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Goa -beach Paradise
Jan 13, 2011 10:31 PM 37705 Views
(Updated Jan 14, 2011 12:14 AM)

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Hi readers, Goa as you know is the land of beaches, babes and beer;one has to visit this place during the new year to really see the full revelry and celebrations and to check out the places which really make Goa a special and important tourist hub.


Let me share my experience of spending the new year 2011 in Goa.I had called an out of touch friend to wish her merry Xmas and came to know of their plans to spend the new year in Goa, this sounded very tempting and I decided to include my self in the plan.


As this was a last minute thing we could not get train tickets and plane tickets had reached the sky (Rs 15, 000 for 1 week advance booking) hence had to go by bus.Thus 29th Dec 2010 saw Santhosh, Romaldo, Markina,


Arpita and I leaving for Goa from Mumbai at 18:00 (Paulo travels-Non Ac , seater -Rs 700).


We had dinner at a dhaba in Pen and reached Mapusa at 11:00am next morning which was surprising as it takes around 12 hrs by bus ( may be the bus was bit slow :)) we had already arranged for a car to take us to our place of stay at Arambol beach (Rs 500 for 1BHK per day ).


Special thanks to Romaldo as he coordinated with the local guys to get the transportation and lodgings at very cheap rates.Currently no major hotels exist in Arambol area due to local protests .Room rates are available at reasonable rates when compared to tourist laden beaches such as Baga and Candolim.


Arambol beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, amongst many other popular locations including Vagator, Anjuna and Palolem. While others were freshening up I, Markina and Arpita went to the beach which was a stone throw away. you cannot really describe the view. It was as if I was in Australia or some other foreign beach.


Foreigners were present everywhere, walking, sunbathing, swimming most of them had an umbrella covered sun-bed and were relaxing.The beaches and the water very clean and the scenery was too amazing to be described in words with cool wind blowing and the sun not very hot.


Apart from the normal beach you have the fresh water pool which one needs to walk a bit. As we had skipped breakfast we were very hungry and after everyone was ready we went to Morjim beach which was again filled with foreigners.here there are numerous shack restaurants providing good food at a reasonable price.


Goa does not have taxes on drinks so Beer is indeed very cheap (Rs 24 MRP for KF beer).We had lunch at Bollywood planet where we tried sea food, though food was good the service was very slow as they prepare stuff after we give the order.


The beach is safe with life guards around and you see lots of tourists and sun-beds. You also have water sports like para gliding, water boats etc etc.we then went back to Arambol beach and went in the water.even though the sun had set and was cold the water was still warm.


We also encountered a group of Gypsy's (Russians I think) who were dancing to the beats of the drums, banjo etc. There was this girl who was dancing with the hopala and a guy fire dancing. Wow it was amazing !!!Our plans were to see the famous goan night life and hence we headed towards Calungte.


One of the drawbacks in Goa are the small roads hence its very prone to bumper to bumper traffic in the Calungte area and with no parking space available.


We finally found a space after one hour of waiting in the jam. Tito's proved to be expensive Rs 2000 per couple hence we went to Mambo's ( next to Tito's) for Rs 800 per couple.


After having a little dinner we hit the dance floor which is open till 6:00 in the morning...we danced till we could and left at 03:30 am.Goan discos mostly serve hip-hop, trance and pop music; dont expect bollywood here!!! Except for the Calungte-Baga area;Goa at night is very desolate place (God forbid if your car plays truant) and we missed a turn and almost got lost , however we found our way back and hit the sack before the first rays of sun could come out.


I woke up around noon feeling very hungry (of course we had missed breakfast again ) and after getting ready we had our lunch at place just outside Arambol.The highlights been coconut pancakes for desert.


We went to old Goa to see the Basilica of Bom Jesus and St Francis Xavier church which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.This area is well maintained and has wide roads and footpaths.


The architecture is also beautiful and reminds you of the old Gothic style structures.One should also visit the Dona- Paula which is a scenic point and can go for a cruise on the Mandavi river while in old goaAfter spending some time immersing ourselves in history we left.


At night again we headed for Calungte to celebrate the new year and boy the road was choco-bloc with new year revelers; seems that all of Goa had come to Calungte -Baga area.Wise from our previous night experience we parked our car far away from the market then too we after wading through the traffic.


At the stroke of midnight the night became alive with crackers and fireworks illuminating the sky.New year greetings were passed along in abundance and the whole town wore a festive look with people shouting from their roof tops and music been played in all pubs and restaurants.


The Tito's lane was over crowded and the Baga beach was full of shacks and people in new year revelry.We again went to Mambo's as Tito's and the other pubs were way over priced partied till the wee hours in the morning and returned with body aches.


The shops were open even at 06 in the morning and roads still full of traffic:(We woke up late again and had lunch at Arambol beach ( Malibu's)Lunch was as good as we ever had and then it was time to go back to Mumbai.


After shopping for some goan sweets and Cashews We caught the Konduskar bus ( Volvo Ac Rs 1800) from Mapusa at 20:00 and reached Mumbai at 7:30 in the morning.


In all I would call this a very good trip and excellent beginning to our New year.I would like to thank my buddies for making this a memorable trip for me.A few tips which might help in Goa :


1) Always plan and book your tickets in advance( that goes for any trip).Preferred mode is train.


2) Its always helpful to have a local guy with you as he can speak in Konkani and get things done smoothly and cheaply.


3) Don't do shopping for cashew nuts and sweets ( Bibinca and Dadool) from the main shops in the market as they will charge you the MRP.


Try to get the best place from a localite go to a wholesaler or shop know by your local contact.


4) After a hard night partying; while driving at night make sure your companions don't go to sleep as this will cause the driver to get droopy too leading to not so pleasant consequences.


5) Better to get 2 wheelers which are available for Rs 300 per day rather than a four wheeler which is costlier and pain while parking or taking U-turns and yes always use helmets.


6) Try the local sea food and desserts. In Goa, a meal without daru is like bagair naade ka pajama. And being a vegetarian is not much fun!


7) Do not pack loads of clothes. It’s pointless.


The day you arrive, go shopping for an hour on the Baga/Candolim/Anjuna strech and get a whole new wardrobe from shorts, wrap rounds, sarongs et al.


8) There are literally hundreds of tiny budget hotels and 'rooms to let' close to the beach.


Not fancy places, but for 500 bucks a night (off season price) you will get a double bed with spotless white sheets and a clean, functional bathroom. Aur kya chahiye? Hotel mein rehne ko thodi aaye hain! Hope this was helpful.


Regards,


Rajiv


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