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Goa ... Mesmerising Goa

Panaji, India

Goa!! so many words that can be used to describe it .. but none of them will be as beautiful as goa really was. Iv never been there before, even tho i just live 12 road-hrs away. and it happened so so suddenly!!

it just happened that anand was gonna b in goa on a weekend ... and my family has been going through a specially hard time recently and i thot of askin my mom to come along with me for a vacation to goa and she agreed !!! so there i was vacationing wit my mom and boy friend.. wat an european thot na?

the trip there was terrible, we had sleeper seats on the bus which didnt allow us to even sit up ... and thats how we spent 16 looooooong hours. but then we reached goa finally and i caught a view of the sea... we reached hotel delmon where anand was and freshened up and went in search of a new hotel ...why? cos delmon was in the heart of the city and all we cud see was lots of cashew and wine shops...

after a lot of searching and examining, we finally settled on hotel swimsea ... which had a beautiful view and was affordable too!! then came another round of searching ... this time for a place to eat... cos it was 3.30 and all goan restaurants close at 3 there!! so here we were in panjim - the seafood and malwan food capital and u know where we ate? Delhi Darbar!! we made sure this mistake was not repeated again however ... we feasted on amazing seafood every time after that!!

then we headed on to the following beaches: vagator - where we stood on the rocks and felt the waves on us !!

Anjuna - where bargaining is an art

calangute - which is horribly crowded and completely beautiful... it also has a janpath-like shopping stretch there!! after this we went to a hanuman mandir and then headed home.

A fresh sea food dinner later... we ended our first day here...

the second day we headed on to the chapel of francis xavier (where his body is) and saw the cathedral next to it too ... beautiful old churches .. wish someone wud restore them!! then we headed on to the next religious destinations namely the mangeshi and shantadurga temples (astonishing the number of temples in a place so dominantly catholic).

Then came the only so-called disappointment of the trip cos when we reached the state-owned spice gardens which were closed cos of the rains. but it was all ok cos v got more time to spend over our next seafood oriented meal!!

and then we headed to "ancestral goa" where they hav recreated old goa and the way they used to live in portuguese times.. thats all good but they hav put these amazing robotic women as guides who rattle off recorded gems like "in earlier times there were no newspapers so there used to be a khabri who wud go from village to village telling latest news" but to be fair, they had tried to recreate it as authentically as they cud!!

then v got on a sea cruise which was also s'posed to have folk dances but mostly there were horribly unfit people dancing vulgarly to latest himesh yuckiya songs... but we stayed on the lower deck where there was no one .. just us and the sea !! and we got our feet wet in the rain that was splashing in from the sides ... it was sooo amazing!!

then we headed to colva beach and watched 2 goa ppl fishing for fishies which had been caught in the sea current an brought into the shallow pools made along the beach.

we ended off our second day in goa by going shoppin for i love goa tees and found a beautiful flower market right in the middle of a dense marketplace!! and retired back amazed by all the discoveries of this day..

the last day was just caught up with getting ready to get to the airport on time and i got a huge reality check wit mrs.scatty's fone call!! but all's well ... i went to goa didnt i?????

and now i have a dream ... a dream to go back to beautiful, green, romantic, unapologetic and truly content Goa.

permalink written by  ipshi on July 13, 2006 from Panaji, India
from the travel blog: My hop, skip, jump visit to Goa
tagged Temple, Beach, Goa and Church

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Long Time No Sea

Anjuna, India

We arrived in Delhi for the start of Divali, the festival of lights, breaklights in our case. The bus was the most comfortable that we've been on with air conditioning and without the gaggle of local raconteurs we normally tend to attract on our travels. This was lucky as the 5 mile traffic jam containing the thousands of other Diwaliers meant a leisurely approach to the city. Our introduction to the festival was not such a relaxed experience and for us mostly consisted of the disappointment of early closing times and being burnt by firecrackers thrown by the local youths! Fireworks were the order of the day and on top of the cows, potholes and rickshaws we spent most of our time ducking and weaving through the streets to get food before going back to the safety of our hotel bunker. However, we were only staying in delhi for a short time so after 2 days in tin hats we were on a bus escaping to the safety and sanctuary of the Himilayan Foothills.

Rishikesh is where the Beatles stayed in ye olde 1960's and wrote most of the White Album but anyone expecting any rock'n'roll style debauchery (not us...) would be greatly disappointed. There is no alcohol (or even meat!) for 11kms of winding mountain roads, making it a perfect place for yoga and other spiritual pursuits. Sadly, our spiritual experiences normally involve gin so this lead to earlier nights than usual...though no earlier mornings. Our planned 7:30am yoga session never had a chance but we did manage to get to the 4:30pm session each day, and even saw some improvement along the way. Our instructor Yogi Bear (again, names have been changed to protect the innocent) was certainly bendier than the average bear and wowed us daily with his flexibility, patience and tranquil tones (he loves his Om Chanting). We may have a long way to go before we can rival his skills, but it certainly left us with a goal to aim for. Too much of a good (for you) thing can be dangerous so after 10 days we're back on the road to return to Delhi and the real world.

With our chakras aligned and our karmas calmed we're back on the tourist track to see the Gandhi Smitri, a memorial museum dedicated to India's most famous all round good chap and situated at the spot where he was assasinated by India's 478th most famous nutjob. As ever our timing was immaculate and our visit coincided with a UN childrens journalist conferance (though they all seemed to be way older than us?) so most of the site was closed, but we did get to read a lot and saw Ghandi's spoon, specs and sandels, and of course see the actual spot where he died. We'd include a picture but unfortunately our camera followed his lead and packed in just before we got there.

After a few more days of wandering around soaking up the sights, sounds (but mostly smells) we're off again, to Udaipur, famous for it's Lake Palace which Bond fans will remember as the killer circus hotties' training camp from Octopussy. Luckily enough it's shown all over town on a nightly basis at 007pm so we're able to squeeze in some sightseeing before the movie. The City Palace (palaces are ten a penny round here) was huge, with hundreds of exhibits nearly all of which were dedicated to it's former resident Maharashtra Prabhat Singh...and his horse. He seemed a decent enough guy but we were more interested in the horse which seemed to have some identity issues. They also had a sculpture park and a horrific government museum which we couldn't take pictures of, probably because of the Pet Cemetary style taxidermy on display. With our laser pens at the ready we hopped in the Aston Martin to go and see the show. India used to be a much smaller place back when they were filming, according to Roger Moore the Taj Mahal, the Varanasi Ghats and the Lake Palace are all within autorickshaw distance of Delhi, or perhaps the research budget was blown on his cheesy lines, but we loved it anyway.

The owners of our guesthouse were some of the nicest people that we have met in India, which was a shame as we were only staying one night. They insisted on having tea and cake with us before we left, at least we think it was cake. It's the only way we could think to describe the moist, yellow blocks of vinegar flavoured material we were presented with. We managed to escape further culinary delights to catch our bus to Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, the biggest film industry in the world. They have made over 60,000 films here and the most amazing thing is that they have only had to use 7 storylines to do it. If you've never seen a Bollywood movie here's how they go. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, girl gets wooed, girls father gets annoyed, boy wins over father through defeat of bad sort, father relents, everyone gets married. Insert a few song and dance numbers along the way and you have yourself the next smash hit in India. Because of the film industry Mumbai is the home of India's beautiful people and has prices to match, we indulged ourselves in one of the slickest bars we have ever been (allowed) in. Perched on the top of one the many 5 star hotels along the beach, with the calming sound of it's toxic water lapping on the shore below, we milked our cocktails for all they were worth and ate as many of the free snacks as we could handle, before sloping off to our not so glamourous guest house. Mumbai is one of the most liberal and cosmopolitan places we have been to, there were even non-western girls drinking in the bars! But we haven't come here for city-slicking and soon we're heading south to Goa for a holiday from our holiday. We're writing to you now from a beachside bar with the sounds of the non-toxic but rather rocky waters below us, which will be our home for the next month (the beachside, not the bar...honest). More to come when we've got some sun...

permalink written by  BecnWill on December 4, 2007 from Anjuna, India
from the travel blog: The World By Knight
tagged Goa, Delhi, IdentityIssues, Prabhat, Udaipur and Rishikesh

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Arambol - Goa

Arambol, India


My trip from the hills of Arpora to the 1960s hippy beach of Arambol involved catching 2, yes 2!, local buses... it is quite delightful to be giggled at by local schoolgirls and have them rather stand than sit next to me on the bus on the basis of my skin colour.

My 2 buses, total cost 18 INR (roughly 30p), took roughly 90mins to get to Arambol, I rocked up to the beach at Midday in full backpackers gear and sweating like a bad boy. The beach was pretty much exactly what I was looking for, you know the idealic sandy beaches, the beach shacks serving ice cold lager and huts just off the beach to stay in.

I managed to barter my way into a beach hut just at the north end of the beach away from most of the bars, 400 INR which isnt too bad! The room is as basic you would think, a box hut with a shared toilet/shower facility. I went for a climb on the hills/cliff that overlook the beach and took some wonderful shots of the beach.

Arambol is a fairly quiet sort of stop, the vibe seems to be lots of Russians, old hippys and lots of people doing Yoga... not quite the Brit party scene that I was hoping to maybe encounter along the way. There is a lovely night market that meanders up the main street but its actually quite tricky to shop on your Jack Jones as you just get hassled by every single shop keep.. I have taken to listening to my i-pod whilst strolling through the market, which I'm sure isn't in keeping with the spirit of things.

The plan is to leave Arambol on Monday and make my way to Vagator beach which I am reliabily informed is a bit more Brit pack, there is also the famous Flee Market in Anjuna on Wednesday pm, so I shall look forward to the opportunity to be flogged lots of bracelets and tat that I really could do without, but they say you haven't travelled until you return with some iffy looking bracelets, necklaces... looking at Dad + Mun specificially :)

I will rendevous with you all soon!


permalink written by  Michael Russell on January 17, 2009 from Arambol, India
from the travel blog: Escape from Blighty
tagged Goa and Arambol

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Little Vagator - Goa

Anjuna, India


I'm currently holed up in a quiet town just south of my previous abode in Arambol, its travelling population is made up primarily of Israelis and Russians ... so well chosen by me. Luckily the customary jokers and merkers are still here so it still feels like an authentic Goan experience.

No much to add on the town except that the beach isn't as nice as Arambol and seems to be slightly more expensive food/drink wise, although there are some lovely bars to watch sunset at... I popped down to the beach on Monday for a quiet day reading the Kite Runner (very highly recommended) but was confronted with a beach full of Indians as it was their national holiday, a few good games of cricket ensued with the Indians taking a no holds barred approach.

Today I went to the famous Anjuna flee market where lots of 'wily' vendors attempt to sell you rugs, t-shirts, jewellery, smoking pipes and all the usual sort gunk that you desperately need. Bizarrely there are lots of Nepalese trying to flog winter clothing in 35C heat.

My future plans are a sleeper bus to Hampi 2mro to visit some ruins of some sort and then onwards to Bangalore and Mysore, this should keep me busy for the next 2 weeks.

And finally... Monsieur - not sure if you can subscribe but you can add the page to your feed on Igoogle.. if you don't have a feed already then I recommend that you start one up!

Hope everyone is well

permalink written by  Michael Russell on January 28, 2009 from Anjuna, India
from the travel blog: Escape from Blighty
tagged Beach, Goa and LittleVagator

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full moon party

Goa, India

I went to this party in goa and it was so great. I did not that it was going to be a full moon in the night before it started getting dark. the atmosphere was so great. the music was so lovely and the party was amazing. the energy was overwhelming.

permalink written by  madmmd on November 29, 2011 from Goa, India
from the travel blog: Goa trance party
tagged Goa, GoaParty, GoaTrance and GoaTranceParty

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