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Old 16th February 2009, 10:58   #16
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Default Coastal Karnataka and Goa in Swift D - 2000+kms in 9 days

Day 4 (3rd February, 2009) : Gokarna – Om Beach – Paradise beach by boat – Karwar – Palolem Beach - Panaji
Odometer Reading : 763KMS – 959KMS

Waking up late has now become a routine. When on a vacation its best to relax and wake up at your own sweet time. Both of us are ready by 10:30AM The hotel has a Vegetarian restaurant at the entrance where we have our not so good breakfast. But was better that what we had the previous morning at RNS restaurant. We leave the hotel and head towards Om beach. The road to Om beach twists and turns through the hills with the view of the ocean in the distance. Stop at some places at take snaps of Kudle Beach. To reach this beach once has to take a muddy road and then trek for 15 minutes.

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Towards Om Beach

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Fresh tarmac with lots of curves

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Kudle Beach in the distance

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Approaching the dead end at Om Beach. Notice the cute cottages of Namaste Guest House and the sea in the distance

Reach the dead end for Om Beach where we park the car and walk down to the beach. The beach got its name because it is shaped like the auspicious Om sign. Take a walk on the beach on bare foot. Then decide to hire a boat to visit Paradise beach and Half moon beach. Strike a deal with a boatman for Rs.200. Jump into the boat and it’s a nice feeling once in the sea. The waves rock the boat initially when leaving the beach but its fun. Go past Om Beach and the guy takes us close to Half moon Beach. It’s a smaller beach with a few shacks. Then after this comes the Paradise beach. Again a smaller beach with a couple of shacks. We get down at Paradise beach and spend about 20 minutes for drinks at the shack looking at the ocean. We finish our drink and leave. Get back to the boat and we are back at Om Beach by 1:00PM. Have lunch at Namaste Café. Again fresh sea food at very reasonable rates. Get back up the hill and head back into the town. Pack our bags and check out of the hotel by 3:30PM.

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View during the walk down to Om Beach

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Om Beach

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Our Boatsman getting ready to sail

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Om Beach viewed from the boat

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Half Moon Beach viewed from the boat

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Leaving Paradise Beach

Leave Gokarna town and rejoin NH 17 and head towards Karwar. The stretch from Gokarna to Karwar is in good condition for speed of 100 – 130KMPH. You will find some bad stretches near Ankola and broken tarmac occasionally all along. As you approach Karwar you go past Sea Bird, the largest Naval Base in South Asia. Find of couple of warships anchored. Don’t dare to stop here as there are gun touting guards guarding the property. There is a high boundary wall being built at this Naval Base to stop prying eyes.

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On the way out of Gokarna

Enter Karwar town and stop at Warship Museum after Rabindranath Tagore Beach. We decide to take a look at the Warship museum. The INS Chapal, a decommissioned warship has been converted into the museum. It was categorized as a Missile boat. They came under the OSA class missile boats. We were the only tourists at the Warship museum at this time. Pay the Entry tickets and first we are shown a 20 minute video about the role of these ships in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. How these ships played a major role in destroying the Karachi Port. After the video we walked inside the narrow passages inside the ship, climbed to the deck and looked at the guns. After spending about an hour here we leave Karwar and head towards Goa.

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Warship Museum at Karwar

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Massive Engines inside the ship

Cross the huge bridge over Kali River and stop after the bridge to take snaps of the Kali River joining the sea. Then continue the journey towards Goa. Surprisingly we were not stopped at the check post and continued into Goa. After about 50KMS from the KA-GA border is Palolem beach. Reach the beach by 6:00PM and watch the sunset at Palolem. Palolem is one of most beautiful southern beaches in Goa. Play in the sea for some time and have dinner at a Shack on the beach. Food is slightly expensive in Goa compared to the shacks I had at Om Beach. Leave Palolem by 8:30Pm and head towards Panaji.

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Bridge over River Kali

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Kali River joining the Arabian Sea

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Roads inside Goa

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Sunset at Palolem

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Sun almost set at Palolem

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Colorful beach shacks at Palolem

On the way stop at big IOC fuel station near Margao and fill up the tank with diesel (Rs.1050) Calculated the mileage and added the additional fuel I had filled up for Rs.500 at Gokarna. Getting a mileage of 19.72KMPL with 70% AC usage.

Enter Panaji City at 10:00PM and go straight to the hotel where the rooms have been booked. Check in by 10:30PM. Keep the luggage in the rooms and freshen up and then take a walk on the banks of river Mandovi looking at the lit up ferries and floating Casinos. Back in the hotel a little after midnight and doze off.

Continued....
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Old 16th February 2009, 11:16   #17
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Amazing write-up dreamdiesel and really great pictures.

You are lucky to have got the holidays in February. Awaiting the continuation!
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Old 16th February 2009, 11:25   #18
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Nice writeup again DD, Did you check the rooms / facilities in namaste cottages? What are their rates?

Ya, personally I liked Palolem beach a lot. Never stayed there though. Eager to see more.

Abhi
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Old 16th February 2009, 11:42   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamdiesel View Post
On the way exiting Udupi stop at Diana’s Ice cream parlor for the famous Gadbad Ice cream. I always make it a point never to miss Gadbad Ice cream at Diana’s when at Udupi. Gadbad ice cream is basically a hodgepodge of fruit, nuts, ice cream and jelly served in a tall glass. The ice cream they say first originated here at Diana’s in Udupi.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Whenever i visit Diana i order Channa Batora, Cutlet and Gudbud have been doing this for past 20+ years and i feel these thre are among the best you used to get there
I was a huge Diana Restaurant fan from 1975 until last few years when they hit rock bottom. I just stopped going there, despite the long tradition. Are you guys saying there has been a change? Are they getting better again?

PS: Very recently the owner of Diana expired, most of the local restaurants closed for half a day as mark of respect.

D A I J I W O R L D

Last edited by Samurai : 16th February 2009 at 11:45.
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Old 16th February 2009, 14:35   #20
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samurai, yes have felt the diffence in quality, When ever i visit Udupi i meanke sure i give a visit to Diana, once i ordered chapathi and some side dish i must say it was boring/bland!

the channa batora...gudbud....cutlet seems to be the options hwich are still worth orderig
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Old 17th February 2009, 03:03   #21
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Default Coastal Karnataka and Goa in Swift D - 2000+kms in 9 days

Day 5 (4th February, 2009) : Panaji – Aguada Fort – Sinquerim Beach – Candolim beach – Calangute Beach – Anjuna Beach - Panaji
Odometer Reading : 959KMS – 1045KMS

Wake up only by 9:00AM and get ready and leave the hotel by 11:00AM. Head towards the Municipal Park in Panaji near the Church Square for breakfast at Kamat. It’s the same chain famous in Bangalore. The weather is pretty warm in Goa already at this time of the year. After a heavy breakfast decide to head towards Aguada fort.

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Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church near the Municipal Park in Panaji

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Spotted this beauty anchored at River Mandovi

One of the best preserved Portuguese coastal forts. The fort can be reached by heading south past the Taj village towards Nerul. Park the car and head towards the fort. The walk in the very warm weather is tiring. Rest for sometime inside the cool confines near the gate inside the fort. Then go about talking a walk inside the fort and looking at the sea below the cliff where the fort is situated. The other unusual feature of the fort is the four story Portuguese lighthouse erected in mid 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. A New lighthouse outside the complex replaced the function of the original. The lighthouse is open to the public only in the evenings between 4:00 to 5:30PM. The View from the lighhouse is said to breathtaking. Superseded by a modern lighthouse only erected in 1976, it is used to house the colossal bell salvaged from the ruins of the monastery of St.Augustus in Old Goa which now hangs in Panaji's Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. As you walk along the wall of the fort the seas breeze is a welcome from the searing heat. Stay at the fort for about an hour and head towards Sinquerim beach which is about 2-3 KMS from here.

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Aguada Fort

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Aguada Fort

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View of the sea from the fort

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View on the way back from Aguada

Sinquerim beach is past the Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort. This beach is known for water sports as there are a couple of water sports companies operating from this beach. The beach is not very big and the entire place is occupied for water sports. One can also see the big ship which ran aground on a stormy night 8-9 years ago. Thought not to indulge in water sports here as this place is expensive when compared to water sports at Calangute or Baga. Then decide to hire a speed boat to take us past Aguada Fort and Aguada Jail till Coco Beach. This boat ride was fun with just 2 of us and another guy operating the onboard motor. Paid Rs.400 for a 20-30 minute boat ride. Also saw the huge mansion near Fort Aguada from the boat. After the stomach churning ride which we thoroughly enjoyed head back to out of Sinquerim beach by 2:00PM towards Candolim beach.

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View from Sinquerim Beach

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Sinquerim Beach

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Mean machine

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Picture perfect

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View of Sinquerim Beach from the speedboat

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View of Aguada Fort from the speedboat

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View of Aguada Jail from the speedboat

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View of the mansion from the speedboat

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The Mansion

Candolim at the far southern end of Calangute beach is a surprisingly sedated resort. Not very crowded compared to the adjacent Calangute beach. Candolim houses numerous beach resorts and limited beach shacks. Spend some time at the Candolim beach and then head towards Calangute beach nearby. Calangute beach is Goa's busiest and most commercialized beach. The road from the town to the beach is lined with Kashmiri run handicraft, boutiques and Tibetian stalls selling jewelry. The quality is high and so are the prices. Walk towards the beach and decide to relax at one of the numerous beach shacks along the stretch. Have lunch around 3:00PM. Food at shacks though fresh is slightly overpriced. Spend time lazily at the beach looking at the sea and soaking in the ambiance. We leave Calangute by 5:00PM and head towards Panaji to meet up with one of our friends who is from Goa.

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Calangute Beach

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Calangute Beach

Being a Wednesday decide to head towards Anjuna Beach to take a look at the Flea Market. We are at Anjuna by 6:30PM and against the setting sun realize that the Flea market is open only during the day and shuts down only with the setting of the sun. The flea market opens around 8:00AM and closes at 6:00PM. It is busiest in the early afternoon. Even if you don’t purchase anything, you will enjoy walking around. If you do plan to buy, be prepared to bargain hard.

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Heading towards Anjuna - Crossing the bridge over Mandovi River

We then decide to climb down the rocky headway and go towards the beach. It’s almost dark now and we decide to walk along the sandy beach. Sit down at one of the shacks for some drinks and then decide to head back to the hotel in Panaji. On the way back to Panaji, stop at the Saligao Church illuminated at night. This is actually the Church of Mae de Deus situated in Saligao village. This beautiful church is the finest piece of Gothic style.

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Beautiful Saligao Church illuminated at night

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Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church illuminated at night

Back in the hotel by 9:30PM. The drive from Calangute/Baga/Anjuna to Panaji takes usually about 30 minutes. Walk around to find a good restaurant in the heart of Panaji City near the our hotel. Also find the church (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) near the Municipal Park in Panaji illuminated. Take some pictures and have dinner at Sher-E-Punjab restaurant very close to the hotel and back in the room by midnight.

Continued….
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Old 17th February 2009, 03:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
samurai, yes have felt the diffence in quality, When ever i visit Udupi i meanke sure i give a visit to Diana, once i ordered chapathi and some side dish i must say it was boring/bland!

the channa batora...gudbud....cutlet seems to be the options hwich are still worth orderig
Diana Restaurant still has that Old world charm in it. Some of the dishes are good. Been to Diana Restaurant only 8-9 times in the last 3-4 years and only only go there for the dosas and ice cream.
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Old 17th February 2009, 05:56   #23
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Default Coastal Karnataka and Goa in Swift D - 2000+kms in 9 days

Day 6 (5th February, 2009) : Panaji – Old Goa – Arambol Beach – Mandrem Beach – Baga Beach – Panaji
Odometer Reading : 1045KMS - 1148KMS

Waking up late only by 9:00AM. Both of us are ready by 10:30AM, leave the hotel and head towards Kamat for breakfast. Seriously, good tasty breakfast is a must to kick start your day. This place serves amazing dosas, but the Poori Bhaji really impressed me. Once done with breakfast we head towards Old Goa along the Mandovi River. The Road towards Old Goa is narrow. Old Goa lies 8-9KM East of Panaji, along the Mandovi River.

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Towards Old Goa along River Mandovi

As you approach Old Goa there are clear indications to the famous Churches of Old Goa. The first Church we visited was the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This is the most revered and famous of all the churches in Old Goa. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Spend some time at the church and walk towards the Se Cathedral Church just across the road. This church is known to be the largest church in Asia. Spend some time at the church and the nice cool interiors are a welcome from the heat outside. We then walk back to the parking lot, jump into the car and switch on the AC at full blast.

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Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa

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Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa

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Interior of Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa

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The casket holding the remains of St. Francis Xavier

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Interiors of Se Cathedral Church at Old Goa

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Interiors of Se Cathedral Church at Old Goa

After some time we head towards Church of St. Augustine that is up the road about 400mts from Basilica of Bom Jesus. The church now is completely in ruins and there is a lot of excavation work going on here. Stop for some time for photographs and we are ready to leave for Panaji. See a pamphlet at the car mentioning about a wax museum at Old Goa. We had seen a Wax Museum at Ooty last year and my wife liked it. So decided to check this place as it’s very close to the church. It’s the same branch that operates the Wax Museum at Ooty. Pay the tickets and enter Wax Museum. The entire place is air conditioned to keep the wax from melting in Goa heat. Spend about 30 minutes here looking at various wax statues that includes statues of The Last Supper, Birth of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Osho, Radha-Krishna, Shankaracharya and Ramkrishna Paramahansa. They do not look very original but was good to spend some time here looking at the statues. It’s almost 1:30PM now and we head towards North Goa for the beaches.

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Ruins of St. Augustine Church

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Wax World at Old Goa

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Some of the statues at Wax World

We decide to head towards Arambol Beach in North Goa. Arambol beach is about 40KMS North of Panaji. You can either take the NH 17 and travel all the way North Goa and then take a left towards the coast to reach Arambol and travel through narrow roads past Baga, Anjuna, and Mandrem and then reach Arambol. We took the interior route to reach Arambol Beach in an hour. There is a car park as you are approaching the beach and the road turns left towards the beach with shops around. Do not take the car further ahead than this point as the road gets narrower and will struggle to get the car back in reverse. After parking the car we head towards the beach which is about 4-5 minutes’ walk from the parking place. Find a nice shack at the beach. Lie down on one of the beach beds under the umbrella for some drinks and by 3:30PM have lunch. As the Sun becomes bearable hit the water. Play for some time in the sea and then leave Arambol by 5:00PM. On the way back to the Parking lot my wife shops for some things to take back home for her and friends. The shops here quote double the price and are ready to bargain really hard.

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Arambol Beach

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Arambol Beach

Leave Arambol and take the same road back to Mandrem/Baga/Calangute. Stop at Mandrem beach as the beach looks inviting with the clean white sand. The beach was not crowded at all and was very clean. Was windy here and the waves were bit strong. Got into the water and felt not safe to play in the water at this beach. So decided to leave the place here and head towards Baga Beach.

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Spotted this at Madrem Beach

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White sands at Mandrem Beach

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Mandrem Beach

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Mandrem Beach

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Sunset at Mandrem Beach

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Sunset at Mandrem Beach

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Mandrem Beach

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Mandrem Beach

Take the road towards Baga Bridge Cross and then head towards the beach. Park the car and walk towards the beach. The sun has already set and is almost getting dark. I decide to try the Jet Ski here. Rs.100 for a round in Jet Ski with the instructor at the back. The guy drives the Jet Ski initially. The craft moves over the ocean quickly and jumps over the wakes and I hold on to the handle. Then once in the sea the guy gives me the control to try driving this craft. I quickly grab hold of the handle and pull the throttle. You have to keep a lot of balance as you turn the craft as it tends to turn pretty sharply and after about 5 minutes we are back to the sea shore. That was a nice ride and I will be back for more. Play in the water for some more time and it’s completely dark now. We sit at the beach for some time and head back to the car. Leave for Panaji by 8:00PM.

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On the way from Mandrem Beach to Baga

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Back from the ride

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Baga Beach

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Baga Beach

Get back to the hotel and take a nice hot water bath. We decide to head towards one of the many restaurants at the banks of River Mandovi for dinner. Find Quarter Deck just next to the hotel. Take table at the river front and enjoy a quit dinner looking at the illuminated floating Casinos. This is a multi cuisine seafood restaurant and is slightly on the expensive side. The food is all right.

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Casinos on River Mandovi

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Casinos on River Mandovi

We then walk back to the hotel by 11:30PM and hit the bed by midnight.

Continued….

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 17th February 2009 at 05:58.
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Old 17th February 2009, 08:01   #24
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I agree, Arambol beach was good and not so commercialized (flocked by mostly foreigners).
Why didnt you try to go to Northern most tip, Terekhol Fort (ferrying your car past the river)? Must say it was a wonderful experience.

Abhi
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Old 17th February 2009, 08:13   #25
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I agree, Arambol beach was good and not so commercialized (flocked by mostly foreigners).
Why didnt you try to go to Northern most tip, Terekhol Fort (ferrying your car past the river)? Must say it was a wonderful experience.

Abhi
Actually wanted to do Terekol Fort, but was running behind schedule.

Oh ya, I actually took the ferry along with my car on Mandovi river. Nice bumper scraping experience. Will update that in the coming days.

Last edited by dreamdiesel : 17th February 2009 at 08:19.
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Old 17th February 2009, 11:23   #26
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Also saw the huge mansion near Fort Aguada from the boat.

The Mansion
DreamDiesel, real good coverage of all the places in Goa. The huge mansion you saw belongs to Jimmy Gazdar, created by architect Gerard da Cunha with supposedly no Indian ethnic references. The national news-weekly OUTLOOK called the house "a Goan baron's Mediterranean wish fulfilment"
It termed the place as "Gazdar's astonishing 12-acre 'slice of Europe' with an exotic synthesis of gargoyles, Manueline architecture, Tuscan facades, Spanish steps and Venetian arches,"
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Old 17th February 2009, 13:00   #27
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DremDiesel, that one of a helluva trip!
Hope someday I will be able to do the same. Grant me some leaves!!!
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Old 17th February 2009, 18:55   #28
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Awesome trip! Nice photos and also informative write-up! Keep it coming..

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Was a relief getting down from the Rickshaw and realized my knees were actually shaking. Crazy driver!
i.e some experiance at gokarna. I had a similar experiance some time back at chennai. The guy was taking me at breakneck speeds in lanes n bylanes of chennai.
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Old 18th February 2009, 09:12   #29
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Default Coastal Karnataka and Goa in Swift D - 2000+kms in 9 days

Day 7 (6th February, 2009) : Panaji – Dona Paula – Margao – Colva Beach – Bogmalo Beach – Panaji
Odometer Reading : 1148KMS - 1289KMS

Wake up to another bright and sunny morning. Another 2 days in Goa before we leave back to Bangalore. Lots to see and explore. Even though I have been visiting Goa once every year for the last 8-9 years, I still feel there are lots to see. There are still some hidden and empty beaches. Some more churches. Will try and explore them as I keep coming back to Goa. Out of the Hotel by 10:30AM and head towards Kamat for breakfast. In half an hour we are out of the hotel completely satisfied with the breakfast and head towards South Goa out of Panaji. Before that we plan to visit Dona Paula about 9KMS from Panaji. It’s beyond Miramar Beach as you head south along River Mandovi.

Reach Dona Paula without much difficulty about route as there are clear indications all along. Park the car and it’s a good 500 meters walk in the hot sun. The name "Dona Paula" is reportedly derived from the name of the daughter of one of Goa's Portuguese Viceroys, who threw herself off the cliff after she was refused permission to marry a local fisherman with whom she fell in love. This place offers a beautiful view of Mormugao harbor. Climb up the small rocky cliff and the breeze is a welcome. Good panoramic view of the Arabian Sea. Spend about 30 minutes here and we head towards South Goa. From Dona Paula take the road through Goa University and you come to NH 17. Then head south towards Margao. Plan to visit Colva beach here and also meet an old friend who hails from Margao.

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Boats anchored at Dona Paula

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View at Dona Paula

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Dona Paula

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View from the top of the cliff at Dona Paula

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View from the top of the cliff at Dona Paula

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View from the top of the cliff at Dona Paula

As you keep going South on NH 17, just before entering Margao city there are clear indications towards Colva Beach on the highway. Colva Beach is situated about 6-7KMS west of Margao. It counts among one of the largest beaches in Goa and is blessed with powdery white sands dotted with palm trees. We are at Colva Beach by 1:30PM. Park the car and head towards a Café Coffee Day near the parking lot. Meet my friend here and in an hour we head to the beach as he leaves. Walk towards the beach and the first thing I notice is that the sand here is really fine and feels powdery. Find a nice shack with beach beds. Relax at the beach for some time and have lunch here. The sea was a little rough here, so did not get into the water. After lunch we leave Colva by 4:30PM. Next destination is Bogmalo Beach.

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Colva Beach

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Colva Beach

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Inviting Sea at Colva Beach

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Colva Beach

We rejoin NH17 and head towards Panaji. After about travelling north for 12KMS, you get the 4 lane expressway towards Dabolim Airport. Take this road and travel towards the airport which is about 12KMS from NH 17. Just before the airport take the road going left along the Airport boundary wall towards Naval Aviation Museum. Another 4KMS and we are at Bogmalo Beach by 5:30PM.

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Spotted this on NH17. Sounded great.

The beach is clean, not too crowded and the water reasonably safe for swimming. Swim in the sea for some time and watch the beautiful sunset. After the swim head towards one of the beach shacks for nice sea food and drink. Spend about an hour here relaxing and after a shower and change of clothes, get back in the car and leave Bogmalo village by 7:30PM. An uneventful drive from here till Panaji. We are back in the hotel at Panaji by 9:00PM.

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Bogmalo Beach

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Sunset at Bogmalo Beach

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Bogmalo Beach (The Bogmalo Beach Resort in the background)

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Sunset at Bogmalo

Not wanting to hit the bed early, after a quick shower head towards Calangute for dinner. Calangute is pretty crowded than other days we have been here this week as weekend is nearing. Walk along the stretch road towards the beach with shops on either side and finish some shopping. Then we head towards Baga for dinner around 10:30PM. I have heard a lot of good reviews about Britto’s at Baga beach. Luckily was not very crowded and we found a nice cozy place at the corner of the restaurant. I should say it was a great experience. The food was great but slightly on the expensive side. I should have come to this place much before.

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Britto's at Baga

Once done with dinner we leave Calangute close to midnight and back to the hotel in Panaji in 30 minutes. Catch up with some news on TV and off to sleep in an hour.

Continued….
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Old 18th February 2009, 09:25   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deutscheafrikar View Post
DreamDiesel, real good coverage of all the places in Goa. The huge mansion you saw belongs to Jimmy Gazdar, created by architect Gerard da Cunha with supposedly no Indian ethnic references. The national news-weekly OUTLOOK called the house "a Goan baron's Mediterranean wish fulfilment"
It termed the place as "Gazdar's astonishing 12-acre 'slice of Europe' with an exotic synthesis of gargoyles, Manueline architecture, Tuscan facades, Spanish steps and Venetian arches,"
Hmm.. Nice place right next to the ocean. Would have cost a bomb to have that built. This guy at the beach also told me some of part of the movie "Dil Chahta Hai" was shot at this location..Not sure which one

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
DremDiesel, that one of a helluva trip!
Hope someday I will be able to do the same. Grant me some leaves!!!
Granted!!

Thanks arindamray. It sure was one nice long trip. Seriously, you should do this route. Save those leaves for one big vacation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMaruru View Post
Awesome trip! Nice photos and also informative write-up! Keep it coming..



i.e some experiance at gokarna. I had a similar experiance some time back at chennai. The guy was taking me at breakneck speeds in lanes n bylanes of chennai.
I tell you. These Auto drivers. I thought Bangalore autodrivers only had these special F1 skills. But this guy at Gokarna was the F1 champ.
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