Goa, Goan to the Dogs!
We decided to embark on this journey with Goa, not knowing which places we would cover on this trip. Technically, it was our first trip outside Maharashtra and a long one too, so we both were quite thrilled about the whole thing. We would get to spend some quality time together and visit places too. Our route was Mumbai-Goa-Gokarna-Hampi-Mumbai and we would take you through our day-to-day journey to these awe-inspiring places. So fasten your seat belts, because you are in for a great ride.
Expenses per day – Tickets to Goa (2 people) – Rs 500 in Amsons bus seater class
January 12 – Goa
Breakfast at Babaji’s (Mapusa) – Rs 60
Rickshaw to Anjuna Beach from Mapusa bus stand – Rs 100
Kings beer at a Shack in Anjuna – Rs 110
Top Shop Hotel at Anjuna (for 2 days) – Rs 800
Lunch at Munches – Rs 300
Bike (for 2 days) – Rs 450 plus petrol – Rs 100
Dinner at Horizon (shack on Calungute beach) – Rs 240
3 cold coffee at Pyramid (shack on Calungute beach) – Rs 100
Our trip started off around 7.30 in the evening, Bhavika had hooked us up with tickets at an amazing rate of Rs.250 from Bombay to Goa per ticket. The Amsons pushback seats were very comfortable and had a lot of legroom too. We watched Before Sunset on our Creative Zen Vision M on the bus, both of us had carried snacks from home so we did not need to spend any money on dinner.
We reached the Mapusa bus stand the next morning and went to Babaji’s where we had cold coffees, Bhavika had a veg roll and I had two chicken patties, a fantastic breakfast. This is one of the few places I have been eating at for years and the quality is still the same. Its well known for a drink called “Ghuddbud” which means “a problem” in Hindi. Its a mixture of kulfis, jelly, ice cream, falooda all in one. Although we did not have it on this trip as it din’t strike me at that point.
Anyway, we then took a rickshaw from Mapusa bus stand to Anjuna for hundred bucks. The morning seemed so beautiful when we landed in Anjuna, at the end of the road. I knew exactly where we would check-in, so we went for a walk and we went to Ocean Pearl, a place where I had stayed before with a couple of friends. A year ago just before the start of the season it was available for Rs.250 and now he told us the room fare had gone up to Rs. 800 and they were filling fast.
We tried quite a few guest houses on the way and most of them were either full or over-priced. It was quite hot and we decided to cool off with a couple of beers at a shack on the beach. To my surprise I found a lot of beach chairs and umbrellas at Anjuna, a sight I do not recollect seeing there. We had a couple of beers and let Goa sink in, it felt relaxing but still it felt like something was missing. There was this playful kid at the shack who I got a picture of.
Much further down the road we came to this place called – Top Shop Guest House – where we got a room for Rs. 400 a day, after a bit of bargaining with the owner. There was hardly any view from the room, but it had an attached bathroom and the toilet was clean. That came as a major relief. The two paintings on the walls gave it a colourful look.
Walking down Anjuna market, familiar faces, many not, Bhavika picked up some jewelery for Rs. 150, if you take a look at the necklace in the picture, the next picture is of the walk out of the market towards the road.
I’m holding a bottle of King’s beer at Hanuman, the small restaurant on the Anjuna cliff with a good view, you can peace out there, thats about it. We prefer Kingfisher Premium to King’s beer, but thats the way I like to soak in the Goan spirit.
We then went for a walk down the Anjuna road, and we did a bit of shopping. Bhavika picked up a top with a spiral design painted on it and I picked up a t-shirt with a weird goblin on a mushroom, both of them glowed under neon lights. The damages were Rs.250 and Rs.300 picked up from Osama Casuals. We were trying really hard to hire a bike for two days, but were unable to get one at a reasonable price due to season time.
After shopping we wanted to grab some lunch, so proceeded to Munches at Anjuna, which is located on the first left when you are going away from Anjuna beach. The food at Munches is quite good and we were starving so unfortunately we do not have pictures of what we ate, but I had a Beef Stroganoff, the meat was tough, while Bhavika had a Cheese Tomato Sphagetti which was delicious.
We washed it down with a fresh water melon and orange juice respectively and had the sumptuous Nutella Banana pancake for dessert, all for Rs 300.
We continued the walk down Anjuna road and came to this shop, that sells various t-shirts, patches, hand bags, trinkets etc., owned by a guy from Jharkhand, which I thought was in Rajasthan, which upset him and Bhavika had a good laugh. Her geography is better than mine. He gave me four denim patches for Rs. 100, I took a picture of him in his shop and managed to make him happy.
It feels lovely to make people smile, the power to make some one happy is one of the greatest.
Bhavika and I watched the sun go down from the seats close to Paradiso and then managed to get a Hero Honda Passion for Rs. 450 for two days. You need to hire a bike with a yellow number plate in Goa to avoid getting into any trouble with the traffic cops there.
We then proceeded to Calangute, via Mapusa which is a longer route but a fun ride after filling fuel at the Anjuna petrol pump. We picked up some rum and coke and a few packets of chips on the way, and had a nice relaxing time on Calangute beach. This beach was filled with shacks with these really bright lights and hoardings at the entrance, looked a bit like the old Juhu beach in Mumbai.
We ate in one of the shacks there and then met up with Sameer, a friend of mine from Mumbai. He runs a couple of hotels and veg restaurants in Goa.
The picture of Lord Shiva is in one of his hotels, he has veg restaurants because there’s too much competition in the non-veg segment, so opening veg restaurants is a good bet. He claims that one of his restaurants has the best Dosa’s ever, if you want to try it out i will get the name.
He then took us for a long walk right till the end of Calangute beach to a shack called Pyramid that usually plays trance and is open nearly the whole day. The walk was long and tiring. When we reached Pyramid it was massive, the biggest shack in Goa, it also has a top floor like Curlies at Anjuna, where we chilled out. Unfortunately the DJ did not come in that day and we had to listen to a crappy channel on World space radio. We had a quick ride back to Anjuna thanks to Sam’s directions, this was in the wee hours of the morning!
January 13 – Goa
Lunch at Curlies – Rs 300
Petrol – Rs 100
Shopping at Calungate Night Market – Rs 1800
Dinner at Munches – Rs 280
The next afternoon we were up and left the room for a walk on the beach to Curlies. This is the view out of our room, on the way we passed by the Anjuna Flea Market that usually is on a Wednesday, and the rest of the days only the bamboo skeleton of the market could be seen.
Curlies was a shack known for its Raves a couple of years ago. Now its just a hippie hangout, directly above it you can see people para-gliding.
The next couple of pictures were taken around the dead flea market.
After a while we passed by this Baba who only had a langoti on.
Curlies was playing some early 2006 psychedelic trance which was pretty alright, we had a nice meal there, I had an awesome chicken burger, Bhavika had a cheese and olive pizza that was clearly over-priced, washed down with beers and the view of the sunset from our table.
While we were there they were a lot of people carrying cartons of beer and water to the next shack Shiva valley and I guessed there was a party there soon, I was correct there was a day party scheduled for the next day.
Sam had planned a special dinner somewhere in Chapora for us besides a river so after sunset we left Curlies and were walking down Anjuna beach, the ambience of each shack was so vivid, some played chill out, lounge music while some played trance, reggae, it was a fusion of different music. We picked up a beer and sat outside a shack playing Bob Marley.
We decided to head to Calangute to meet Sam, on the way after passing Club Cabana, we came across the Saturday Night Bazaar that had a humongous amount of bikes and cars, especially taxis entering the venue. The road was jammed as we passed by the entrance and finally decided to get in and see what it is all about. After parking the bike in a spot we could remember, we entered the market and were soon overwhelmed by the presence of a large number of foreigners there. That made us feel like aliens in a foreign country. There were people from various countries, dressed up in so many different ways, it was like a hub for travelers from different parts of the world.
The stalls were typically the ones you find in Goa – jewelry, shoes, bags, ethnic Indian wear, food court, and there was a small stage where various people put up dance performances, juggling act etc. It was quite intriguing, because I hadn’t seen something like this before.
Bhavika fell in love with a uniquely designed Miparti skirt, which was priced at Rs. 1,900. She tried it on but did not buy it because of the price. “Maielin” that can be seen here
We then walked away and I could make out that Bhavika’s mind was still on the skirt. So I convinced her if she really liked it she could get it, so we went back, and she got Rs.100 off for keeping the skirt on after leaving the shop. There were a lot of food stalls catering to every sort of cuisine, we had a piece of Marble cake that was decent. The chickens getting grilled looked quite tempting.
We reached the top of the market where you could get a view of the whole place and it was massive.
On the way out of the market I spotted this shop that had a side full of Che Guevara t-shirts in various colors and one t-shirt of Mahatma Gandhi. What a difference in the two people’s personalities, I had to take a picture of that.
We then met up with Sam at Cafe Coffee Day in Baga and he then took us for a quick ride to Chapora. We passed Doije Vita where a party was on, but had not yet gathered the right momentum to enter as yet. We reached the place in Chapora, it is impossible to take a car there and is only accessible by bikes. The place was located just along the Chapora river, it was heavenly, the sound of the lulling water, and not a light in sight, just water and mangroves. Unfortunately the kitchen had already closed so we just chilled there.
It seems that the water recedes every six hours and you can walk on the river bank and then the tide comes up alternating continuously. We both wished we had the chance to see this during the day it would have been spectacular. We then headed to Munches for dinner, it was the only place close by that was open and served good food. We did not go for the party as we were leaving for Gokarna the next day, so Sam carried on and we headed back to our room.
Next Stop Gokarna
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