Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Goa Detox


It was mid March and the onslaught of the great Indian summer was about to begin!

The Bogmallo beach at the sunrise
We landed in Goa at 6.30 am already in a state of trance due to the torturous flight schedule. The terminal at Goa is reminiscent of times when aviation in this country was not for the middle class men. However to your relief you won’t have to walk a mile to get out it. As we came out the local taxiwalas queued up to pick up people like us seeking to detox themselves. Vijay was the name of our taxi driver who was supposed to pick us up .Now how do you picture this guy?  Slim, tall with a deep baritone voice similar to a certain gentleman from the tinsel town. On the contrary we met a short diminutive figure. We set out towards Aguada where we were to stay over the weekend!

At the lobby in Taj Vivanta, Fort Aguada
When you reach a destination in the wee hours of morning you tend to be stuck with a window of no accommodation as most hotels allow you to check in only around noon. So was the case with us hence we took a detour to the Bogmalo Beach, a small and beautiful beach flanked by hills on both ends, not very far from the airport. The early morning calm which was only broken with the sound of the waves was refreshing and took away some of the fatigue. We then went to the Majorda beach resort to have breakfast. On the way it was hard not to notice the vibrancy of colors used in the architecture here, a welcome departure from the mundane and unimaginative urban landscape being developed in our country. Majorda Resort, with its old world charm, reminds you of the Portuguese legacy which Goa has. Once the breakfast was done, it was time to finally get to our hotel, The Taj Vivanta (Fort Aguada). It was worth the wait as Taj does make you feel at home. An afternoon siesta was the only thing in mind as we settled down in our room.
Goa is all about sun and sand with a little bit of chilled beer sprinkled every now and then. Eat a little, drink a little more and enjoy the Arabian Sea is normally the mantra when you are on a Goan vacation. A look around and everyone seems to be in the same mood having forgotten the daily humdrum. Goa is definitely about being in the moment and enjoying it to the fullest.
Baga and Candolim are the most popular beaches bursting at their seams with tourists, attracted by watersports and almost an unending row of shacks. Do try the strawberry tarts at Britto’s. However If you want to be away from the bustling crowd then you can head north to the likes of Anjuna, Vagator or Morjim. Curly’s in Anjuna is another place where you can enjoy the proximity with the sea in high spirits.


View from Thalassa
As the sun sets you can unwind at places which are lively and yet not too loud. One such place was Thalassa which is a Greek restaurant situated on a cliff overlooking the Vagator beach. We had reached just in time at this al fresco restaurant done in white to watch the sun set over the Arabian Sea. The transformation of this space into something truly Mediterranean was almost perfect making the experience sublime.

Once the night sets in, the neon lights at the night clubs light up inviting people to dance the night away. Party or not but do go to Baga when the night is at its prime. The bustling beach by the day transforms itself totally at night with a picturesque array of candle lit tables. The mood is set for a beautiful dinner.

There is a lot you can do in Goa and it all depends on how much you are willing to explore. The best way to do that is to hire a 2 wheeler of your choice. The most liberating part of a vacation in Goa is that you are neither confined to pinpoint destinations nor do you need to be bound to a predefined schedule. All you have to do is get on your ride and be a wanderer.



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