Tag: travel diary

Goa Travelogue: Baga Beach

Goa Travelogue: A Blog on my Solo Trip to Goa

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.

Calanghute Beach:

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.

Goa Travelogue: Sunset at Calanghute Beach

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.

Anjuna Beach:

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.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

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.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

Baga Beach:

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 ?

Goa Travelogue: Baga Beach
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.

Goa Travelogue: Sunbathing Cows

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.

Vagator Beach:

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.

[To the Uninitiated, Dil Chahta is a famous Bollywood movie directed by Farhan Akhtar]

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Fort

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.

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Beach

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 ?

Goa Travelogue: English Breakfast near Anjuna Beach

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.

Goa Travelogue: Pomfret near Bagha BeachI 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.

[Also read about my Mangalore trip, where you can enjoy Seafood and lovely beaches]

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.

[Wondering which one is it ? Read Here]

My sole intention was to only cover beaches and enjoy my time without any itinerary. Must say, I was successful in achieving my goal.

Did you enjoy this blog on Goa? Share your views in the comments below for this Goa Travelogue.

Allepey_Travelogue_Backwaters_Cover

Travelogue: The Allepey Chapter

A good nights’ sleep, and a bus to catch for the most anticipated part of our trip, Allepey, or as it is now referred to as Alappuzha Our morning at Fort Kochi started off on an adventurous note. We ended up missing our bus stop and the wait to catch another bus literally took ages!!

We had planned to reach Alleppey before 11 AM, in order to catch the government-run-ferry. Time was of the essence.

From figuring out, where to stand in order to catch a bus for Alleppey by confirming multiple times with different people, we finally made it.

[Related: Travelogue: The Kochi Chapter]

 

Ferry boats, Shikaras, and colorful houseboats greeted us, along with hordes of boatwaalas asking us to take their boats instead.

On time for the Government boat, with a ticket costing 400 INR, we started off our ride. Alleppey to Kollam in nearly 8 Hours, with two stops for meals. Awesomeness was expected, and it was indeed what we got to see.

Allepey_Travelogue_Backwaters_Cover

The backwaters. If you’re wondering, what is a Backwater?

A backwater is a part of a river in which there is little or no current. It refers either to a branch of a main river, which lies alongside it and then rejoins it, or to a body of water in a main river, backed up by an obstruction such as the tide or a dam.

The Kerala backwaters are a chain of brackish lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast.

 

From what I had imagined the backwaters in my head, the view definitely did justice to it. And yet, the feeling of being in the midst of the green serenity was just pure bliss.

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Our eyes turned into cameras, capturing the green and colorful.  Of course, cameras gave them company too. Waving to the street children along the banks and rushing around the deck to get the best view kept everyone in the boat busy.

The locals could be seen rowing their boats around like it was just another day. While the fishermen were busy in readying their ships as these fishing net gateways welcomed us.

 

Allepey_Travelogue_Backwaters_gateway

Along with this, one could see the birds scattered around our boats, as we moved along to our destination, Kollam.

This bird watching experience as they fly behind the boat was pure bliss. The video isn’t clear but the view is still fresh in my head.

In between, we stopped for lunch. Eating an all-vegetarian Kerala meal with its boiled rice, curries and vegetables,  was a unique experience. Definitely not my first Kerala meal experience, but eating it there was quite nice. A stamp of authority, maybe?

Allepey_Travelogue_Backwaters_kerala_meal

By the time we reached Kolam, we were tired but the experience was inspiring enough to keep us upbeat.

Allepey_Travelogue_Backwaters_bw

The trip didn’t end here but got extended to another day. How ?

Well, read about it, in this Travelogue here.

Mangalore_Travelogue_malpe_beach_Boat

Travelogue: The Mangalore Chapter

Mangalore Travelogue 1: October, 2015

There’s no better way to experience an Indian state than a Road Trip.  This travelogue is about places explored in Mangalore as well as the nearby towns.

Usually I prefer travelling via train. First because, its cheaper and second, I hate travelling in buses. This time we opted for a convenient option of hiring a Car for us. Expensive, yes, but convenient.

Our anchor point for this trip was Mangalore and that’s where we had booked our stay. A late-night start which allowed us to enjoy the view of the Ghats during dusk.

Breakfast comprised of sandwiches, omelette, Scrambled eggs and Coffee at Diesel Cafe.

 

We visited to the church of St. Aloysius, which is around 130 years old. Carved with intricate pictures explaining the life of Jesus Christ and other saints.

Mangalore_Travelogue_St. Aloysius

It was indeed a wonderful experience. The church complex comprised of  a college and nursing home.The chapel is an architectural marvel in itself, built by Italian Antonio Moscheni. We weren’t allowed to click photos inside the church and hence…

It was almost time for lunch, but the place we had bookmarked for our lunch was closed. Reason being “Dry day” (2nd Oct) and since the restaurant comes along with a Bar. Instead we ended up having our “lunch” in an ice-cream parlour, called Pabbba’s Ice cream, with only Ice-creams.

If you ever visit Mangalore, this is a not-to-miss place.

Evening was reserved for a trip down to the beach and enjoy ourselves.

The Day-2 of the trip involved a lot of travelling as we moved from Mangalore to Udupi, after finishing our breakfast. We opted for the nearby Diesel Cafe (again) but instead of the English breakfast, we delved for a little taste of Mangalorean food (Sort of). It was Neer dosa and rice rotis.

We also made a stop at the 1000 pillar temple.

Mangalore_Travelogue_Thousand_Pillar_Temple

as well as the nearby Neminath Basadi Temple in Karkala, overlooking the Gomateshwara statue. Post  and finally climbing the stairs to see the Huge statue.

 

The best part of the trip was yet to come, and like every trip you take, there remains that one place which stands out. Malpe beach was that place for me. I’ve never been on a beach with rain for company, but with this visit even that has been accomplished.

There were cocnuts lying around the beach, and one of my friend even broke it up for us to eat.

Dead fishes were thrown across with the incoming waves and so was garbage.

But we enjoyed the fishes. No, not those of course, but these. I always prefer the river ones over the Salt water fishes, but these were damn yummy.

While the fish was being fried, we indulged in some Gola and bhutta eating.

Although we went to Malpe beach with the hope of going over to St. Mary’s island, but thanks to timing, we just missed the ferry that takes people to the island. Sad part is, we had to watch the ferry leave in front of our eyes.

 

Consoled ourselves with the view of the dockyard and the crazy smell of fishes all over the place.

Finally it was time to head back to Mangalore and finish of the trip.

For me, the trip ended here at the beach with the taste of the fish still amalgamated in my mouth.

Must say, although I love travelling alone, this one with friends was very relaxing. Agreed that I missed out on lots of places to visit, authentic food to be tried, getting to know the locals or travelling in public transport while interacting with them. But this had a certain charm in itself.

 

Here is the youtube video of the Mangalore trip:

 

Also, if you are planning a trip to ChikmagalurKochi, Varkala, Allepey, Mumbai, Pondicherry, Chennai, Kodaikanal you can read my Travelogues by simply clicking on these.

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