Thursday, August 23, 2007

Go Goaaaaaaaaaaaa

What had been projected as the mother of all trips with an expected attendance of up to 18 people, finally boiled down to just 6. taking two full days off in office wasn’t received too well with the gang n people had to back out(How much I hate the corporate policies!!!). anyway… I was on bench (Ha HA!! *wicked grin*) so my leave was never an issue.

The final six looked like this:

  • Rinky (Ashimaaaaaaa)
  • Swadhina(Mini B.)
  • Souvik(Khilli.. souvik it seems!! :P :P)
  • Avirup(Langto)
  • Dhruba(dadu….old fuck!)
  • Me of course :)

Well we started our journey at bangalore central railway station in a passenger train to Hubli. After some interesting sessions of dub charades that included movies like ‘baba’r biyete dadu’r krodh’ and ‘ho jo bo ro lo hajmola’ and a semi-good nights sleep {semi- cause rinki’s bunk supposedly had bed bugs!!} we reached hubli next day at 9. Luckily we got another train leaving at 9:30 from there to Margao!! The train which was supposed to reach at 2pm reached only at 5.. but no one was complaining much since the scenic beauty that we witnessed was breath taking. This train while ambling along the tracks through the mountains goes past “Dudh-Sagar Falls”(literally meaning a sea of milk). It is listed as India's 5th tallest waterfall, and is 227th in the world at 310 m. It is a tiered waterfall. The water plummets hundreds of feet in large volumes during the monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa.The view from the train is spectacular and one will actually get half drenched if he stands on the door facing the falls.

Finally from Margao we took a bus to our first destination.. “Palolem Beach” in South Goa. We took one of the local rickety private buses. There is a different old world charm associated with such buses actually.. adds to the charm. South Goa in itself is a much laid back region without any major commercial encroachments. It’s the kind of place that perfect for a lazy getaway from a mundane and busy life in the city. However Palolem did not exactly turn out to be the way it had been projected by my friends who had been there 2-3 years back. Things had changed drastically more for the worse. The beach was pretty dirty with more cows and dogs than people!! August being Off-Season, the beach-shacks are simply taken off the bamboo posts by the owners!! It seems these shacks exist only between September end to march. Man that was another big shock. Nevertheless we took refuge in this dingy and cramped hotel suggestively named ‘Cupid’! After a brief beach bath (at 6:30 pm.. imagine how desperate we were ;-) ) in the fading light, we got ready for our first dinner. Now this was something we were all looking forward to. Being bong’s, there are two things we dig big time.. sea food and booze! I don’t exactly remember what the others had, but I had 2 large Smirnoff, 1 large signature, 1 vodka based cocktail again suggestively named ‘Love Nest’ and at least 2 large glasses of Port Wine. Boy we were smashed to bits after that dinner, but still managed to go to the beach for a light stroll with some stuff. Lighting up on the beach is always a serene experience and will remain so forever and ever. :)

Next day morning we took another bus to our next destination... “Benaulim Beach” again in South Goa. I had heard about this place from another friend of mine who was already staying there! We reached there around 1:30pm and immediately went for a bath!! Benaulim turned out to be a major revelation. The beach was perfect! It was clean with smooth fine sand and a very tumultuous sea with strong under currents. Not many people we had almost the entire beach to ourselves. We had a major ball bathing there. Even managed to make a sand-castle! We however faced a small hitch whilst making the castle; half-way while digging through it a small white crab wriggled out from no where and refused to budge from the castle. Sigh, the brave warriors that we were, we gave up our plans of finishing the sand castle and headed back to the hotel.

There a brutal shock was awaiting us at the hotel. No food is served after 3pm!!! Well we were all immensely hungry.. and had no option but to book a car and go out in search of food! We reached ‘Colva beach’ for a super late lunch at 5pm. We entered this place called ‘Kentuckee’ right next to the beach. It was the wisest decision in the entire trip probably!! The food at this place was out of the world! We ordered all possible combinations of sea-food! Prawns in peri-peri sauce, Butter garlic Crab, Shark in Rivado sauce, King fish Masala Fry and of course Port Wine to wash it down! I suggest all of you to try out this place if you are a sea-food fanatic! It was getting dark and the only driver in our group (Dhruba) had slight fever. So we decided to go back to the hotel. That night was again obviously spent in a half drunk, half stoned revelry!

In between our 'super busy schedule' of swimming, bathing and boozing we decided to dedicate one full day to sight-seeing. Hence next morning we booked a “Qualis” for a tour of North-Goa and Old-Goa. The driver was a localite named Marshall who made us listen to soft typical romantic Goan music peppered with lyrics of the like:

Roses are red, violets are blue,

Sugar is sweet.. but not as sweet as you!!!!!!

We later realized the reason when for the rest of the day he was seen chatting, blushing and laughing incessantly on his cell. :)
Our first stop was the ‘Basilica of Bom Jesus’ also called St. Francis cathedral. I guess it can intimidate anyone simply with its size, architectural grandeur and of course the presence of the body of St. Francis Xavier kept in well decorated casket. Its a photographers paradise for sure. Another thing worth a watch there is the art gallery with some eye catching paintings and photographs.
Next in line was the “Aguada Fort”. The fort was constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It is the largest and best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. It overlooks the Mandovi river and sitting on the walls observing the beauty all around is very peaceful.
This was followed by the much awaited “Dil Chahta Hai” Fort aka “Chapora Fort”. This overlooks in the south over Vagator, north across the Chapora river to Pernem and of course, far out to the Arabian Sea in the West. The view is splendid as usual(As in by then the boundaries between good, better, best had dissolved in me after having been to so many good places in such short notice).
After another hearty lunch we set out to check out the Beaches of North Goa, which are strategically placed one after another.. Vagator, Anjuna, Baga and Calangute. The first two turned out to be rocky beaches with not much opportunity for tourists to bathe. Baga was a super dirty, extremely commercialized beach. However I got a temporary tattoo done here, a silly looking on my left arm! Mini also got a nice butterfly tatoo done. Calangute beach was where we finally decided to tale refuge for the night. We stayed in Colonia De-Braganza resorts which was about 5-10 mins walk from the beach. This is one of the best places I have ever stayed in. It was basically a resort having studio apartments with proper drawing rooms, bed rooms complete with a fridge and TV and even a common swimming pool. All this for 600 bucks a room for 3!! That’s when we finally realized what difference off-season goa rates can make to your trip budget!!

During our stay in North Goa we had initially planned to visit Tito’s, the famous disc. However we realized that most of us were hard pressed for cash! The excessive sea-food and booze had taken its toll. :D Well unfortunately we had to skip that plan and resorted to making full use of the swimming pool, fridge(late night port wine) and Calangute beach (to light up of course!).

The following morning was our last day in Goa. We went for our last bath in the beach. Much to our dismay we were shooed off the beach by the life-guards who claimed that it was not a good time to bathe owing to strong currents!! Crestfallen we returned to out resort and fooled around in the swimming pool for as long as we could. We left Calangute at around 3:30 for Vasco from where we had our return train at 9 in the night. Our plan was to visit the places in and around Vasco before taking the train. However besides the Mormugao harbor the internationally famous natural port, there was not much too see there. We actually had nothing much to do for the last 2 hours there! However I had some shopping to do and that I very much did. I bought 2 bottles of port wine, 1 bottle of cashew feni and another of chocolate liquor to take some goa ‘spirit’ home. He he. :) I noticed an interesting thing in Vasco that I have not seen anywhere else.. 2 wheeler taxis! In a taxi stand, there were scores of Bajaj splendor’s colored black and yellow with drivers ready to take you anywhere in Vasco for a fixed fare!

We finally bid adieu to goa with a heavy heart. The return trip was pretty eventless. We played some poker which dadu managed to lose each and every friggin time! To add to his woes he had to act out movies like “Cinderella” and “Rumplestinskin”. The next time will try to visit goa sometime during the peak season. That’s gonna be a totally different experience all together am sure. Personally speaking I loved South Goa the most. It was not as crowded or commercialized which worked for me. For anyone visiting goa the next time do try to visit Benaulim Beach. It’s still a pretty undiscovered beach. The beauty and peaceful environment might just surprise you.

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At Thu Aug 23, 03:56:00 PM, Blogger Indranil said...

Byapok chuddu......Really enjoyed going through the post.....U got a knack of writing well....Okay now enough of appreciations...where is my bottle of port wine?

At Thu Aug 23, 03:58:00 PM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

he he it is da here babay...
just a lil bit left :)

At Thu Aug 23, 10:16:00 PM, Blogger Indranil said...

Aah....If u finish tht little bit tht u have left for me u wudnt get the bordeaux wine from france....

At Fri Aug 24, 04:07:00 AM, Blogger fossil said...

Looks like u guys enjoyed a lot huh!! Dude...U just refreshed my memories of this wonderful place called Goa. Not to mention, ur blogs are always fun to read. So keep rocking.

At Fri Aug 24, 08:37:00 AM, Blogger Deepanjan said...

Hey Bro

Nice stuff there .. interesting read :) Hard to believe i was there an adulthood ago ... precisely 18 years. Fond memories rushed in. And hey ! some slick "paati bangaali" humor there :)

At Fri Aug 24, 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

@Indranil:DUDeeee!!! *licking lips* all ur's.. :) and some Goa special chocolate liquer to go with it :)

@Fossil: Yeahhh Goa always widout exception brings back a rush of memories and a yearning to Hit IT again ;-)

@DeepDa: Ha Ha 18 years is an eternity man!! lets plan a trip to Goa when u come down next to india.. wat say? :)
Well some bong connections have to be here.. no fun without the bengali pun aint it :P :P

At Wed Aug 29, 02:28:00 PM, Blogger rajdeep said...

de.. don temme palolem has sobered down.. it is one hell of a rokin beach... the best part "NO ONE CARES" whn i was there we lit up joints... guzzled "kings" beers.. and played beach volleyball all day long.. and got stoned at nights.. litin up candles and singin..dorrs..eagles..and clapton numbers... those were the days...!!good info though.. well the shacks shud be up all year long...!! rockin trip eh??

At Wed Aug 29, 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

@Raju: Guesss Palolem is the wrong place to be in during the monsoon.. the shacks just dont fukkin exist man!!
Besides the beach didnt look that grand to be honest yo..
Yeah the trip was totally rAAAking :)

At Wed Aug 29, 10:30:00 PM, Blogger ruchira said...

hey..i really think u should've taken up mass communication as ur career...ur flow of thoughts is amazing n ur writing skills...out of the world..:) so proud of u....SHREK!!!:)

At Thu Aug 30, 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Nasal Crooner said...

and nothing about the actual trip?!?!


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