Yes, 2005 I’m going all the way back in my travel archives! This was the first time I went to Goa, one of the most popular (and much hyped) tourist spots in India. It was group of two cars, all of whom were my friends and co-workers at the time.
We left Bangalore very early in the morning
We drove past many sunflower fields such as this
Stopped for a while to take a few photos
The one taking the snap is Ranjith, and the guy holding the flower is Alok, in whose car we were driving to Goa
"Save Rain Water, Avoid Aids" Sure, makes sense ;)
We arrived at our hotel in Goa only by nightfall. I don’t remember the name of the hotel we stayed at, but it was beach front and only Rs. 400 per night I believe (for a double bed, at the time). I won’t go into too much detail – because I can’t – this trip was made 7 years ago, and I don’t remember every small detail.
We stayed at Colva beach, in South Goa
The sand was soft and it felt great to walk barefoot again
It’s a sensation I consider one of the most soothing yet simple moments in life.
That's me, with my simple point-and-shoot camera (Photo by Alok)
Even dogs need respite from the sun
We drove up to Calangute in North Goa for lunch
After lunch, we visited Fort Aguada
The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1612
The massive lighthouse tower
The Arabian Sea
You could see ships and tankers in the distance
My friend Ashwini
Here’s a brief video I took from Fort Aguada:
After Fort Aguada, we took a short drive to Sinquerim beach, which is located at the far end of Calangute stretch
First activity on the agenda, paragliding
This was the first time I had tried paragliding and it was an awesome experience! The boat flies you over the Arabian sea and up to a tanker that's been marooned off the coast for quite some time, before flying you back to shore (Photograph by Ranjith)
It was fun!
Next up was jet-skiing. Not fun, the water was dirty, extremely salty and the ride was very bumpy.
Overall, a fun time though
We were trying to make it to Anjuna beach before it got too dark
We reached Anjuna beach just in time
I tried best to capture Anjuna's rocky shores as much as I could in the dimming light
Anjuna isn't your typical sandy beach
The waters come through the rocks, fill up and lower down
This was the end of day one in Goa
The next day
That's not Ranjith's handbag. Just sayin'.
We left Colva and headed for Panaji
Panaji, or Panjim (it's what the British) called the Goa capital
I was keen on visiting Panjim, but so was my father
My father worked in Panaji PWD for 9 years, and I was even here for a year
But I don't remember anything about my life here, I was just a baby then
We lived in this area
We stopped to have lunch at Sher-e-Punjab in Panaji itself
After lunch, we walked around town
This is the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church
We got back in our car
They have dinner boat cruises on Mandovi River
We were driving next to Old Goa, the former capital of Goa during the early days of Portuguese rule
Old Goa is famous for two very old churches
The first is the Bom Jesus Basilica, which is more than 400 years old
The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier
The interiors were quite impressive
I took a brief video:
Just across from the Bom Jesus Basilica is the Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral is apparently the largest church in India
The church is over 300 years old
Here’s a brief video from inside Se Cathedral:
Both churches were worth checking out
We left Old Goa and headed back to Colva
This was our last day in Goa
We took one final stroll on the beach
That's me on the extreme right (Photograph by Ashwini's husband Arun)
The next morning, we checked out of our hotel real early and left Goa.
This is the Karwar bridge
By 9am, we were in the temple town of Murudeshwara, which is famous for...
The second largest Shiva statue in the world
A panorama view of the Arabian Sea
Here’s a video I took from up here:
We stopped to have breakfast at the pure vegetarian restaurant here
This was definitely a great stop on the route we were taking back to Bangalore
There's a pretty decent beach here too
We left Murdeshwara after an hour
The next place we would stop by on the way would be at Udupi…
Which was Ashwini's hometown
We stopped for lunch only once we reached Mangalore. But post that, it was one long drive back to Bangalore.
We were going uphill from here on
The drive, although bendy, got very scenic as we went higher
Here’s one final video from the Western Ghats:
All in all, it was fun first trip to Goa
First impressions of Goa? Honestly, it wasn’t worth the hype. Not that I didn’t have fun, it’s just the way my friends praised Goa to such extent, as though it was paradise, turned out to be untrue. In fact, the first thing I said upon driving though Goa? “Wow, this looks just like Kerala!” And a lot of it did. The houses, the beaches, the hilly terrains, the paddy fields… so nothing felt new to me. I guess the opinions I got harks from the fact many of them, unlike me, never saw the sea much growing up.
I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to visit the much talked about Baga beach due to lack of time, and the folks I went with didn’t want to make time for me because they had already seen and done that before. No biggie, I went to Baga on my second trip to Goa — and that will be the the next post.
This entry was posted on Sunday, March 11th, 2012 at 11:54 PM and is filed under Goa, India, Travel.
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