Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Fall trip to Goa & Gorkarna pt 1

30th- 2nd Nov

Been traveling way tooo much. i meant to publish the 3rd & last part of my Punjab & Himachal Pradesh trip but this was required less work.... hehe

My Goa & Gokarna trip was awesome. Short but had a blast every moment. My cousin had come over and we had a blast roaming around and getting seriously tanned. Note the color difference after 5 days..Even the mister could not help staring at the change..Check out my natural skin tone versa the new sun kissed tone. LOL

Since I had travelled numerous times once to Goa I took an overnight bus only to have it broken midpoint and delayed by over 4hrs while my cousin duitifully waited for me at the hotel. If things was not screwed ‘nuff, I got pickpocketed for the first time ever in India while on the local bus from Mapusa to Assagoa losing cash, cards & a gift card worth 5K (that was a bloody gift). Fuck la. CB too, but it was my silly stupidity that landed me in that situation. Btw just got msg today that the gift card was utilized today. Hope the bloody chor has STDs and may his hand have boils erupted all over and he scream in perceptual agony & nightmares.... ok maybe a bit sever but wtf. I miss my Da Milano card holder… royal blue in croc finish.. that was again a birthday gift. Damm. The gifts was more of a sentimental value than the money or plastic cards. Bhai tried consoling me but ardent statements of my foolish had him eventually agreeing with me. -__-‘’ well that got me shut up pretty quickly but I constantly had flashbacks of my da Milano. Which led to him agreeing to but me a wallets!! :DDD

We stayed in Assagoa in a what I had initially taught was a rented house but in reality was kinda of home-stay (without the food). It’s a traditionally house with Portuguese architecture influences owned by Shailas Dias in a quiet residential area.

Room photos courtesy Shailash. i thoroughly enjoyed staying here (in day time) but i must mentioned that i assumed all rooms had bathroom ensuite as advertised. Out of 4 rooms only two have bathroom attached which is not a big deal if you plan on taking up the entire place but if like us u are booking one- two room take care to specify exact details. Shailash was accommodating enough to change our rooms but since he is primarily based in Mumbai, you might not get so lucky. Book via TripAdvisor

some random shot of the room i stayed in..

He had come down to Goa to oversea some work on the house and that was really lucky for us as he gave some valuable and good suggestions on where all to check out- like Anand Bar & Restaurant for local goan food. It's is a non-discrete eatery on the side of the road on Assagoa.

while it might be no-frills on the décor the food- Goan Seafood dishes are really good. I chose to have the Fish thali while my bhai went for fried rice and prawn xucuti.

Still Goa is all about the beaches so off we went on a rented scooty (Rs250 per day) to Vagator (Big & small)  and a side trip to the picturesque Chapora Fort.

Linner was at Fishtail restaurant at Vagator and as expected I was not disappointed about being disappointed. Hummas platter was seriously palatable while the Pasta bolaeguise was heaven for the cheese lovers.

Then it was off to the hotel as I had too send off a couple of emails (yea I know. Working on vacation), before applying sunscreen and heading off to Baga beach for dinner at Brittos on round off the first day. I never really enjoyed Baga much as I tend to find it full of noisy domestic tourist who has little regards to common courtesy and to an extend on decency. However maybe because we reached towards the dusk it was enjoyable to just walk along the shores and catch up on all the juicy family gossips.

We continued our talks over drinks at Brittos a much recommended place full of dressed up folks. Love the veggie platter… yums

We had an early day… or rather return to the rooms as both of us were tired due to all the travelling. However since it was a different bed from our own, the two of us in our respective room laid awake thinking of non-human elements that might come out late in the night. So much so that I decided to watch Game of Thrones while bhai took a shower late in the night wondering if a strange pair of eyes might be watching him from above the partition. Lol. Yes the two of us are scared chickens even though we have lived in the villages before.

The next morning, it was off to see the Northern beaches of Goa since we were too late to see the sun rise. Went off to fishing point end of Morijim beach and saw hundreds of jelly fish who captivated my bro interest as it was a first for him. I guess the cold shores of UK & Europe does not drag up so many jelly fishes and a stray baby sting ray. #RIPSteveIrwin

 With just unmanned fishing boats and stray dogs it was a peaceful start to the morning.

There were a group of fisherman sorting out the daily catch and there was a snake-like fish/animal/reptile?? Anyone knows what that is?? The mister says it's a water snake... O_O'

And a dog who love fishes who caught in the act!!

Had a lovely breakfast at the Rainbow café in Morijim beach of Continential & English breakky. Very reasonable & delicious! Recommend to travel early in the morning to Morijim for a swim & b/f.

I love Morijim beach of all the beaches of Goa. Quiet, shallow & wide shores with a few shacks on the side and very few people. Saw a max of 20-30 people on a appx 2km beach!

Then behold, my bhai actually allowed me to ride the scooty almost all the way from Morijim Beach to Arambol beach. Well what one doesn’t know does not will not hurt.. (FYI I can ride a scooty just that I’m a newbie so it tends to kinda wobble and I’m slow on the horns, brakes & accelerator.) Heheh. Once I thought to ask the direction unfortunately I forgot to slow down and it kinda went… he…llooo! Aarraaa-bol …??-  Only to have the fruit seller looked as me perplexed with a WTF look as we whizzed pass and bhai laughing his head off behind me… hmmm…
Arambol alongside Ashvem beach is reportedly popularly with the Russians, Nigerians and those seeking a chemically induced high. The beach was ok… and yes did saw more hippy dressed firangis than in other places.

Went to the Church of Immaculate Conception & St. Peter (i think...) (there is too many to remember..)

Goa is full of churches...big ones, small ones... tiny ones that i think qualifies as chapels instead of churches and in all honesty we went to 2-3 churches but towards the end bhai was like... ok di, no more churches... lol, but then i guess compared to the European churches what Goa has might not seem as majestic... still as pretty though against the azure skies.
Also visited the renowed Mapusa Friday market which was as common as any market in any small towns.. i think the Ason Bazaar back home is more chaotic although if you are looking for Goan masalas (like xcuti & vindaloo) or pork sausages, it’s a good place in Goa as any to buy. I had bought a pack of saugage for the mister but he gave me a thumps down for my choice instead telling me that the dried open ones are better… well that’s what one gets for getting a taste of home. Humpf. It did turn out to be rather very salty as well.. blah… I should have just bought the dried fish instead which i really really wanted to buy but decided against.

We saw a lovely silver anklet for the bro-Gf but I found it suspicious when I was told that the silver rate for that day was Rs55 instead of Rs38.50 per gram, saying as much to cousin. Thus we decided to check out other jewelery stores But the only other store with a half decent piece quote a silver rate of Rs70!!! Never knew that even the local jewellery shop owners would knowingly rip us out rightly.. just FYI if any one wishes to buy silver/gold in India just check out the rates online. The norm is to add 10-20% of making charges, exclusive of gems- which have a separate cost. In the end we decided to go back to the first shop only to see it closed for the afternoon siesta, and the owner telling us to return post 4pm. Argh..

cuzzie did try out a cream roll after ages... lol... it's mostly me who keeps making him eat all the local stuffs... like cream rolls from a local bakery, pani puri/tea/chat pat from the streets.. lol touch wood till now while eating what some might consider unhygienic food, he has so far never suffered from the delhi belly..

Goa is also known for it’s cheap liquor so bought some. A requested bottle of Desmondji (100&% agave) local Cashew fenni & a bottle of Big Boss Cococnuy fenni and lastly No.7 port wine for myself. The men later feast on the wine & Desmondji (the mister's choice of drink).

On the second evening we headed off to Calangute and exited it within 10 mins.. Had gone their primarily for the water sports but unfortunately due to a recent tycoon warning, it was temporally banned. The masses of humanity screaming and general mayhem was too loud and had me asking “Do you wanna leave?” with an immediate affirmative reply. Lol Thankfully Condolim beach was waayy better… we sat down in one of the beaches and sipped on chilled beer as we people watched various couples taking selfies after selfies.. eventually taking some of our own selfies.. after all why not heh??

wtf... i look so fucking..fat. Nvrmd. -__-'

here slightly better..

On our last day in Goa we headed off to Bardem Sun set point… which was just a tiny hill overlooking the pier… compared to the Majestic Himalaya were we are from it was blah….. however the Church on the hilltop was really beautiful on a cool morning as echos of prayers and hymms reverberating all around.

We heard that bus tickets would be available from Mapusa to Kumta but that was not the case. While buses are available from Mapusa to Bangalore, they leave in the evening and not feasible for our needs as we need to reach Kumta mid-afternoon in order to reach our next destination_ Gorkarna by dusk. The only option was to head off to Panjim, a long ride way to book our tickets. Btw ticket counters open at 9.00am onwards.
Breakfast options at 8.30am in Panjim are dire. We found just one place- Navrata and got lucky. They serve decent fare with affordable rates. It does get crowded with the localities, enjoying their hot chocolate/chai sipping from their saucers and dipping Poee/Undo (Goan bread buns) into xacuti . We took the prata with mushroom xacuti, puri with mixed vegetable and a paper masalas dosa, washed down by cups of masalas tea…all for around rs350.

then it was time for more sightseeing. this time to Fort Aguada. Which was basically a water storage facility... blah....maybe it was considered important in the sea faring days..
but for me...this was the only freaking single pic where i looked chio..#random bit of self publicity lol

We headed back to Panjim to board the 2pm bus towards Ankola. Our lunch was a simple Nimboz, associated bondas... lol... what did i tell of me making my cuzzie eat all junk food... haha

The long ride from Panjim to Ankola was perfect for chit chatting & dozing off, tad slow as the driver must have been driving at a speed of 40-50kms/hr.

next post is Gokarna (again!!)

ps: the fabulous pictures was all taken by cuzzie bro & i shamelessly reposted it here.. he has his own blog.. should consider getting a better camera for myself.. nah i rather go shopping or traveling..