How often has this thought of “heading home and packing bags and get out of the city” hit you ?
If you’re anything like me then a gasp of yes would have already come out of your mouth by now.
Anyways, I wanted to keep this as a solo trip and Goa was the first place which popped in my head and as a result of which you are reading this Goa Travelogue.
For years holidaying has been synonymous with Goa. Of course, most of those trips are planned with friends. Mine, initially, was also no different. But the thing is, most of these planned Goa trips never work. Especially when it comes to Goa.
It was already late in the evening, rushing back home, checked hotels for a 2-day stay and luckily got one at Stayzilla. Bus seats were there too. Booked.
Over to Goa.
Reached late. Took close to 16 hours of a tiring bus journey, a very expensive cab, and almost an hours’ walk to finally arrive at my place of stay.
No, not the one with Stayzilla, as those guys ditched me again. Hotel was booked, payment was made and yet they cancelled it, while I was on my way. Had to make another arrangement through Airbnb. A very unconventional hut greeted me, along with a group of hippies in a jungle!! If that wasn’t scary enough, the not-so-clean bathroom made sure that I looked out for an alternate. Luckily, got an alternate arrangement at a homestay. This whole experience is even more adventurous, but let’s keep that for some other time.
This new place was near Anjuna Beach and luckily they also had an Activa Scooter for rent (Rs 800/Day). It was a decent deal, considering, I just couldn’t get anything else.
Travel Tip: If you’re travelling Goa for the first time, my advise is to rent out a vehicle as soon as you get down at the bus stop in Panaji. Any other mode of transport in the city will cost you a lot.
I was here around evening on my first day. Having hardly eaten food, and a heavy bag on my shoulders, I looked for a “proper” place to eat. But even after going into one, it was pretty difficult to get your order placed. I headed over to gulp a glass of juice in the outside market.
Calangute was one of those beaches where I didn’t spent much time as it was also getting dark and I needed to head to my room. Of course, not before enjoying the beautiful sunset out on display.
It was almost noon by the time I headed to Anjuna and this sight here lets you in with a sense of your being. The last day had been really hectic, with the extended bus travel, hotel change and hardly any time to properly eat. I finally had breakfast and then lost myself again into enjoying the view.
I took a long walk on the beach, clicking a few pictures in between; while the Arabian-Sea splashed across my folded jeans. Cold water splashing against the semi-tanned legs, indeed felt good.
The only name I knew in Goa was Baga. I didn’t looked up any travelogue like I usually do when planning a trip and apart from Baga, i hardly knew anything about Goa. Except my friends telling me, “Tu Goa jaake kya karega? Tu to peeta bhi nahi” .
This beach is crowded, but extremely well managed. You can see “baywatchers” (Sadly, not like the Baywatch Girls) out their repeatedly warning people to not go too deep. (Did that sentence come out right? :P).
They look more like DJ’s to me. What say ?
Even with the crowd, Baga has a certain charm attached to it, a stroll across the stretch of the beach is a joy undefined. And you’re not alone in doing so, you can see hordes of Solo travelers, giving that a try. And yes, you can tell who is a solo traveler. There’s that unmistakable vibe and a passing glance of smile, which explains it all.
I sat, with drenched lowers on the sands at Baga, along with a water bottle in my hand, stark contrast to the other “bottles” which everyone seemed to have. The view of the ocean, kids playing, groups of friends having fun and even cows having a Sun bath, while I munched on peanuts. Meanwhile, wondering how come beef consumption is fine here, even when it’s a BJP ruled state.
Baga is the most happening beach, I’m told. Late evening when I visited, it remained crowded with all the “party animals”. I excused myself to enjoy my dinner.
Technically, I didn’t put my foot on this beach at all. I was meters above it, at the Chapora Fort. Or as people like to call it “the-Dil-Chahta-hai-fort” as a few scenes were shot here.
The place is full of people humming the title song along with clicking selfies.Yes, I’m not kidding even a bit. I went to the other side to sit atop one of the rocks, gawking down at the shiny waters while the wind blowing down sunlight off my face.
Now, let’s talk about the Goa Food:
This was one of those trips when I ate less and roamed more. However, I’m not complaining.
I started my day with a decent English Breakfast. The street leading to Anjuna Beach is lined with numerous options, and randomly I checked into one, after finding space to park my rented Activa. A decent start to the day.
How wrong can you go with an English Breakfast anyway ?
I was craving for some good sea food, but amidst all the beach hopping and merrily driving around, time was running out. Also, since I wasn’t sure whether Meat would be Halal or not, the number of food options were limited. Plus, almost all the restaurants serve alcohol, which kind of creeps me out anyway.
I tried Pomfret at one of the popular joints in Goa, called Twenty23 which is almost in the middle of Calanghute and Anjuna. Very Expensive, and perhaps the most expensive food item I might have ever eaten till date. But a good fish is worth the bucks you spent.
The last day, before I headed back to Bangalore, I ended up meeting a few of my batchmates in Goa and ended up with Calamari on my plate. Pretty weird taste and I guess it’s mostly an acquired taste like most sea foods. However, I might not eat it again.
What I got from the Goa trip?
The Goa trip was my way of getting back to solo travelling. There couldn’t have been a better time than this. Although with the long weekend, it ended up getting way too crowded and defeated the purpose of going to Goa in off-season, yet finally having ticked Goa off my list feels great.
From Goa, I got back my travel mojo. I got back the joy of simply strolling around beaches. I got back the adventure of adjusting to change and of course the happy vibes from the beaches. However, it still doesn’t beat the best beach I’ve been to.
My sole intention was to only cover beaches and enjoy my time without any itinerary. Must say, I was successful in achieving my goal.