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 Redbus.in. 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.