Considering the cold wave all arround and Sheetal and Maitreyi’s vulnerability to the cold, Goa came out to be the best option compared to Matheran and Mahabaleshwar. But planning a trip to goa during christmas is not an easy task. Neeta Travels, guyz demanded 6,000 per day, post 25th December. But then, why do we have friends for !!! Deepti Sangelkar (Mhatre) came out to rescue and solved my problem of stay in Goa. Let me mention that,it proved to be the best option, with nice service, good food, protugease style cottages and vicinity to Vagator beach. I couldn’t have asked for more..
Thanx to IRCTC, coz of the online ticket booking service I could get both Kokan Kanya and Madovi’s (return) booking using tatkal rates and they were still much cheaper than Neeta’s Volvo coaches. On the day of departure,although kokan kanya came at 2 pm instead of 11:30, we were quite fresh when we got down at thivim station. The road to “Suasagadh” (Thats was the name of our resort) lead thru’ thivim, bicholim, mhapusa to the interiors of beuatiful and scenic vagator gao.
After rest we set out for our first Goa venture, to the Vagator beach. It was just 15 – 20 minutes walk and got a chance to explore the village culture, elegant houses with red tiled slanting roofs, beautiful churches in the vicinity.
Vagator beach starts, where the hilly area ends, in fact there are stairs to go down to the beach, there are huge rocks, the beach extends on both the sides with lotsa sea side cottages on one end and Chapora Fort on the other end. Since it was Christmas we could see lotsa Europeans celebarting the evening in the seaside hotels and cottages..
After having fun with the waves, since we were tired we came back to the resort. The chef delighted us with his exquisite culinery skills. We had a full course dinner with soup, starters, salad and special goan dishes.
We were worries about the vehicle, for next days trip, as it was not yet arranged. but we were lucky in that area too.This time a friend of my father-in-law helped us out. We had a maruti van and a friendly driver cum guide called Gauresh waiting for us,the next day morning. After healthy breakfast we drove off for our exploration.
The first spot was the St. Francis church.The light and sound show in the old chuch gives us the insight into how an ordinary man from far away land came to India and served for humanity to become a saint. The interiors of the church is the combination of various architectural styles of those times, but what attracts the most are the domes and the windows that illuminate the space.
After visiting museum we headed for Mangeshi in Fonda. one common thing about all religious places out here is the size and the surronding space. The structures are beautiful and exhibit magnanimity. The temples are quite spacious, most of them having a lake in front, a tall and elegant deepmal and the red bricked roof. Shantadurga and Mhalsa temples were equally beautiful in architecture, with mhalsa temple having beautifully carved pillars and a nice “gabhara” as the interiors.
After shopping in mhapusa market , the next destination was Dona Paula. The sealine bends in beautiful curves and one can see smaller yatches parked in the harbour there. Right in the front of the highest point in dona paula is the vasco city and the sealine extends to both the sides embracing the rocky beaches. We skipped Mira maar as we were quite late for our cruise, scheduled to start at 6:15 from Panji harbour. The ship was full with people from various part of the country , having fun at this exhotic and festive destination. The one hour cruise took us thru the mandvi river and entertained us with typical goan folk dances. Everyone got a chance to go on to the stage and show their dancing skills and that was thrilling.
Next day started with boating in beautiful, tranquil mayem lake. Since we were staying at vagator beach it was quite a bit of travelling to reach mayem. But then who cares for distances when we have set out to reach every corner.We went to Rudreshwar temple near to Bicholim. A peaceful place, with a scenic waterfall quite near to the temple. On the way to fort aguada, we got a chance to see three peahens, but lost them, before I could capture them in my cybershot.The fort is situated on the hill top and on the other side you can view the beautiful goan sealine.
On our way back, Gauresh showed us a beautiful beach, called Coco beach. The beach is not so easily reachable and looks like to be a paradise for all the sea sports. Beach is formed by sealine intruding into the lush coconut greenary forming a U shape. The view was terrific from the top. After taking a stopover at Seqeulim beach we reached our last destination of the day, the Calangute beach. Looks like to be a busy beach, having a very long stretch and famous again for watersports. After bargaining a lot over parasailing ride for me and a boat ride for Maitreyi and Sheetal we settled for 700 rupees. The experience was thrilling with the boat whirling around at top speed on gaigantic waves. We were almost clinging to the boat, letting ourself be a part of that awesone experience.
The peak was when, they opened up the parashute and fixed the safely belts arround me. My GOD !!! the imotions were a mix of fear, thrill, joy everything all together with a sense of achievement , “hey I did it”. It was fun sheer fun, just for few minutes you can have a birds view at the beautiful sealine and people enjoying, soaking themselves into goan evening. When I got down Maitri was yelling like anything, as I hadn’t taken her for the parasailing. Somehow we could convince her that, its too late and we wud come again the next day.
The last day was reserved for bike ride and I could get one kinetic honda very luckily for 400 Rs a day from a local Garage-Walla. The other guyz had quoted 600 to 700 a day for a honda activa. We had a quick visit to anjuna beach and then spent the noon draping ourself in the sands of Vagator beach. This could be termed as most interesting part of goa visit and we were doing exactly what goa is known for. Allowing ourself to realx on the sandy beach, allowing the waves to drag us along with them. Its was just fun, allowing us to become a kid along with Maitri and create memories to last for lifetime.
In the evening Deepti’s father-in-law took us to show the lover’s point, which was a hill top, just behind the chapora fort. Up from the hill top we could see the vagator village and chapora fort in front. No wonder why the scenic spot was a favourite place for the lovers, to find some privacy. The kinatic honda deceived us on our way to Baga beach almost twice and the Garage-Walla did rush to repair it. But then we had already lost lot of time. We went to calangute again,sat there, reminiscing the last three days we had spent in goa and enoying the peanuts.
On the way back we did give a quick visit to baga beach and yes got some feni for few dear ones. Sheetal made sure she get few wall pieces and goan lamps for our home. Sheetal also had few caps and kashews for everyone back home. Next day morning I took a ride to surrounding area to capture few beautiful houses and churches in my Cybershot.
The food in Susgadh was amongst the best and gave us the authentic goan taste, fully satisfying our taste buds. Be it goan fish curry or goan chicken masala we savored till the last bite. I would say, our goan memories would be the one of the significant till now.