The last three days, I divided my time and my lazy hours between Kola beach and Agonda. One morning we trekked up to Agonda , a four kilometer hike I think and spent the whole day there –lounging, eating, playing the frizzbee , swimming and eating some more. Of course a considerable time was also spent in chatting up with other tourists.
We ate at the Greek place (Agonda) one evening, where we made some wonderful friends – Diana , a hypnotherapist and Andrea, a flight attendant . It is amazing how people meet and how several connections just unfold. We met them coz we did not have a table and ended sharing a table with them. Diana and Andrea knew Niels and Rachel (our Galgibag friends) and in turn had already heard about us. I still remember the look on each of our faces, when suddenly Andrea interjected –“Wait a minute… “.Everyone got so excited, and suddenly we all weren’t strangers anymore. Further on, Suveer and Diana found out that they follow the same school of yoga, and have also trained under the same teacher at some point. They were ecstatic, as both gushed hawed and chattered away excitingly about yoga while Andrea and me looked on. The next day they came over to Kola beach, and we spent a lovely afternoon together. Met them again in
, where Andrea related her fantastic, truly Bollywood style love story that unfolded the last few days she was there. Diana stayed on for few more weeks in Bombay to practice yoga, we met often , an amazing amazing lady with an interesting life story. Bombay
We spent a lot of time with Brad and Liz too, another wonderful couple from
. Retired and living it up. They have been coming to Cornwall Goafor 10 years now. We shared so many stories and so much of our histories. Thanks to them, we discovered another tiny beach close to Kola, which was incredible and so isolated.Then there was , travelling with her mom and aunt. Back home Petra has a chocolate van. Little did I realize then, that she wasn’t simply making and serving milkshakes. Check her out: Petrawebsite: http://www.chocstar.co.uk/home.htmlFoodies and chocolate lovers ..rejoice!! :)She had so many questions about Mumbai, she was reading Suketu Mehta’s Maximum city and was much intrigued. We spent a lovely morning doing yoga on the beach and slurping on pancakes.
Sally and Fran were an absolute riot. Fran especially. We spent one evening playing Adupuli Attam, this ancient game Suveer was carrying. Sally was travelling alone, and had some wonderful tales to relate. She was missing her boy friend, a tree surgeon so much. I was much intrigued by what a tree surgeon does. Fran’s knowledge of
It was amazing how many people I met and befriended. Most had such intriguing professions—Dog trainers, tree surgeons, thinker, chocolate van driver, hypnotherapist and the likes. Conversation was so easy. Everyone was friendly and eager.
I spent the other hours of the day floating in the calm lagoon, reading reading and more reading.. Downing pancakes at odd hours and going for long walks in the evening. The nights had gotten slightly chilly; I’d snuggle under a blanket on a beach bed and stare into the dark ocean, the lit sky and into my thoughts. One afternoon I went for a long swim in the lagoon past the resort and the next one into the jungle behind. It was really quiet and so green. The water was cold and at one point, I sat still in the water, a thousand tiny fish came around me, I could feel their tiny bodies against mine, it was fantastic.I also had 'my spot'. The lagoon would join the sea by way of a tiny stream which was flowing over the beach past big rocky boulders. The water was very shallow; it felt like a water bed, the sand was soft and wet, the flow of the water gentle. I would lie on the water, perch my head on the soft rock and read or just stare at the blue sky.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Further down the beach another site treated me, the
Day 3: Agonda à Patnem -à GalgiBag.
Sometimes we have good days and sometimes bad. But having a good good day on an already brilliant holiday is something one cherishes even more so.It was serendipity at its best.The day was long and eventful. We discovered 3 beautiful beaches, met some wonderful people and ate really good food.
The day started with a dolphin ride, a short motor boat trip to the sea, a few kilometers off the coast. It is a 600 rupees trip. Out in the open sea, it is quite peaceful, the thrill of spotting dolphins is contagious; we managed to spot ten to twelve dolphins. Magnificent creatures dolphins are, out in the wild the enigma increases four square. Few even put up a show – they jumped out of water, and flipped twice.
On the boat, we meet Brad and Liz, a British couple from
living at the same resort as us. A retired professor and nurse, they have been coming to Goa for the last ten years and know Goa better than most people who claim to know Cornwall . At 70 and 63 years, Brad and Liz are truly living it up. Goa . We convinced our boatman to drop us at the beach next to . On Liz’s recommendation and reference we break feasted at a shack called Gratitude. Kola-- Agonda Beach
Agonda beach is great. Stretches long almost 3 kilometers , the water is calm and shallow till a long way in, so a weak swimmer can definitely go deep and still feel safe. Occasionally dolphins come close to the shore and swim around. Agonda feels like a global settlement. A single dirt path ambles along with shacks, hutments, small houses, a line of coconut trees and other shrubs. Cows and buffaloes often cause traffic jams, and you can hear faint squeaks of protest from bikers. Most are patient as no one is really in a hurry. Simple and amiable village folks walking, loitering , lazing around, sitting on benches , eating home cooked rice and fish curry at the road side dhaba and chai shops, many on scooters and bicycles ambling along.. only the so called village folks can be Germans, Brits , Greeks or Asians or scores of east Europeans -- name a country, you have a representative.
We ate at Gratitude.The moment we took Brad and Liz’s reference, Rajesh the owner, became a friend for life
Break Feast: Israeli Breakfast – Hummus, Pita bread, fries, a green salad, black coffee (as
usual horrible) and orange juice.Then a Chocolate pancake and more juice. GoaPramod our server is far from home. The long hours of work and no extra time wage makes him a bit whiny. Every morning he wakes up at 5 am, goes for a long run on the beach and is a karate black belt. He wants to get back to and complete his higher secondary, but hates farming, so reckons he’ll have to leave home soon. He says years in cities have made him lazy, so says a young boy who works 15 hours a day. He likes bartending and claims his Caprioshkas are the best. In conversation I found myself telling him my life story, we spoke in hindi at length. He’s yet to master English, and was thrilled when an Indian trotted along, he sighs that it is such a rarity. Imagine hearing that in Nepal . I learnt that he was once working in Pune, at a restaurant quite close to my college. We gushed and hawed. My second glass of juice I noticed was in a bigger glass and more thick. India
We watch Vishnu, his fellow compatriot welcome few extremely white girls with –‘ Hellloooo , welcome beauties, how arh youh ? , Pramod shakes his head; he has a long way to go. I hope he comes back next year; I’d like to meet him again.The day was going great, only 10:30 am, and I’d already met and befriended some wonderful people.
After the huge meal, my friend and I hopped on a bike, courtesy Rajesh and took off. The plan was to hit Patnem and the famous
beach -- Palolem. We never reached Palolem. South Goa
The beach is indeed lovely; right blend of frolic and peace. Not too isolated as Kola and slightly more urban than Agonda. Way less crowded and much cleaner than Palolem. The water is great similar to Agonda’s. One can walk way into the sea, splash and even swim. The sea feels calmer here.
A great place to eat would be Sabai-Sabai. An enchanting place on the main beach road, this is Sabai Sabai’s first season.Meet Mario – An Italian, the owner, the chef and the bartender. I found Mario an endearing character, extremely stressed and amiable.I sip on one of the best iced coffee I have ever had. We take a look at the rooms and the beach huts. The design, the style, the high standards and the affordable rates blow me over. Mario is warm and slightly temperamental, but I hear all Italians are that way. His rates are nominal. Ranging from rupees 600 for beach huts to 1000 for single rooms. The rooms are comfortable with modern bathrooms, something which most other establishment provides at much higher rates. If I wasn’t in love with my Kola beach, I‘d shift.Mario even lets us use his shower in his room (as all rooms were occupied) to freshen up. Classy guy I must add.We chat up with another employee there, Amita, a shy Goan girl. In conversation she opens up, and seems thrilled that we speak Hindi. She suggests a beach; not very many people know about, it piques our interest.
And off we go …to Galgibag.Back from Galgibag ... We head back to Sabai Sabai . To thank Amita and try Mario’s food. I wasn’t disappointed.Mario cooked and served an exotic sea salad with crab, mussels, prawns and fish and oven baked thin crust authentic Italian pizza. Sabai Sabai is probably one of the few places you’ll get good coffee. Mario is warm and a brilliant cook, he has an open kitchen, and I could see the stressed Italian cook with a zest and intrigue quite enchanting. Plus a meal made with so much heart was bound to taste great.To top that, the Tiramisu made me weak in the knees. It was as if Mario was in love with me, and had just made it for me. It made me feel special. I have never tasted tiramisu so good, so rich and so fresh.