Second Goa Trip: The drive, the beaches (Baga, Ozran) and some more

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.

Loiyumba Dalmation dog
This was at our breakfast stop. That’s my friend Loi, the dalmatian wasn’t part of the tour group.
Ramesh driving to Goa
As was the case those days, we were in my friend Ramesh’s car
Road to Goa Karnataka India
We stopped along the way whenever we saw sights we never clicked before
Karnataka forest trees India
Sorry, but I don’t remember names of the places. It was a long time ago.
Twig branch Karnataka forest
I was using a Nikon D70S, borrowed from a colleague at work
Phadake Loiyumba Mithun Goa drive
Photograph by Ramesh
Tree house Karnataka drive
If my photos look a bit off, it’s because it was the first time using a Nikon and remember, these were days I was still learning how to use a DSLR camera (and Photoshop)
Road to Goa Karnataka
The roads we were on hardly saw much traffic
Ramesh car Goa trip
This was somewhere just outside Jog Falls

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.

Karnataka river hills wide panorama
We stopped when we saw this too
Karnataka river hills closeup
It was a beautiful view
Karnataka river drive to Goa
Stopped for lunch at Honavur, but we still had kilometers more to cover
Karwar shore islands Karnataka
We stopped briefly in Karwar too
Karwar public beach Karnataka panorama
This is the Karwar public beach

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.

Road to Goa sunset
We crossed Goa’s borders in the evening

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.

Old Volkswagen camper van Goa
The next morning, we drove around Panjim for a bit before heading to Baga beach
Baga beach cafe Goa
We sat at a beach side cafe for breakfast

Phadake Loiyumba having breakfast Baga beach

Loiyumba Mithun Divakaran Baga Goa
From Ramesh’s camera
Mithun taking Loiyumba photo Goa
The requisite ‘take my photo’ sessions begin

After a relaxing start to our day, we walked around Baga road for some shopping.

House on Baga road Goa

Bong pipes Baga Goa India
Bong pipes openly sold in Goa shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone
Original fakes shop Baga Goa India
๐Ÿ™‚

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 beach Goa India
If you want some peace and quiet, avoid Calangute like the plague
Loiyumba Baga beach Goa
Not that Baga is *that* much quieter, but it’s better

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.

Monalisa's Angelheart Baga beach Goa India
After all that walking, it was time to relax again
Mithun Divakaran feet Baga beach Goa
So we ordered a few beers and laid back (Those feet belong to me)

Beach umbrellas Baga GoaClown parachute paragliding Baga beach GoaAfter hitting the waters, we decided to have lunch at the same restaurant.

Baga beach beer glass
.. and some more beer

Stray dog Baga beach Goa India

Weed sand waves Baga beach Goa
We left Baga…
Baga beach Goa India
…ย  walked back to our car parked near Brittos (a popular joint at Baga)
Aguada fort lighthouse Goa
Post lunch, we drove to Fort Aguada
Aguada Fort inside Goa India
The fort was built by the Portuguese centuries ago
Aguada Fort lighthouse Goa India
It’s a pretty massive fort
Friends Aguada Fort Goa India
Made extremely popular by the hit Hindi film ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ – like all of Goa
Arabian sea view from Aguada Fort Goa India
It offers a great view of the Arabian Sea

Lighthouse Fort Aguada Goa India

Old car Goa
We decided to drive to the Vagator side

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.

Ozran beach from hill Goa India
To get to the beach, you needed to climb down steps
Ozran beach Vagator Goa India
It wasn’t too crowded either
Ozran beach rocks Arabian sea Goa
Which made it the perfect spot for us!

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.

Enfield painted green Ozran GoaStray puppy Ozran Goa India

Sepia skies Anjuna Goa India
I don’t remember where exactly I was when I took this photo
Rain skies red evening Goa India
We sat at a cafe for our evening break. Again, I don’t know if this was Anjuna or still at Ozran.
Ozran restaurant lamp night Goa India
We watched the sun set and only left after we felt like moving again ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove back to Baga for dinner before heading back to Panjim.

Bom Jesus Basillica front facade Goa
The next day, we were joined by another friend. After picking him up, we drove to Old Goa.
Bom Jesus Basillica front design Goa
We went inside Bom Jesus Basilica first
Bom Jesus Basillica gold interiors Goa
Inside

Bom Jesus Basillica church stone corridor GoaWe went to Se Cathedral next but I didn’t bother taking many photographs as I already covered it on my first visit to Goa.

Se Cathedral hidden room Goa
This was from inside Se Cathedral

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.

Ozran Small Vagator beach swimming Goa
When we arrived, ‘Small Vagator’ looked alright
Orzan beach rocks waves Goa India
The waves weren’t too rough and the sunshine seemed to be good enough
Shiva stone carving face Vagator beach Goa
This face was sculpted by a tourist and has become an unofficial attraction at Ozran beach
Shiva stone carving face Ozran beach Goa
They say it looks like Lord Shiva’s face
Ozran Small Vagator beach Goa India
After some time, the skies turned grey rather quickly
Ozran Small Vagator beach rain clouds Goa India
Very, very grey!
Ozran beach sea sharp rocks Goa
It was surely going to rain
Raining Ozran Small Vagator beach Goa India
Which it did, rather heavily
Small vagator Ozran sea Goa India
But that didn’t stop a few tourists from running back to the sea
Joe Loiyumba Ramesh Ozran swimming Goa
Eventually some of us even went back in
Ozran Small Vagator beach raining Goa
But I chose to stay inside the shack itself… and eat warm food

The rain was quite depressing really. It went on for quite some time and after that, a drizzle would continue well into the night.

Calangute sunset evening sky Goa India
We drove back to a crowded Calangute, which was even messier thanks to the rain
Calangute sunset sky Goa India
At least we still got a glorious sunset

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…

Colva beach sunny Goa India
It was perfectly sunny and the skies were blue in Colva!

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.

Of course, after this trip I never returned to Goa. Not after I saw Thailand’s beaches and realized how over-priced Goa is.

Also read:

First Goa trip (Colva beach, Se Cathedral, Bom Jesus Basilica) and Murudeshwara

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2 Comments

  • nil

    10/01/2014

    Hi, where did you see the VW van?

    [Reply]

    Mithun Divakaran Reply:

    Just down the road from where we were staying at in Panjim city.

    [Reply]

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