Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Great Goan Escape Ends - Day 6

I get up early this time and decide to explore the place on foot. I walk through Calangute and Baga route. Ate at this English breakfast joint that served nice toasts and eggs at "over the roof" prices. Considering my expertise with eggs, I thought about opening my own bread and egg joint here and try becoming a millionaire ;)

I keep walking for another hour till I get hungry again. So then I stop at Subway and have a delicious 6 inch tuna sub. I got replenished and then met up with Ray and Kates at cafe Coffee day. We decide to camp at Baga beach again. Some more friends join us there and we get ourselves a shack of chairs and umbrellas. We have some good food and just lazed on our chairs. Ray went jet skiing and Kates pulled his disappearing act again!

Finally it was time to call it a trip! Ray dropped me at the bus stand and I got a bus to Panjim. Then to my utter dismay, I found that I had been put on the last row of a rickety flat bus. I pleaded with the conductor to give me another seat but he refused saying other seats were for families!! This was ridiculous but had to bite my teeth and hope for the best :( Ultimately, it was a "highway to hell" ride all the way back to Pune! I was riding a camel which had a cryogenic rocket attached to it posterior. What an end to the trip!!!

Overall it was an adventurous and awesome trip! I got a nice tan and some fresh air onto my lungs. Apart from the entertainment, I also got to learn a bit of Konkani and history/culture of Goa. Keep Goa on your cards next time you think of a wholesome trip!!

The Great Goan Escape - Day 5

Day 5 was gonna be one of the most tiresome of days. We guys decided to get some bikes to travel around. Called up this guy I had met a couple of days back and drove to his garage. He had an assortment of bikes ranging from enfields to activas. We decided on an enfield 350cc. The bike had amazing power and made a sweeet sound! But unfortunately, its cluch plate was not good and it gave jerks at high speeds. So we returned it and compromised for a Yamaha Rx135.

Then did we zoom all over the place. We kept riding and riding like there was nothing more fun to do :) It was Ray and me on the bike and we took turns. Ray is a good rider and taught me some neat biking tricks like front wheeling! We also talked about back wheeling but you need a great bike and amazing brakes for that. Plan to try them on my honda sometime.

We met up with Ray's relatives and then had food at Dominos pizza. This is my favorite pizza joint and the last time I was there was back in uncle sam's land!! Then we headed towards South Anjuna beach. Boy, was there a crowd there! We found out that today was the famous wednesday flea market and there was hordes of people and traffic jams. We somehow made it to Ray's friends place there and then walked through the market. It was a makeshift setup and found some interesting things. After a while we met up with Kates at Anjuna beach. This kates bugger always pulls a disappearing act. We see him a moment and the next moment hez gone somewhere. We guys then decide to ditch him and bike of to meet more of Ray's relatives. I had dinner at the hotel they were staying and helped myself to 3 helpings of an amazing honey nut ice cream from Baskin@31 Robbins.

I decided to call it a day again while my friends decided to club, this time at club cabana, the disc on a hill with a lighthouse!

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Great Goan Escape - Day 4

I woke up at around 9 AM as I had to checkout of this temporary accomodation by 10 AM. Got myself a cold quick shower and a shave. Then of I went towards Baga beach with a bag and my broad straw hat protecting me from the scorching sun. This time I was alone waiting for my engg friends to arrive in the evening. Time was moving at a snails pace :(

On my way to the beach, I stopped at a browsing center just to kill time. I managed to stay there for an hour blogging one of my earlier posts. Then at the beach I got a laid back chair and an umbrella to rest. I got lucky too and had some company speaking to this firangi babe, atleast till her boyfriend arrived ;) Had a dip in the sea and took some panoramic photos and videos. I was too lazy to go to the restaurant and so ordered food to be brought to my chair.

After a while, I went back to the Internet cafe and killed some more time. Finally, my friends landed in Goa from Hyd and asked me to come to their hotel. I then met up with my engg buddies Ray and Kates. Ray had come with his family and friends. We guys then walked along baga beach enjoying the dusk and the cool breeze. I moved to Rays place and spent the nite there while all others partied at club Titos. I just wanted to sleep peacefully and was not interested in clubbing anymore!

The Great Goan Escape - Day 3

Another bright sunny day and we decide to go to Anjuna beach. The South part of it is most secluded and we reach there after asking a 100 people directions and following some firangis who were on bikes. Biking is a very popular means of transport as the roads are extremely narrow. But do people drive crazy and fast there! We saw a Maruti omni do a 180 flip into a stream just in front of us. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt as the van was perched between two boulders and did not fall into the bed.

So the beach was colourful and calm. We debated if we wanted to play some sport there. The gals who were with us wanted to go to Baga, the more crowded beach and so of we went. While at Anjuna, I couldnot resist buying a drum. Ive decided to learn some tap tap beats that I can showcase next time ;)

At baga, me and pk went and purchased a volleyball while others were at the beach. My muscles were so flexed and tired that I got myself a nice massage done. It was so very relaxing and rejuvenating. By the time we were all done, we had to get a shower. My friends were all leaving back to Pune while I decided to stay back to meet up with my engg. friends. Its been long since I saw them and we really wanted to catch up. We all had a shower in a open area with a pipe. It was comical as the guy owning it did not want us to use any water than was required. So he was watching us shower and kept controlling the water flow. It was chaotic as there was soap all over us and water came according to his discretion!

We then had one of the finest candle light dinners by the beach. We were facing the sea with the high tide waves splashing meters away from us. I had a toast of seafood and the famous Goan pheni. There was some nice fireworks and tightrope walking just as we finished our dinner. I finally bid adieu to my office friends and found a place to stay with a Goan family as a paying guest.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Great Goan Escape - Day 2

Day 2 started of with us waking late again. This time we went shopping to the Calangute market. As Raj had put it we'd become true Page 3 celebs. We wake up late, do shopping till night and then party at the club till early morning. I would hate to do this every day or every week, but its fun to live it up once in a while. We went looking around for mementos and clothes. It was a long walk up and down the stretch of shops. While we returned to our starting point, we could not find our qualis. So of we went, me and pk, in search for it. Finally, much to my relief, I found it parked near some mela not too far from us.

A lot of us did not like the music that was played at Titos yesterday. So we decided to try La Calypso, a disc with the famous DJ Aqeel from Mumbai on the roll. We also found out that there would be some good hindi music. I was not all that excited after the tiresome two days but decided to give it a try. It was fun and everyone enjoyed it. The crowd was all desi considering the genre of music being played. I was kinda hungry, so slipped through the crowd to enjoy a stomach filling buffet :) Only when my stomach is happy, am I happy. After that, I was so full that I could move no more and so went to the park to sleep on a makeshift bed made of three chairs!

DJ Aqeel played some good new hindi remixes. He was involving the crowd well and kept talking through the songs. After he went DJ Piyush came and was boring. So we decided to call it a night and went to the hotel to have a peaceful well deserved sleep!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Great Goan Escape - Day 1

We reached Vagator, Goa and checked into our Hotel Palm Grove early at around 9 AM. We did have a temporary confusion trying to make the hotel owner understand how long we had booked to stay.The middle-man quack we had contacted in Pune had been playing games with us. But all was sorted and we got 2 rooms for the guys n gals. Then did we sleep like a log till early afternoon. We were dead tired from the journey.

We then went to Baga beach, the most crowded and happening beach in North Goa. This place and all the other fun spots had been the capital of Goa during the Portugese rule till 1961 after which Panjim became the center of Indian Goa. So of we went swimming in the Arabian sea and banana boat riding. Later at night we went to the best trance/techno disc in goa called Titos. We partied till late 4 am. The music was not of my type nor my friends but the crowd was amazing. I did have a good time there with the highlight being a fire dance by a Czech couple.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Great Goan Escape - Takeoff

Goa has always been in my mind as a "must do" holiday. So when we got a week long holiday for Xmas and New Year, this was it! My office colleagues planned a 3 day trip till the day after Xmas while my engineering friends a 5 day trip till New Year. Fortunately for me, they were two disparate sets. I just had to spent a nite by myself.

So of we went, the seven of us, on a qualis. The ride was bumpy initially a precursor to what was to come. We went on as to how the Pune-Bangalore highway should be good and top priority for development. Then voila, the toll booths appeared and the road got real smooth. The downside was that the booths appeared every 45 mins and they did shell quite some money out of us.
We stopped for dinner at a roadside dhaba and had some of the worst cooked chicken and mutton. On top of all he took 1.5 hrs to just prepare them. Talk about time to cook burned food and how they would have tasted better! Ofcourse my stomach agreed with me a 100 percent on the quality of food I ate. The road conspired too and became circular and windy. After a lot of restrain I had to stop the qualis to try puke out the crap I ate. But for my friend's saunf, I would have turned back and spared you the pain of reading my blog.