Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest post: A Goan quickie during monsoon

My husband and I like to take short holidays throughout the year. So we try not to spend too much on these quick getaways and instead indulging ourselves during our annual vacations.

Goa is one destination we can holiday on pretty much every weekend. It’s such a laidback destination and designed for lazy people like ourselves, relaxing on the beach and sipping cocktails.

Our train travail
We decided to visit Goa after a gap of a few years this July. My husband had been insisting on me experiencing the Konkan Railway route so we decided to take a trainthis time. It was monsoon at its peak; it was raining the day we left till the time we reached Goa.

In our enthusiasm to make most of the four days, we booked an early morning train from Thane, which meant that we pretty much slept all the way. Either way, the train journey turned out to be a horrible experience. Our bogey was full of families along with their non-stop crying machines, which are commonly referred to as toddlers. But who’d have known.
 
Clean and pristine Candolim beach
We got off at Madgaon station and took a cab to our guest house called D’mello’s. Our taxi dropped us off near a small lane because this property is enclosed within a wooded area and the only way to reach it is to take a short walk from the road.

Day 1: At D'mello's 
The property is sprawling and our room had the best view. We were right on Calangute beach; it was literally five steps from the sea. The owner also runs a beach shack but it was shut because of the monsoon.

The room was big and very neat and the balcony offered a remarkable view. After checking in, we went to the beach. It was high tide and empty save for some fishermen and a scattering of tourists. 
View from our room at D'Mello's
We walked to the main Calangute market and bought some essential stuff to get us through the night like late-night munchies, wine, etc. It rained like crazy and were completely drenched by the time we returned to our room, despite an umbrella.

If you're planning to stay here, you need to know a few things. There is no TV (which is okay), no mosquitoes repellents, no electric geyser (they rely on solar ones which is of no use when its cloudy) and no phone in the room. 

Because of the lack of phone in the room, we had to walk all the way to their kitchen to place our food order. And yeah, they don’t have a concept of quick room service. But then again, impatience comes very naturally to us Bombaywallahs. 

We paid Rs 1200 a day for our room. According to the owner, the rate doubles during peak season.

Day 2: South Goa 
This was when the actual fun began. We reached Baywatch Resort is a beautiful 3-star property on Serenabatim beach in South Goa. This too was right on the beach and due to off-season our room (sea-facing) was priced at Rs 2,400 per day. 

The service at the resort is great. But like most beach properties, this one too is far from the main market. Fortunately, the resort has live performances in the evening at their resto-bar.
Baywatch Resort
Most casinos are in North Goa but there's one in South at Zuri White Sands, Goa Resort & Casino. It charges Rs 1,000 per head as cover and includes unlimited food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). They even give you tokens for roulette. 

But the casino is quite sad in terms of upkeep and the crowd. Most of them looked like serious gamblers. We played a bit of roulette and tried our luck at slot machines - most of them were not even working. But just as I was regretting our decision to come here, I won a jackpot which was 50 times the bet. So we cashed out and left because we knew it wasn't going to get better than this.
Our room at Baywatch Resort
We took our rented Activa (rented at Rs 400 per day) and went to Colva market to do a bit of shopping. We got back in time for another live performance at our hotel.

On our last afternoon in Goa, just before leaving for the station, we lunched at Martin’s Corner for old times’ sake and we couldn't leave without eating here. Although we both are vegetarians. But I've heard their crabs are to die for. 
A live performance at the hotel
And just like that, three days went by in a flash. Thankfully, our return journey on the evening train was better than our onward journey even though we couldn't really see the Konkan route. Sometimes an old woman who keeps to herself is all one needs to enjoy a train journey.

************************************************************************************************************

Chhavi Dang
made a dent in the exciting world of journalism with stints at The Economic Times and then CNBC Awaaz where she met her husband. 

She loves her wine and her space. If you wish to invade it or need a top-line PR consultant, you can contact her at chhavi.dang@gmail.com. 






1 comment:

Bhavesh Bangdiwala said...

Goa is spectacular during monsoons…i won't forget my first bike riding experience in Goa…i was shitting bricks…but i had the best time riding a scooty between Calangute and Bagha. For me it was all about braving the harsh rain and getting out there with my camera and it's only saving grace was an umbrella, which failed most of the times. But the thrill of taking pictures of Goan Monsoon was just awesome !