foreign vibe, it was less crowded and thus the perfect getaway for some peace. It was rejuvenating to have spent hours and hours hogging over food, sipping chilled drinks, making castles and writing my name on the white powdery sand only to be washed away the waves, watching the sunrise while jogging by the beach feeling that fresh air on my face, reading books laying under the beach umbrella throughout the day and gazing stars contemplating about life while listening to the waves.
Stunning View from the room  as
I started the day with Chocolate Shake 

However apart from this amazing feeling of lazing by the beach, there was plenty to do. We played beach volley ball, did kayaking, spotted dolphins in the Arabian Sea swimming in magnificently streamline bodies, visited the butterfly island 
Boat ride spotting dolphins enroute Butterfly Island
and glanced on Honeymoon Island from our motor boat. Another goodie about Palolem is that most of the shacks offer happy hours (buy 1 get 1 free) at the peak time of 5pm to 10pm and offer such delicious food that it is difficult to rate one over the other…. 
Many say that only North Goa hosts beach parties and high-end clubbing options and South Goa is boring. Well, I disagree! 
Silent Noise Party at Palolem Beach
The silent noise party every Saturday at Palolem is one of its kinds (like seen in Break Up song) and was a life-time experience. It was indeed delightful to listen to people like us playing guitar and singing songs like “Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko” and have candle light dinner by the beach under the blanket of stars.

Just a fifteen minute walk from Palolem is Patnem beach (a must visit), another calm, clean and beautiful beach with lovely shacks offering yummy food. The ones we tried and can vouch for is the Alfredo pasta at Namaste and Roastii (potato pancake) at Home.  
Relaxing in the hammock at Home
From Patnem, we took an auto to Agonda Beach where we took a refreshing dip, enjoyed the beautiful sunset and relished some more food at shacks Om Sai and Omkar.

After spending three fabulous days in South Goa, it was time to continue the madness in North Goa. Since I have been to Goa multiple times (school trip, Christmas eve with parents, another time with siblings) and explored most of the famous beaches like Calangute, Anjuna, Candolim, Vagator etc., this time we went to Aarambol beach; where we did paragliding and I ended up floating in my life jacket after falling down from a jet scooter :P. Since no shack (besides café maître) was appealing enough, we soon headed on our Activas to the famous Titos Lane.  With back-to-back restaurants and clubs like Titos, café mambos, red square, the entire street was bustling with people going bonkers (including us ;)).  After happily killing our feet by the crazy non-stop dancing, we somehow pulled off walking almost the entire stretch of Baga Beach to savour the paneer chilly at Britto’s and masala cashews at StAnthony’s; and believe me, it was all worth it J. When exhausting ourselves to the core, we went back to our apartment at Greenwood Meadows, Candolim and spent the night eating more and laughing off on the worst PJs ever. The following morning wasn’t cool as after four (gone too soon) awesome days, it was time to bid adios to Goa till we meet again!

Time for some free advice! Don’t miss–
1.     Lip-smacking food at these gorgeous shacks- Curlies at Anjuna Beach, Thalassa – the greek restaurant at Vagator Beach and many more….
2.       Experience the songs “Dum Maaro Dum” and “Baba Ji ki Booti” coming alive at the party at Shiva Valley, Anjuna Beach and Sweet water lake, Arambol Beach
3.       Revel in the mesmerising view from Aguada Fort, click pictures with friends and create your “Rang De Basanti” moments
4.       Put on your dancing shoes, dress up and show up at Club Cabana at Arpora Hill. If you are a Bollywood fan, don’t miss on the Bollywood night at SinQ, Candolim
5.       Indulge in legal gambling at Goa’s largest luxury floating casino – Deltin Royale
6.       Spare a day to visit the breath taking Dudhsagar falls; pre-book the conveyance, fall in love with the beauty and feel rejuvenated as you dare to swim here
7.       Shop at flea markets (Shop till you drop, bargain till the shopkeeper flees you away)
8.       Visit the unexplored and unadulterated Monkey Island and turtle beach for utmost peace, pamper yourself and indulge in luxury at Lalit Golf & Spa Resort, Canacona, spare a day to experience adrenaline rush at Goa Jungle adventure. (all in the vicinity of Palolem beach)
PS – I miss you Goa, You’re my happy place! No matter how much I travel and where I travel, I can never get enough of you!

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