There is a sense of satisfaction when you move out of your daily routine and travel to India’s Vegas if I may say so. Goa is a place where everybody has something new to experience. Whether you are sane of insane, this is the place to be. Over the years I have encountered various characters here indulging themselves on the beaches, around beach shacks, or in night clubs with alcohol, food and lots of other things. This time around, it was a friend’s bachelors and Goa serves as the perfect opportunity for the same.
With everybody employed in different places, the long weekend always works when it comes to syncing clocks for a short vacation. So the 26th January weekend was selected this year for our annual sojourn to Goa. Konkan Kanya, is a service that runs from Mumbai to Madgaon (Goa). It starts at around 2300 hrs from Mumbai making it an ideal train to board without wasting working days in Mumbai. The best part is that next day morning by 900 hrs you are in Goa. The whole train journey goes in sleeping and in the blink of an eye for really cheap fares you are in Goa. The early morning tea and the dry cutlets from the pantry as usual never fail to delight.
On arrival we took a taxi to Calangute – takes about Rs 600 from Thivim for a distance of 25 kms. It is advisable to wait in line instead of getting fleeced by the non pre-paid taxi drivers. The ride is comfortable and you can see hotels and guest houses 10-12 kms away from the beaches. It shows the extent of spread of the tourism industry and how important it is for the local folks.
As far as stay options are concerned, you could live like an emperor or like a pauper and Goa will accommodate you. This time around as we were all guys we choose to stay in one of our favorites, Royal Calangute. This particular place has rooms on the beach with clean toilets ( primary thing we look at) for affordable prices. It is the kind where you wake up and see the sea for just Rs 400 a night per person. Apart from that, everything else is just basic. I would not make my family stay here. But two thumbs up as a place to stay with just guys.
We have a naive tradition, as soon as we enter Goa, we stop drinking water. The first liquid that we have is Beer. So that is the first activity that we indulge in as soon as we reach the hotel. Then come the morning chores etc. Guess over the years, at least we have learnt to brush our teeth before. The afternoon is usually spent winding down wherever we stay. The time is also used for arranging mopeds and coming to a consensus for the places to visit on the rest of the trip. Everybody has favorites in Goa and then there are the classics like Brittos, Curlies and Anthony’s. There is never enough time so the consensus is very important. But if your objectives are defines the choice becomes simpler. The choices are simply endless.
We choose Britto’s on Baga beach for the night. To be as objective as possible, apart from the interior ambiance nothing was special, neither the food that we ordered nor the drinks. The drinks are any ways same in Goa. The music was the only thing that stood out here. But by 12 the place was like a graveyard while the shacks right next to it were bustling with activity. Britto’s was somehow not up to the mark this time around. Perhaps it was because of the flood of the long weekend vacationers.
You wont be hungry is a commitment. Will you be satisfied, that is questionable. Pure veg places are also scattered around Calangute and Baga but become more and more sparse towards and north and south of these beaches. Britto’s as mentioned above is a famous hangout and a good place to spend the evening.
The first day as usual passed in hurry and mostly within the confines of the room. But that is us and our traditions. You could go and explore the place or just while away time at the beach or in the sea. Too much to do like I have been harping all a long. The next day we did go and travel to Arambol and experienced the hippie life that Goa is famous for. I have never seen Goa so vibrant for a period of 2-3 hours and then fall silent like a cemetery so fast before.