Saturday, February 27, 2010

Goa Travelogues

The past year hasn’t been kind. Ups and downs -- the downs outscoring the ups. Made some decisions, I regret even before the consequences have come to surface. I wait for the results and the consequences. The stress and the anxiety of it make my days very difficult to get by.
When my boy friend offered Goa, I decided to take it up.
I think my holiday started the day I decided to go to Goa.

Day 1: In the train.
I am in the train and I know I have over packed. My fellow commuters are an interesting bunch - An uncle –nephew duo from Bombay, a Swede from Ireland and an extremely pious gentleman from Sinhudurg.
The journey is long. I can never read on a train. But the lively bunch around me engages in interesting discussion, and I find my time passing well. The old gentleman (the uncle) knows Goa well and suggests some interesting places to go—most are Hindu temples. . The Swede is somewhat lost, it is his first time in India and he hasn’t planned his stay here very well. So we all give our two cents each on where to go and what to do. He is patient.
We were travelling by AC 3 tier, Mandowi Express, which starts from Dadar, Mumbai at 7:15 am.
If one plans ahead in time, and wants to travel by train –the night train Konkan Kanya is the best option. It is an overnight journey that one can sleep through and reach Goa the next morning, with the whole day in front of them. If the holiday budget is not too stretched, or if one can plan ahead in time, flights too are a good way to get to Goa.I personally would never recommend the bus. It is torturous, uncomfortable, and long and can really mess up your otherwise great holiday.
We get off at Mudgaon station, the last stop, since we had decided to spend our time only in South Goa.

Day 1: The cab ride.
The 650 rupees cab ride was uneventful, till a certain point. Our cab driver seemed rather scared of driving through the dark and lonely jungle road. He admonished us for not taking the train which reaches Goa in the morning. He whined about the dark roads, late hour (it was 8 pm) and the long distance. He loudly wondered why we chose to stay in an isolated beach unheard of.
Our driver finally lost all cool, when we hit the jungle track which lead to our heavenly dwelling on kola beach. The access road to Blue Lagoon Resort is somewhat tedious, dangerous and in the dark even more ominous. Our driver finally abandoned us in the middle of nowhere and turned back. He swore at the resort people, who had come to lead the way on their bikes, cursed us for wanting to live in such a place and drove away in a huff. His panic was comical. But I wasn’t laughing anymore, when the last light left with the taxi. We were abandoned on top of a hill with our luggage, in midst of heavy under growth, unmarked rutted jungle path, no lights and a bunch of scruffy youngsters on bikes.
We finally reached the resort half trekking and half three on a bike. I held on tight to my two bags (never carry more than a single bag to Goa…never) , the bumps, jerk, the loud whirring added much to my fears.
I was quite scared; I kept imagining a leopard to jump up on to the path in front of us. The jungle around was dense and dark, the road broken, I could barely make out the road and made a mental decision not to traverse this path at night. The evening air was cool, the sky was clear, shimmering with a million stars—a sight not common in the city and I could hear the waves—a gentle gurgle followed by a splash.
The sight that greeted me at the bottom of the hill was the sight I had longed for over a year, ever since my last trip to Goa, when we had chanced upon this little beach and the resort quite by accident.
It has taken me a year to get here, but I am finally here.
PS: These guys really don’t want to be found.

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