Goa is one of the most popular destinations within our friends’ circle. No matter which time of the year, it would be always Goa calling. As we stayed in Delhi then, without a 15-day choc-a-block, Goa was out of reach for us.
As years passed, we explored almost all the hill stations in North India. Goa was always put on the back burner in spite of the fact that there was not a single person we knew then, who had not been to Goa.
It seemed impossible but yes, Goa seemed to be the perfect destination for everyone. When we moved over to Mumbai three years back, Goa was the first destination on our travel list.
This was our first break after almost 2 years. As we had never visited Goa before, we decided to undertake a detour via NH66, hitting SH04 from then on, from Niwali, via the coastline again.
We started from Mumbai early morning and headed towards Pune on the Expressway till the first toll. Missed the intended cut and had to do a U-turn at the next breakpoint. This route takes almost 16 hours or more to Reach Goa.
The roads were narrow, with almost no traffic, and mostly great patches to drive on. Great view all along the way.
What was surprising was that there were no dhabas or restaurants on the way. So all you could get was Dabeli, Pao, Misel Pao or Pakore. Poha was Gujju sweet.
We continued to find newer paths every now and then as Google Maps kept surprised us with dead ends.
We ended up stopping every half an hour and really had nothing to complain about. Each halt was so enchanting, so different. 330 kms in about 14 hours. Stopped somewhere near Ratnagiri for the night.
After an early light breakfast, we were off again. Would stop at everything – temples, deserted havelis, small towns, lakes. By afternoon, our cellphone and camera batteries were displaying yellow.
After another half a day’s drive, late afternoon, we finally reached Goa. Traffic jams ensured that it took us another 2 hours to reach our South Goa location. Settled down in a cozy homestay for the night.
The next day morning was bliss. Woke up early and walked around the beaches exploring Majorda to Colva.
Beer is cheap and food is not. So do plan your budget allocations accordingly.
By evening, after exploring South Goa for hours, we realised that the entire coastline was the same, just that the names of the beaches changed every 3 kms or so.
The next morning, we started early. Went cycling (yes, we were carrying our bikes). Went all the way till the airport and back via the narrow crowded lanes.
After cycling, we were back to the beach. We were kind of getting bored seeing almost empty beaches for hours. Was this really Goa?
Well, we had not explored North Goa, so decided to shift there. After another 3 hours of traffic snarls, we finally reached North Goa. And what a disappointment North Goa was. It was almost like Juhu beach on a Sunday evening.
The next day the walk to the beach too was a disaster. It was full at 7 am. Not wasting time, we went for the Dolphin sightseeing boat ride. It’s a 1 hour drive and we did get a few sights. Suggest you leave early. The first trip starts at 8:30 am.
These boats are operated by the Candolim – Sinquerim Boat Owners Association, who are locals and have been in the trade for years.
The rides usually last an hour. Worth the experience.
Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of the Portuguese. It was strategically located and was the chief defense of the Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas. It has a freshwater spring inside and this fort was also converted into a prison once.
The lighthouse inside the fort used to emit light once in 7 minutes. In 1834, it was changed to emit light every 30 seconds. This picture was clicked from the new lighthouse, currently operational and open to tourists.
I am sure there were many things we missed out on but was a well-deserved break. Reached back Mumbai at 2 am, via NH17 expressway (which obviously took half the journey time).
Hope you liked the write-up and the pictures shared. If you are keen on how to click better pictures, or have a suggestion, do leave a note at the comments sections. Cheers.Tagged: Back waters, Goa, Road travel, Western Ghats