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Old 8th September 2011, 16:13   #16
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Where was this?


Who in the heaven's name wears a Red Shorts. I haven't seen James Bond ever in anything similar
In Goa anything goes, u can also pass off wearing a hawaii shirt & towel

@ Lucifer: Really nice pics, i was particularly interested in the place that you found. For 300 bucks a night its a steal in a place like goa. The last time we stayed in Sonesta Inn right next to the beach but it was on the expensive side.
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Old 8th September 2011, 17:33   #17
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

Day 3 is usually the best day on a vacation. Don't know why but there is something about the number 3. May be you are suitably refreshed and the tiredness of a long vacation has not come into play yet. On our third day, even the Gods were kind. The overnight rain had stopped .

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View from our holiday home balcony.

Our first stop was Fort Aguada. This is quite possibly the most overrated place to visit in Goa. No, actually. Tito's gets that award, but my rant on Tito's shall have to wait. Anyway. About the Fort. Don't get me wrong. It is a nice structure and if you are a first timer by all means go there. Join the hordes of tourists who descend upon the fort. There is a lighthouse nearby which you can climb if the lighthouse incharge permits you to do so. But that is about it. There are better things to do in Goa. And this log shall share some of them with you .

A brief history lesson. This fort was built to serve as a watering station for ships. Aguada in Portuguese means water.

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A view of the sea from Fort Aguada.

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Fort Aguada: A few random pics.

Sinquerim is a beach close to Aguada. It has a small fort-like structure too. This place I loved. There were not many people. And the view out to sea is better. If you stand on the fort you get sprayed in a jet of sea water. Not particularly good if you have a DSLR. But great fun if you keep that DSLR in the bag and just let yourself go.

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Sinquerim.

From Sinquerim, we went to Anjuna. I had been to Anjuna in a past life. I somehow prefer the Anjuna of today. It has more people yes. But it is a more fun place to shop and eat. You may not get a cup of tea here but you will get everything else.

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Anjuna Beach.

Post Anjuna it started raining. When it rains any guy with a DSLR will tell you that the camera simply becomes excess baggage. We went to Vagator where we finally found some tea. No pictures to show for it. We went to Arambol for the heck of it. This is what happened.

Every beach in Goa has a designated parking area. Or so I thought. Arambol does not. I kept driving through a very narrow road with vehicles parked haphazardly and houses / shops on both sides thinking there will be a parking at the end of it. The road came to a dead end. Well, technically not a dead end since there was the beach at the end of it. Now, I have taken the Bolero to the beach. The beach is its natural territory. But an idiot had parked his Swift right at the end of the road.

He blocked entry to the beach. And the road was not wide enough to do a 36-point turn, leave alone a 3-point turn. Had to back out about half a km using only the ORVMs as a guide. The rear window of the Bolero had become completely opaque, as it happens every time it drizzles just a little bit.

We came back to Vagator because Srishti wanted to have dinner at The Mango Tree. This place is highly recommended. Good food, great ambiance at very affordable prices. F&B for wife and I got rounded off in less than Rs. 600. And we had ordered sizzlers and our usual dose of two rounds of beverages.

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The Mango Tree. Please climb this one.

Day 3 ended. Day 4 had adventures in store. We went to Dudhsagar. And what a mad drive / ride / trek that was. Coming up in the next installment. It is a big one.

To be continued.

Last edited by lucifer1881 : 8th September 2011 at 17:38.
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Old 8th September 2011, 18:04   #18
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

Rohit, I agree 100% with you on your assessment of Aguada and Tito's!

However, take your DSLR out in the rains. You'll be surprised. I walked around in the middle of a cloud on top of Nandi Hills in October 2006, and while the weather and dew chilled us to our cores, my D70 with a full coat of dew on every available mm^2 of its body performed flawlessly and also rewarded me with one of the best pictures in my collection ever! The only complaint was that the batteries were dying out frequently in that insane cold. I had to remove the batteries, rub them hard, keep them in some inner pocket for some time, then shoot (rinse, repeat).

I love the humour in your writing. Please keep it coming!

Regards,
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Old 8th September 2011, 18:18   #19
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

Hey Rohit,

Nice TL and beautiful pictures of falls in Amboli. Do you have more of it?

One of my fond memories is our monsoon trip to Goa in 2008 and drive through Amboli under the canopy of water falls. It was just lovely.

Keep it coming!
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Old 8th September 2011, 18:22   #20
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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However, take your DSLR out in the rains. You'll be surprised. I walked around in the middle of a cloud on top of Nandi Hills in October 2006, and while the weather and dew chilled us to our cores, my D70 with a full coat of dew on every available mm^2 of its body performed flawlessly and also rewarded me with one of the best pictures in my collection ever!
Spadix, why dont you post them here? Or should we start a thread on Monsoon pictures which would be come a beautiful thread in itself!!
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Old 9th September 2011, 12:04   #21
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

Ah Day 4. It turned out to be the mother of all days.

It started off normally enough. Slight rain hung in the air. For breakfast we decided to have sandwiches at Cafe Coffee Day. They tasted like sandwiches at any other Cafe Coffee Day. And then began the 80 km drive to Dudhsagar Falls.

The route: From Candolim, get on NH 17 towards Margao. Cross the Indian Oil filling station on your left. At the next intersection, get on NH 4A towards Ponda / Belgaum. Continue on this road till Mollem. At Mollem, take the right to go to Kollem. This is as far as your car can go if it is the monsoon season. There is a jeepable road but the rivers are flooded during rains and it is closed.

You have two options.
  1. Get on the railway track and trek 14 km to Dudhsagar.
  2. Pay Rs. 500 and a man on a motorcycle will take you on one of the most exciting rides of your life.
We chose option 2.

The moment I sat on the bike the heavens opened. The motorcycle pilot was kind enough to offer me a raincoat. My wife wanted to enjoy the rains and decided not to use any rain protection. This is how it panned out.

Our two motorcyclists got on the railway track. They first got on a disused portion of the track. This stretch was made to divert trains safely in case of a brake fail. Then they got on a pathway off the main track. The pathway was barely as wide as the width of their tyres. This was okay too.

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On our way to Dudhsagar.
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Who knew a bike could be ridden here?

At some point, they got off the pathway and on to the main track itself. This was scary. The rail line is not a particularly busy one. But if a train were to arrive there was no escape route. Fortunately, they rode this for only a small stretch after which they got on the jeep road.

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The jeep road.


For a while it was all normal. Well, at least as normal as it could seem under the circumstances. Until we came to a river crossing. The river was knee deep. We got off the bike and waded across. The guys dragged their bikes across the river and we were off again.

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River crossing.

Finally the bikers stopped. One of them went out to check the shortcut which involved crossing a river. This river was a raging torrent of water. There was no choice but to take the long way. This involved trekking long the railway track on foot for 4 km.

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The trek along the railway track.

I have never walked in the rain for this long. This was an experience. At the end of what seemed like an eternity, we finally found the famous falls.

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This is what we came all the way to see.

Dudhsagar literally means an ocean of milk. One only has to take one look at it to understand why it is so named.

We took a few pictures using our back-up P&S. I always carry a P&S. It is handy. And it is probably the only camera you can use during non-stop rains. I know spadix has used his DSLR when walking through a cloud. I am not that brave. Yet .

On the walk back, one of our motorcyclists asked me to stop. He quickly bent down to flick something off my foot. It was a leach. Luckily it had not attached itself. With slight effort, it was off. Phew, that was close.

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This is where the leach almost attached itself.

Remember that knee-deep river we waded through? When we got back, this river had swollen to waist-high. Formed human chain and crossed it. This was a day of many firsts.

After we got back to the place we had parked the car we were wet. We were hungry. There is no place nearby to change into dry clothes. So off we went into the jungle. And changed into another set of clothes inside the Bolero. This was a first time for me. Never knew pulling on a pair of jeans would be this hard in a confined space.

We found a small eatery in Kollem. The best meal I ever had in Goa. Goan fish curry and rice, special veg thali, and roast fish. Delicious. And what was the bill? Rs. 175. For all that! It is almost worth spending 6-7 litres of fuel to drive down to Kollem simply to eat.

We got back to our apartment and crashed for an hour or two. The break did us good. We found a nice place called Jazz Corner in Candolim. It is very close to Fab India, and bang opposite the big supermarket. Don't be fooled by the name. They do not play Jazz music there. But they do serve crabs. And they cook it extremely well. I was thrilled to find crab in this season in Goa as it is.

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A plate of delicious crab. All this for Rs. 350 only.

A very nice end to Day 4 . What to look for in Day 5? Old Goa and Panjim. And a quaint little secret that Candolim beach hides.

To be continued.
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Old 9th September 2011, 14:39   #22
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Spadix, why dont you post them here? Or should we start a thread on Monsoon pictures which would be come a beautiful thread in itself!!
Thanks, Fauji, but I wouldn't want to pollute/hijack Rohit's excellent thread. I'll be happy to put that picture up on the monsoon pictures special.

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Ah Day 4. It turned out to be the mother of all days.
I don't think we would have *ever* done something quite like your Day 4 had we known what was in store for us! People put us off Dudhsagar saying it's hard to visit on a motorized vehicle and believe you me, you wouldn't want to go trekking in the heat and humidity of April!

A nice and gripping account - esp. the motorcycle and wading through water bits. The sight of the waterfall is worth all the effort, I'm sure.

In time, your thread will become a reference for anyone who wants to do something different in Goa, I'm sure.

Regards,
spadix

PS: I invite you to a jeans changeover trial in something like the Civic.
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Old 9th September 2011, 14:49   #23
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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I don't think we would have *ever* done something quite like your Day 4 had we known what was in store for us!
+1,
exactly my words.

@lucifer,
it is always good when things go well but.......we should consider this ''but'' also while doing such adventures.

Looking forward to Tito's experience.
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Old 9th September 2011, 15:05   #24
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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I don't think we would have *ever* done something quite like your Day 4 had we known what was in store for us! People put us off Dudhsagar saying it's hard to visit on a motorized vehicle and believe you me, you wouldn't want to go trekking in the heat and humidity of April!
Ah, but in April the Jeep road is open. No trekking needed at all.

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PS: I invite you to a jeans changeover trial in something like the Civic.
This made me burst out laughing at my desk in office. Everyone around is now convinced I am a lunatic.

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Looking forward to Tito's experience.
Not sure you will look forward to having such an experience yourself.
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Old 9th September 2011, 15:24   #25
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Not sure you will look forward to having such an experience yourself.
haha,
now i am anxious to read the post about Tito's.
Last July, i was in Goa, could not visit Tito's,
i will be in Goa coming Nov and am dreaming to visit this hyped Tito's ,
should i stop dreaming?

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Old 9th September 2011, 16:09   #26
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Ah, but in April the Jeep road is open. No trekking needed at all.
The only low-flying fly in the humid ointment was that I had not a manly jeep but a finicky queen who, if she can help it, doesn't quite like getting her feet dirty!

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Not sure you will look forward to having such an experience yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
haha,
now i am anxious to read the post about Tito's.
Last July, i was in Goa, could not visit Tito's,
i will be in Goa coming Nov and am dreaming to visit this hyped Tito's ,
should i stop dreaming?
On a serious note, Ashish bhai, please avoid Tito's like the plague. My personal experience has been *bad*. During my first visit to Goa, I enjoyed hanging out at Mambo's when they first opened. In particular I liked their Greek food counter. So when we visited in April I went there once again and as expected, was shooed away by the Mambo's bouncers for being too early. In any case I couldn't see the Greek counter so instead of waiting for entry time, we went to Tito's instead.

The waiter brought us chicken soup when we asked for veg. and was absolutely adamant that he brought the right order, and steadfastly refused to replace it.

The main course was somewhat OK but for the price, I could have had a few days' worth of meals in the awesome Punjabi outlet next to where I was staying.

Regards,
spadix
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Old 9th September 2011, 19:42   #27
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

Now, I have been to Goa around a dozen times, and I thought I had done it all too. But boy, was I wrong!

Your Dudhsagar ordeal is commendable, and with your wife agreeing to your adventures - Wow is the word. This travelogue alone has inspired me to plan yet another drive to Goa! Did you, at any moment, feel like giving up on that motorcycle ride?

We went to Dudhsagar in the month of September (2008), and had to trek around 6 kms (from until where the jeep took us). I can vouch for the fact that it is one of the most picturesque falls across the country, though titght not be the mightiest.

I haven't had much experience with Tito's food, but I do love the food and the ambience at Britto's. It is definitely towards the expensive side, but almost worth it.

I look forward to the remainder of your travelogue with curiosity and excitement!

Last edited by mathranik : 9th September 2011 at 19:48.
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Old 9th September 2011, 21:49   #28
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Our first stop was Fort Aguada. This is quite possibly the most overrated place to visit in Goa.
Not that glamorous maybe for the hordes of tourists that come to Goa. But it is quite a significant one. As per some reports (not that I can verify them). It is the oldest fort in Asia. Other unique bit is that it has a natural fresh water spring that was used to replenish the water tank. The water from which was used by passing ships to replenish their supply of drinking water.

Oh and the Portuguese build it. And they came a good 200 years before the guys from Britain made it here.

Everyone knows why it is called Aguada but why it became Aguada is very interesting. Now try and find out how they transported the water from the tank to the ships.

The central tank which is now locked used to be open earlier. We have actually spend nights inside it. Before tourism got it locked.

Next time you go there. Try and imagine the ships marooned out at sea and sailors carrying huge casks of precious water to their ships.
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Old 9th September 2011, 22:30   #29
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

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Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
haha,
now i am anxious to read the post about Tito's.
Last July, i was in Goa, could not visit Tito's,
i will be in Goa coming Nov and am dreaming to visit this hyped Tito's ,
should i stop dreaming?
Ashish Bhau if you are with your friends and in fun mood then visit Tito's (Might enjoy a bit )

If you are with your family then it is a strict no no...
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Old 9th September 2011, 23:07   #30
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Default Re: Goa; been there, done that

What an adventure to reach Dudhsagar!! It is worth every effort. I loved those train journeys from Castle rock to Madgoan passing through Dudhsagar when i was posted there for an year - sometime faujis get lucky too.

Your comments on Aguada is spot on. Instead the Chapora fort between Vagator and Arambol - remember Dil Chahta hai - is better and has beautiful views of sea. We stayed in Fort Tiracol once. A small boutique hotel perched on a cliff overlooking the sea and the view from balcony of our room was awesome.

The approach to Arambol is crazy and you are really lucky to get away quickly. It is better to park before those narrow alleys and walk to the beach which is lovely.

I loved the picture of train spllitting through the green canopy.

Did you also go to South Goa?
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