Date: March, 2008
Three years after my first trip to Goa, here I was another visit, but this time with a different group of people. We took another route from Bangalore to Goa, different from the route I was on in 2005. This time around we went from Bangalore -> Tumkur -> Kadur -> Shimoga -> Honavar -> Kumta -> Karwar -> Goa.
We decided to check out Jog Falls, but considering this was March (the start of summer in most of India) the waterfalls were not up to Jog Falls repute. During the rainy season, Jog Falls flows with so much force that it’s quite a sight. But all we saw was water trickling down, looked quite disappointing.
We tried to stop to take photos of the Karwar Naval Base beach, which is beautiful, but military offers were quick to approach us and prevent us from doing so. Pretty much all of Karwar is now a property of the Indian Navy.
We reached Colva by sunset but then spent hours just trying to find our hotel in Panjim. We were going to be based out of the All India Radio’s Guesthouse, which is only open to staff members and their family. Ramesh’s mother was an AIR employee, so that’s how we managed to get a room at the guesthouse for two nights. It was quite cheap too.
After a relaxing start to our day, we walked around Baga road for some shopping.
After we bought some swimming shorts, it was time to hit the wet sands and the murky waters. I say murky because that’s what it was. I decided to walk all the way to Calangute beach just to check it out… and my god was it crowded! The noise from all the chatter was ringing in my ears even as I walked back to a comparatively calmer Baga beach.
Calangute is where a big bus stop for tourist buses are, so thousands of tourists, mostly Indian families come by the busloads. That’s why Calangute beach is the noisiest and the possibly the dirtiest (I’m talking about all the trash strewn about). Plus you got hundreds of shops there.
Now from here on, I’m not sure about the exact sequence of events or the names of everything. I do believe we stopped at Anjuna and then ended up discovering a beach spot that wasn’t on our agenda. We passed by a hill and reached beach called Ozran. Perched atop the hill were a few hotels.
Plus there were restaurants serving Greek, Israeli and Japanese cuisine – which made it perfect for me! We decided to spend most of our beach lazing time tomorrow in Ozran.
We drove back to Baga for dinner before heading back to Panjim.
We went to Se Cathedral next but I didn’t bother taking many photographs as I already covered it on my first visit to Goa.
From Old Goa, we then drove to Ozran where we intended to do nothing but laze around in a shack and hit the Arabian Sea for a swim.
The rain was quite depressing really. It went on for quite some time and after that, a drizzle would continue well into the night.
The rains made the Baga stretch even worse. As it is the roads were narrow and now with the constant drizzle, and night time revelry, the traffic jams were long and moving painstakingly slow. We drove around in circles around Tito’s just to find a parking spot, but so did several other cars. It was a slightly disappointing mood to end our trip. This was our last night in Goa. We had to leave next morning since it was going to be a long drive back to Bangalore.
But what made leaving even worse was when we woke up the next morning…
We had second thoughts about staying back a bit longer in Goa, but we just couldn’t. We needed to leave if we were to make it back to Bangalore city by nightfall. We decided if we were to drive to Goa again, we would only do it if we had at least five days to spare. Driving one way alone takes an entire day.