Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Goa trip (Sept 2014)

When we went to India this time, we wanted to travel a bit. I had always wanted to go to Goa and it being Anand’s birth place, it only seemed right that we go there together with the family.
Unfortunately, I was told it’s not possible to visit Naval base where Anand was born.

After our Chennai visit, we left for Goa from Bangalore. My parents joined us there. We rented a guest house (Gabrielle), walking distance from Calangute beach. The guest house was awful. From the get go, we started off on a wrong note there but whatever. That didn’t stop us from having fun.

After a quick change of clothes, we all went out to see the area. We had lunch in a small hotel nearby, traditional Goan dishes. Megha had a blast playing around there. There was a little aquarium there and she really did have fun.

Food in Goa: One of my favorite parts of this little vacation was the food in Goa. It’s simply awesome. All the restaurants we had been to were serving Thalis consisting of traditional Goan dishes (mainly seafood and chicken). The dry fish fry is made with rava; this was the first time I ever tasted a fish fry with rava coating.
The curries include Xacuti. It came in Chicken, mutton fish (all kinds) and prawns. Another popular seafood dish was crabs which we all enjoyed. We had a little trouble finding something Megha really liked. She stuck to dal tadka with rice throughout the trip.
For dessert, we bought Bibinca, recommended by my brother Dimpu; we even bought some boxes of Bibinca to Canada to give to colleagues! Overall, for food, I am giving 4 out of 5 to Goa!

Things we did:
Of course we hit the beach whenever we could. The beach was just 2 minutes away from the guest house. We changed our guest house 2 days before leaving to another guest house. We should have done this a very long time on day 1. We absolutely loved this new place. It was friendly, clean and more importantly it had hot water 24 hours a day without us putting up a fight every day for it.
St. Xavier’s Church:
The day after we landed in Goa, we went to St. Xavier’s church. The church was beautiful! It was ancient and everything around it seemed wonderful.

Inside was the body of St. Xavier. You can read more about him Here.

We played for a bit outside and Megha really enjoyed playing with the stacked leaves. Here is us posing in front of the church.

Opposite to the church was the Museum. We could not make it to the Museum but it sure did look inviting from the outside. Perhaps next time.

Fort Aguda:
Following the Church (or was is before the church?), we went to the Fort Aguda. It’s a 17th century Portuguese fort constructed to guard against the Dutch and the Maratha’s. Back in those days, it had a fresh water spring and often, ships would stop by to replenish water. The light house does…what it’s supposed to do.

This fort overlooks Arabian sea.

Megha became a mini-celebrity there with her active walks and talks. A few wanted to take pictures with her :)

The fort itself was big and we had fun walking around its border.

Following the fort, we went to Baga beach. Some pictures from there.

The next day, we kind of relaxed at the guest house itself to recoup from the all day trip. We would wake up late in the morning, have breakfast and go to the beach. We built sand castles and we played to our hearts content.

We also collected a few sea shells. My mom also collected a lot of sea shells with which we made a beautiful art after coming home in Canada (pic later).

Santa Cruz: One of the evenings we were relaxing, we went to the dancing cruise. It was amazing to say the least. Megha was the star of the evening and she was dancing like there is no tomorrow. She looked absolutely amazing. At some points, she refused to come down from the dance floor.
When I "forced" Anand; he danced for all of 3 seconds.

Dona Paula:
Following day we went to Dona Paula. It’s probably better if I refer to an article about Dona Paula instead of me attempting to write something on my own. Here:

Here is a picture taken from there.

It had incredible views from up top. It was way too hot though; we couldnt really spend a lot of time here.

Sahakari Spice Farm: This was one of the best spots in Goa. The spice farm was a secluded part a little away from Panjim city. The farm itself is small but it was so rich with information.

Here is the entrance to the bridge. It was starting to rain by then but it still was beautiful. I was told that in the peak monsoon season, the river would be filled with water. More on spice farm here:
After yum lunch, we went out for a little tour around the farm where we were explained the kind of spices and their uses. It sure was a beautiful farm.
Megha enjoyed looking at the nature around her while having her lunch.

 We also had so much fun looking and playing with the elephants there.

What I noticed about Goa is that, a secluded spot filled with nature would just be a stone-throw away, no matter which part of Panjim you are in. It’s a lot more than any other city can boast of.
We can observe the nature without disturbing it, yet, being one with it. Luckily for us, Anand had the foresight to book the guest house a little away from the city. So, it was not really crowded with too many tourists at any given point

Arvelam Falls: There is so much more to write about Goa. We also went to a temple close to water falls by name Arvelam Falls.

 It was so beautiful.

It was surrounded by lush green small canyons. As the water flows, it isnt too deep. Here is megha right in the middle of the falls! The girl really knows no fear of water! Which is just great :)

Here she is, lost in the moment....something about water and the temples by water. If only we had more time, we could have spent the whole day here. My mom also shared a wonderful story about my grand-ma when she was sick and how they had spent a few weeks by river side to get her better.

Arvelam Caves:
The Arvalem caves, also known as 'Pandavas Caves,' are ancient rock cut caves dating back to the 5th-6th century. These are excavated into the laterite hill and consist of two major chambers. The cave complex draws tourists and archeologists alike.

I absolutely loved Goa and would like to go back again. Goa really is a wonderful state. 

No comments:

Post a Comment