May 10th, 2015 by admin

It was my second visit to Goa and I wanted to explore – is there a different face of Goa? Typically the name of Goa evokes the thought of sun, sand, beaches, drinks and party. Most people visit during season from mid October to March. The monsoon months are off season in Goa. A very laid back atmosphere prevails during these months. My last trip to Goa was a hectic one as we were juggling too many places. This time I wanted to experience monsoon in Goa and planned to have the trip as relaxing and laid back as possible. But I went to this trip with an open mind.

The 1st weekend of July 2014 was a long one and we booked our tickets for Friday evening on Seabird Tourist via Note that weekend tickets costs more and we had to pay Rs 1400 per person for AC sleeper. The return journey cost Rs 950 per person as we traveled on a Monday evening. Seabird runs 4 buses between Bangalore and Goa everyday. The buses we traveled in were okay but not the best of the lot.

The early morning view of western ghat while sleeping in the comfort of the upper berth of the bus was amazing. We reached Panjim around 9 am and hired a taxi to Calangute for Rs 200. We took room at Villa Costa near Hotel Park Calangute. It was decent double bed room with LED TV, freeze, attached toilet and balcony. The cost – Rs 800 per day.  Got fresh and left for one of the most amazing beach walk I ever had. At the beach we went to have breakfast at Flying Dolphin Beach Bar & Restaurant. It has a row of pleasure chair and gives gallery view of the beach from there. In food I liked the cheese omelet. Then we started our beach walk from Calangute to Baga. Calangute beach hardly had any people which is a total contrast from the in season days. While we walked on and off rain kept company with us. During the monsoon months the Arabian sea becomes very rough. So people are not allowed to bath in the sea then and beach guards keep patrolling on their red jeeps to stop people from venturing into the sea. We found most of the restaurants are closed now for off season. But as we went closer to Baga beach the population increased and obviously a lot more restaurants were open here catering to people.

At Baga, we enjoyed the sight of confluence of river Baga and Arabian sea. The river looks shallow and non threatening but do not venture deep. We heard a person was swept away into the sea few days back. A few fisherman were fishing at the confluence. Stood there for sometime to see how they use different types of nets to fish out. It was already afternoon and was time to try some great food. Little disappointed with the beer that it was not optimally chilled. We kept to restaurant hoping on our way back on the beach to check new food and try them. At one of the restaurant they offered to cook live fish for us. With such amazing experience we walked back to Calangute and made our way to hotel room. We were tired! Took a quick shower and splashed onto bed. A very refreshing sleep and when the eyes opened it was around 8.30 PM. So there was nothing much to go out. We decided to have a sumptuous dinner.

After diner we had the most amazing experience we had Goa till then. We went sat in the sea beach in the night. By the time we reached there it was almost 11 PM.  We sat in front of Hotel Park Calangute. It was not a full moon night but the moon was big enough to give a sense of illumination in the clear sky night. As the moon was preparing to set in the Arabian sea, its glittering reflection in the Arabian sea was a sight to see. With that dreamy experience in mind, we walked back to our hotel around 1 AM. By then I could say, I did experience the other side of Goa and it was very pleasant.

August 31st, 2014 by admin

Arambol beach is one of the most beautiful beach in Goa. One can truly appreciate its beauty if visited during winter season. I visited there in the monsoon and found a void there. The golden sand found in winter changes colour to almost black during monsoon. But seeing the landscape of the beach and its surrounding, I could recognize how this might look during season. Arambol a traditional fisherman village, located in north Goa, still retains its natural and pristine charm. It was one of the original hippe destinations in India during the 1970s & 1980s.

During my visit there most of the restaurants were closed and the beach wore a deserted look. Arambol do not have any big hotel for lodging but has ample homestays, guest house and beach shacks ( only during season).

July 31st, 2014 by admin

There are various modes of transportation one can use to see Goa. There are the public buses but they are infrequent to many places and do not provide end to end connectivity. Group sightseeing packages are pretty economic but do not give you the freedom to choose your destination and time you would like to spend. At the higher end of the cost spectrum are the cars and SUVs. But with a sense of freedom and without pinching your pocket, two wheelers are the best way to go around in Goa.

We hired our two wheeler at the end of the first day in Goa. We went for the gearless Honda Activa for its riding convenience and as it looked brand new. The rental per day was Rs 300 and we had to keep our pan card as security. You may contact Angelo & Francis Rentals for bikes, cars and taxi services on hire. The address and phone number are as follows:

Behind Casa Serverina H # 229 D, Senhor Francisco Road Gauravaddo,
Calangute, Bardez, Goa
Mobile: 9822161579 / 9975711879 / 9503328867

Please note if there is any damage to the bike they will ask you to pay for it.

The narrow roads of Goa gives a sense that it is best for two wheelers. It actually gives you wings to go around in Goa in leisure. From north to south Goa is all of 105 km in length and 60 km in width. So it is quite comfortably navigable on two wheelers. Our biking experience in Goa let us completely realize monsoon masti (fun). As we rode though the unique country side, backwaters and rice fields of Goa, rain kept us company on and off. At times we had to take pit stops due to rain. Our hiring of the two wheeler let us cover many places in leisure.

Looks like helmet is not mandatory in Goa and found most people driving without helmets. But our rental agency asked us to use helmet if we go long distance. But the helmet she provided was no good. However, do ask for a helmet to keep one handy. I would leave you with this bottom line – if you are going Goa, biking experience is a must!

July 28th, 2014 by admin

I say “Beaches are always romantic”. But what if one is sitting at a serene beach at midnight and moon is dancing down on the other side of the horizon? Well I say that is “Icing on the cake”! That was what my midnight sojourn at Calalgute beach, Goa.

Most popular beaches are very happening in the day and continues to be in the evening. But once the crowd leaves and the beach is engulfed in dark. The darkness is only broken by some twinkle rays of distant light in the background. In this serene setting the silence is only broken by the sound of waves which keeps hitting the shore like musical notes. In the distant sea horizon, some twinkling lights were visible. They should be some fishing trawler or ship. I sat there after my dinner, watching the moon shining with silver colour rays and the Arabian sea reflecting the rays in equal intensity. It was a treat to the eyes. An experience, I never had before. Later, as a true monsoon outing the clouds started playing hide and seek with moon.

I sat in front of Hotel Park Calangute. Through my time spent there, I felt it is safe to venture out there at midnight. However, do not go to very isolated places. For women, please do not go out alone. However, you may sit in front of your hotel premises.

To view more pictures of Goa visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

March 29th, 2013 by admin

Fort Aguada and beach are one of the best destinations I have seen in Goa. Fort Aguada is located on a hill overlooking the Arabian sea. It is located around 12 km from Panaji and around 39 km from Dabolim airport.

Entry fees: Free
Visiting hours:

We reached there around afternoon. The fort was constructed in 1613 by the Portuguese at the Sinquerim beach, here in Candolim. It was stopping for European ships and a defense establishment. A beautiful white color lighthouse is located near the edge of the fort. It was used by early ship voyagers but was abandoned in 1976. At one point of time the fort also served as a prison. A large part of the fort no longer exist. Besides Fort Aguada is one of the best hotel to stay in Goa. It offers amazing view and facilities. A 5 start hotel, Vivanta by Taj Fort Aguada is owned by the Indian Hotels co (Tata).

We strolled on the remains of the fort discussing about its architecture and usage. This could be a nice place for portrait photography. The beaches around here have some of the most cleanest water in Goa. We could not resist further and climbed down to the beach. We had a lot of fun in the clan crispy water here.

To view more pictures of Goa visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

March 25th, 2013 by admin

Dona Paula is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers in the Indian state of Goa. During tourist season this is a place of hectic activity and can be over crowded as well. I visited there towards the end of October in 2012. I found a lot of Tibetans selling cloths on the bridge. At Dona Paula the visiting area extends into the sea through a network of bridge and then connect to an island. We visited there towards the evening and after waking through the bridge, climbed to the highest point of the island hill. Don’t worry! There are stairs to climb. From this point one can enjoy an awesome view of sunset. Then we went on to take a stroll on the network of bridge (platform). It was a good feeling to see blue waters all around with the colors of setting sun in the background.

Located around 7 km from Panaji (capital of Goa), Dona Paula boasts of a lot of institutes like Goa University and high net worth residents. Legend has it that this place was named after a daughter named Paula of the then Portuguese viceroy. There are lots of stories which flies around on this. The residence of the Governor of Goa known as Raj Bhavan is located here.

Two rivers by name Zuari and Mandovi empties themselves here in the Arabian sea. This makes the Mormugao harbor a scenic beauty. The beaches around Dona Paula is infested with rock so be little careful if you venture into the sea.

Summers are pretty hot in Goa and it is humid all year round. One gets dehydrated pretty quickly. The best remedy is to have frequent water. This time we had fresh lime soda sold by one of the two vendors there. It was tasty! While it was getting dark, we decided to try jet ski (water scooter). They charged around Rs 350 per person for about 10 minutes ride into the sea. They give a life jacket and the water scooter is handled by a trained man. The scooter probably reached a speed of 40 km/hr or little more. The navigator took a sharp turn which was thrilling and on the return journey the scooter was flying above water for seconds in between.

Goa is a small state. So one do not need to stay in Dona Paula to see it. However, if you would like to stay in Dona Paula, there are good hotels.

To view more pictures of Goa visit, Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

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