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Old 27th September 2011, 16:29   #1
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Default Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

You would say whatís so new in a Goa TL? Well, there were a couple of firsts that were to happen on this trip.

1. The trip was to be done in another car.
2. This was the 1st time I did Goa in the monsoons.
3. This was the 1st time my friends Cruze got to stretch its legs (so to speak).
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So, it all started with the onset of monsoons. The greenery was just so inspiring, that a trip had to be done. What better weekend than the 15th August long weekend, and what better destination than a land, thatís 365 days on a holiday? This time, we decided to take 2 days off with the weekend in between. So, it was decided. Leave on the 12th morning. Stay in Goa till the 15th and leave back for Pune on the 16th.
As we always do, we decided to check for self serviced apartments/bungalows. We simply do not like checking into a hotel and doing things on their time. On a holiday, I do not like being told to have my breakfast between 7:30 to 9:00. I would do it when I feel like. So, the service apartment was a better option.
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While searching for one, a few things that I came across that appalled me:
1. Rates for Indians are on the higher side.
2. To book an apartment or bungalow, we had to make calls to the UK, US or Russia. I mean seriously! I am an Indian, wanting to go on a holiday in India. Why would I call US/UK?
3. The prices mentioned on the UK/US websites were 60% cheaper than what is quoted on their Indian counterpartís! Why?

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 1st October 2011 at 13:01.
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Old 27th September 2011, 17:19   #2
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

But, let’s get back to the nicer parts, shall we?

So, after finalizing a place for 60% of the price quoted on the Indian website (we booked through the UK website, paying in Pounds), we were all set to roll.

Come 12th, we left Pune around 5:30AM and just took things as they came. The plan was to reach Goa before nightfall. No real hurry, no set schedule. That’s what a holiday is all about, innit?
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First stop was to fill in our stomachs. What better stop than the McDonalds post Khed- Shivapur. After a sumptuous breakfast and a break of about an hour, we were back on the road. Surprisingly, we faced very little traffic till Kolhapur. Once there, the scene changed entirely. It was as if everyone and their uncle were on the NH4, playing kabaddi with us. After all the dodging under the belt, we reached bliss. That’s the NH4 on Karnataka side. Surprising how the road changes drastically. I mean, the entire GQ was built by a Central body right? Then why this step motherly treatment to Maharashtra?

Anyways, driving on the road from Nippani to the turn to Gadhinglaj (Amboli ghat) is a driver’s delight. The Cruze was dying to let go, and let go it did on that stretch. If ever there was a Cargasm, this was it . The road post that right turn onto Amboli ghat was the exact opposite. Pot holes ridden, but nothing that would stop you from going. The surroundings were so beautiful, that bad roads were not even on our mind.

Last edited by GTO : 11th October 2011 at 11:48. Reason: Please don't post about doing high speeds on public roads. Thanks
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Old 28th September 2011, 14:19   #3
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

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We had a brief stop in Amboli ghat to enjoy the weather. What a beauty it was! Fog all around, with slight rains. Enjoying that atmosphere with some piping hot tea and kanda bhaji are still the small pleasures in life that we all cherish. So, after that stop we decided to head to Sawantwadi for our lunch. Stopped at Sawantwadi for lunch, at a hotel we had lunch the last time. The fish (at that time) was so well made, that we had to be there again. Oh, what an anti-climax it turned out to be. The lunch was, umm, letís just say edible. Letís leave it at that.

So then, after the halt, we proceeded to join the NH17 again. The roads on both the side of the border are an example of how the Governments work. The road on Maharashtra side has been under construction for time immemorial. Itís still the same, probably even worse. But, cross the check-post into Goa, and the road condition improves drastically. Why such a stark contrast? The entire area receives equal amount of rainfall, equal amount of traffic movement. So why this contrast? But then, I am rambling again.

Reached Mapusa around 3:00PM, and made a call to our landlady as promised. The house was supposed to be ready by the time we reach Baga. The place we booked was by far, above all standards we had set. Very nicely built, with attention to the minutest detail. Every room (3 in total) was very tastefully done. The kitchen was a nice open plan one with the works in it. After initial settling in, with some hot tea (for me) and some cooler drinks for others, we decided to hit the pool. Ah, cool water in otherwise hot Goa was truly bliss. Has anyone noticed? Even if it is raining in Goa, the weather is generally hot and humid.

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After a refreshing swim, we decided to hit the Calangute Ė Baga stretch. Filled in our hungry stomachs at a lovely little restaurant called O'Pescador. Had the most amazing Crab mince with some fresh fish Goan style. The night was young, but we already had a long day, so decided against any more roaming and settled in for the night. Sitting cozily in the confines of a room with rains outside is a different feeling altogether.

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Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 1st October 2011 at 13:14.
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Old 28th September 2011, 15:12   #4
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

The next day saw a lazy start. We had decided on breakfast at Brittos (but of course) and then roam around till Arambol/ Anjuna. The breakfast actually turned into more of a brunch. But before that, what we needed were bikes! Calls were being made to all and sundry. The response was pretty sad. Being a long weekend, Goa was overbooked and so were the bikes. Frantic calls to whomsoever started and we finally got what we wanted. Well not so. We wanted 3 bikes. What we finally got was 2 bullets and an Activa! But then so be it. Nothing was going to dampen my spirit.

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Thats me, saying all the desserts are mine!

So, the bikes under our belt (umm, rather under our backside), and after a sumptuous brekky/lunch at Brittos we were all set to head out. But rain gods had something else in mind. The moment we stepped out, it started pouring cats, dogs and all other domestic animals. Time was being wasted, but then, who really cared. We did not have any fixed schedule. We decided to wait till the rains subsided. After the rains, driving on wet roads was just amazing! We werenít yet ready to soak ourselves in rains and ride a two wheeler. Itís been ages since I rode a bike, let alone in rains. Didnít want to be experimental.

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 1st October 2011 at 13:10.
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Old 28th September 2011, 16:44   #5
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So, once the rains subsided, we headed the Arambol way. Lovely twisties all the way, through small settlements. Cute little houses with horrendous colors. But then those colors did go with the overall feel that Goa has. Half way through, the ladies decided to have some fun. My wife in particular. Sheís always had this fascination towards bikes. So, when we had a small smoko-break, she decided to try and ride a bullet. The thought itself sent shivers down my spine. But ride she did, as if she was born on a bullet! Then sanity prevailed and the ladies took over the Activa. Me? Well I was content riding pillion with friends. Subodh actually mocked me and coerced me to ride the bullet for a while at least . ďYour wife rode a bullet. Be a man, take over and rideĒ. Well, so be it then (I am not really fond of two wheelers. Have a mental block, especially after riding them for 8 years that resulted in a bad lower back).

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Once we reached Arambol, we just whiled away time. What else does one do in Goa? Sat by a shack watching waves splashing. Serene beauty Goa has. After what seemed like 3 hours, we finally decided to head back to the apartment. On the way back, we saw the Go- Kart track. The last time we were there, they were shut. This time around, luck was on our side. Headed in, and paid the amount and filled the customary form that frees those guys of any liabilities. What a spirited race that was. Subodh and I got 5 rounds extra, since one amongst us decided not to race after paying the money. The fun lasts only for a while though. For our sizes, getting out of that kart was a task and a half! So, go-kart track conquered.

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Now, we decided to head back. After heading back, we hit the pool once again. All the stress of riding a bike and karting just vanished once the cool water of the pool hit us. We bummed around playing water polo and what notís till it was dark. Mosquitoís were the size of birds in and around the pool. Decided to head back inside, freshen up and go roaming again.

This time, we decided to head to Mamboís. Thanks to amazing traffic (that could put Hinjewadi traffic to shame), we decided to let go the plan and headed for a nice meal to Goa Marriott instead. That turned out to be a disaster in itself. Who shuts down eateries at 11 PM in Goa? Have you ever eaten not so tasty burgers worth Rs.600 odd? If not, try Marriott in Goa.

The drive though was peaceful. Yeah, we took the car. We didnít have helmets and didnít want to venture on the highway without them. In hindsight, that proved to be better. While returning back, saw Goa police stopping all bikers without helmets, and charging them a fine.

Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 1st October 2011 at 13:28.
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Old 28th September 2011, 17:22   #6
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The next day was spent whiling away time in Baga/Calangute. Little shopping (by us) and plenty by the ladies needed to be done. So, that day was dedicated to shopping. Whatever junk is sold is collected as valuable items for the household. Those items never even see the light of the day, once back. But, they need to be bought. How else do those poor vendors make money? Same goes for the Tibetian market on Baga road. Silver curios so bloody expensive, that they could feed the whole of Tibet from the money collected in that market in Goa. But, they need to be bought.

After feeding Tibet for a day at least, we decided to try footwear. Now, for all those unmarried folks out there Ė hereís a tip. Any amount of pairs of footwear isnít sufficient. There always would be a dress of some color (that color doesnít exist in our books!) that needs matching footwear. Well, so be it. Buy the bloody chappals. Now, after carrying a load that would put those coolies at the railway station to shame, we decided to have some dinner. Oh, yeah it was evening already! See, no lady in this world could ever be unlucky while shopping. If she says she didnít find what she wanted, that means there are around 5 bags of stuff already bought!

So, tonights dinner was at Souza Lobo. Now, who doesnít know Souza Lobo and their amazing food? Waiting period of 30 mins is a given. So, after waiting for that time with a few things down the throat, we sat for dinner. After an amazing dinner, we decided to walk a bit. Yeah, as if carrying those bags and walking all day wasnít sufficient! But the LoH wanted to walk. So we do. Now I know where Johnny Walker got the tagline from. His wife must have said Ė Keep Walking! .
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Last edited by Swanand Inamdar : 1st October 2011 at 13:37.
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Old 28th September 2011, 17:55   #7
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The next day, we had decided to go to South Goa. A place called Alila Diva. We had heard plenty of it, and did want to check out the place. Called them to check the deal for a day. So, apparently one day at Alila Diva sets you back close to 4000 per head (thatís without usage of the pool!) Bummer. We decided to hang around in North Goa itself.

Now, there are a few amongst us, who at the mention of a massage (the proper kind, not like the oneís they advertise in newspapers, Lol) start heading that way. One amongst them is me. So, we had heard of this place called Snip. Itís in between Calangute and Candolim. We made a call and booked an appointment for all of us. The massage turned out to be the highlight of the trip. Why? Sorry, for the risk of being killed, I wonít divulge that information! But in all seriousness, if you are the ďI need a massageĒ types, I highly recommend this place.

Since none of us had food before the massage (for obvious reasons) we were as hungry as the kids in Somalia. Pronto, moved towards Infantaria. Thatís one joint we discovered on this trip. What lovely food. The best part is, this place has its own bakery. So, after some lovely puffís and sandwiches and some lovely cool drinks we headed back to the apartment. Only when we reached the apartment, did we realize, this was the last night in Goa :(. Tomorrow, we all head back to the routine. You know the feeling, when you want to do a lot in a little span of time? Well, thatís exactly the kind of feeling we got that time. But then, we were all so tired that we decided against any activities and just went for a quiet subtle meal to, where else, but Brittos! Their, Chocolate Alpine Mousse is to die for, or even kill for.

Some random pics on the way back.
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Old 1st October 2011, 15:55   #8
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

Note from Support: Thread moved here from Assembly line. Thanks for sharing
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Old 2nd October 2011, 10:08   #9
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

@swanand,,
keep writing man,
beautiful narration.
pictures thhic-thhak hai.
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Old 4th October 2011, 11:05   #10
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AP, thanks mate. Well, I am as bad as a child with a camera in his hands! Need to take a few lessons from the masters in the house.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
AP, thanks mate. Well, I am as bad as a child with a camera in his hands! Need to take a few lessons from the masters in the house.
Thanks for sharing the Goa log as I was in the planning stage for a 2nd Goa visit in Nov. Really good pics, it does not matter whether you are a master or not, a pic always speaks a 1k words

Just wanted some clarification on the route that you opted to reach Baga, did you reach upto Belgaum and then took the SH 121 via Amboli & joined NH17 at Santawadi? How is the condition of this stretch of road and how long did it take.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:39   #12
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@Motomaverick: Firstly, thanks for the kind words.

The road we took was NH4 till Gadhinglaj. Then right onto Amboli ghat and down to Sawantwadi. The roads till Sawantwadi are nothing great, but at the same time, nothing that would make you stop. Post S'wadi, left onto NH17 and into Goa. I think its NH4A till Mapusa circle and then, head into the direction of Baga/Calangute.

The last time we had been to Goa, we took the Belgaum route. The road condition (at that time) wasnt that great, thanks to the heavy truck traffic in the ghat.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:49   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
Well, I am as bad as a child with a camera in his hands! Need to take a few lessons from the masters in the house.
Quote:
Originally Posted by motomaverick View Post
Really good pics, it does not matter whether you are a master or not, a pic always speaks a 1k words
@swanand,
pic will speak 1k words if you post the pics of Arambol beach.

I will be in Goa next month, will try my camera at the beaches.
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Old 4th October 2011, 12:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanand Inamdar View Post
@Motomaverick: Firstly, thanks for the kind words.

The road we took was NH4 till Gadhinglaj. Then right onto Amboli ghat and down to Sawantwadi. The roads till Sawantwadi are nothing great, but at the same time, nothing that would make you stop. Post S'wadi, left onto NH17 and into Goa. I think its NH4A till Mapusa circle and then, head into the direction of Baga/Calangute.

The last time we had been to Goa, we took the Belgaum route. The road condition (at that time) wasnt that great, thanks to the heavy truck traffic in the ghat.
Ok so you took a right at Sankeshwar on NH4 towards Gadhinglaj - Ghatkar - Amboli and down to Santawadi.

How long did it take for you to cover this distance of 70kms till Amboli? Did the Cruze scrape bottoms at any point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
@swanand,
pic will speak 1k words if you post the pics of Arambol beach.

I will be in Goa next month, will try my camera at the beaches.
Even I am in goa in Nov 1st week and I would be in Mandrem beach. Already the tripod is getting ready
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Old 4th October 2011, 13:26   #15
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Default Re: Go Goa - A Monsoon edition

Congrats Swanand, on posting the TL. This is the primary acheivement that I am glad you are done with

Finally I have something worthwhile to do this afternoon!

Great narration and now some of the FB pics get an explanation too
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