Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goa - Day 2 - The two beaches

The last thing I recall about the first day is that Nilesh and Harshal were watching football... Od too was watching that I think... Things are fuzzy. I was tired, remember?

Anyway, the first thing I saw on Sunday was Nilesh! Dammit! This guy is an insomniac. He had got up earlier because of (surprise surprise) my alarm. Started getting ready and proceeded to wake all of us. Man, was he determined to do a "yatra" of all the beaches. After a prolonged "getting ready" session (I fell asleep in the bathroom... thank god there wasn't a bathtub, otherwise I would have drowned!), we headed out. Anjuna and Vagator is what had been decided the day before. We decided to follow that general direction. Which to be done first would be decided later.

On the way, Od continued with his "on the fly" photography. It was only when we reached a fork - the left road leading to Anjuna and the right to Vagator - that we were faced with making a crucial decision. I passed the buck to Od, sitting behind me, who promptly decided to let Nilesh make the call. Nilesh and Harshal, on the other bike, turned right. And we had no choice but to follow them. Another 4 Km ahead and we reached a little incline. The road leads to the sunset, if you arrive in the evening. We arrived in the morning, 7 AM to be more specific. But the view was amazing. Just imagine a beautiful picturesque beach, the blue sea blending in perfectly with the clear blue sky, with the horizon barely decipherably due to the almost same hues of the water and the sky, stretching across, in front of you, who's now finally managed to shake off that drowsiness off your eyes. Feels like Heaven, feels like God!

We climbed down.. and walked to the far end. Od was sleepy. Who won't after barely 3 hours of sleep. But we others were determined to have fun. The three of us proceeded for a swim. ( A swim is actually a misnomer. All of us were apprehensive of actually swimming in the sea. So we just stayed around in waist to shoulder deep water and let the waves pound us sore.) Nilesh decided to scout the area before swimming. He wanted to check out the area beyond the mountains. Harshal and I wanted to enjoy the waters. Vagator has the most amazing unpopulated, clean beach with great waves and strong undercurrents that you can hope for. The waves generally rise above your head. And if the wave is just forming when this happens, you are lucky. You just get carried up, and are thrown to the shore. But if the wave just breaks a few feet before it reaches you, you are a goner. The water throws you towards the shore. But in doing so, it delivers an amazing knockout punch you wished you never should have experienced. And then, the water receeds. It pulls at your feet. Since you are heavy (unlike me), it is content with pulling the sand under your feet. Enough to make you lose your footing.

"Apne pair ke neeche se jameen hil jati hai!"

We just couldn't resist cracking this one and chuckling over it time and again in Goa. Nilesh came after some time and told us that Od was gonna take a nap. Also, the patch beyond the mountain was amazingly choppy, rocky et al. We swam for some more time and then went to look at the place Nilesh had described. Its amazing how a few rocks here and there just change the nature of the sea. Clearly that area was not safe for a swim. But some people were hanging around there. Some firangs. (:D) and a few others interested in the flora clinging on to the rocks. All we were concerned was that no crab bites us when we step on the rocks. We came back... only to see Od gone... with all our stuff lying out there unattended.

Od's version of things: I woke up. Actually couldn't sleep at all. Harshal, Nilesh and Mandar must be having a good time. Those *IY&*%^&$%^#$#&^%*%. Wait for me you buggers! But then when I walk a bit, I can't see any of them. They were'nt so confident of swimming... what the??? Nah. Must be somewhere here. So I went around a bit. I started climbing that hill out there. Seemed that there was a fort up there. And a nice trail led to it. I think the fort was called Chapora or something. As I went up, clicking photos (take that Mandar, I'm gonna fill this memory stick with photos about nothing) I saw those three coming back fro the right. Oh yea. Seems that Nilesh took them to where he had gone half an hour earlier. Chalo. Time to go. Let's join them in the sea.

We swam a bit and then saw Od come down. He too joined in. Four of us taking on the waves. A little distraction and water promptly enters your nostrils, and is out through your mouth. Disgusting! But great fun. We just didn't feel like coming out. Finally at about 10.00 or so we were out. After all that exhausting fun, we're out of water to drink! We went back up to where our bikes were. Me dizzy out of thirst. ( How the hell do those guys in the deserts survive???) Coconut water/juice and a bottle or two of water. Whew! Relief. We sit around for some time. Hunger sets in. We loitered around for some time. And the plan for the rest of the day was etched out. Go to Panaji, have lunch/brunch. Take a nap. And go to Fort Aguada and the beach nearby.

We left Vagator. The ride back was pretty uneventful. All we knew was that there was a Kamat restaurant near our room and we should head there. But man! Finding it was a pain. Especially with all the one-ways, the Sunday street markets and police stopping us every other minute to check our licenses. We spotted a "Bombay Shivsagar" and entered it. Od, Nilesh & Harshal ordered Punjabi. Me South Indian. What great service! The "restaurant" is actually nothing more than a glorified eatery. It is housed in this small space in which generally shops are. But these guys had managed to keep it clean, cook great food and also respond to your orders in a minute. Wow! We left, with a generous tip and headed back to the room. A shower, and time for a nap. harshal and Nilesh switch on the TV for their football and takeshi's castle.

But before we actually fall asleep the plan changes again. Fort Aguada is scheduled for tomorrow. We decided to go to Miramar Beach, Dona Paula etc in Panaji itself. We doze off and wake up in the evening. Around 5.00 pm. We left the room, fresh and with a nice bedsheet to lie down on at the beach and clothes, in case we entered the water. But before Miramar, we went to book our tickets back home. We didn't want to travel by the Maharashtra ST buses. Leg room is too less. We looked up the Goa ST (Kadamba Buses or something) and Karnataka ST Buses. Either full, or only last seats available. A private transport bus agent catches hold of us. He told us that he could get better seats. For around 400 bucks. We followed him, a little vary. He offered us well.. the second last seats! We obviously weren't impressed. Od and I decided to check out if others had any better seats to offer. We found one guy who gave us better ones. And finalised the deal. Since Harshal and Nilesh had the money, we called them to the place where we were waiting. The agent followed them. And then, starting arguing that since we had "finalized" the booking in his bus, we couldn't book anywhere else. Ridiculous. Since we had not told him anything, but to wait. Drama ensued and finally we got the tickets we wanted. And then we headed to Miramar.

Miramir, situated in Panaji, is one helluva crowded place. Atleast, on Sundays it is. And we felt more so, since Vagator, Baga and Calangute were relatively empty. Anyway, with the setting sun in front, and nothing to be done urgently, we just sat. And chatted. And watched the crowd play, build sandcastles, throw frisbees, jump, swim, run, walk past giving us and our camera - tripod stand a stare; watched the ships come back, the ferries go out with the festivities for the Sunday crowd as the night set in; and just watched the sun set behind the Aguada Fort & the lighthouse as the moon too moved past the zenith and headed into the west.

We sat there for a long time. Took some fundoo snaps. Finally stomachs started rumbling. We walked out of the beach, looking for a restaurant close by. Dona Paula was being slowly relegated to the "not- seen" list. Foodland has got itself the best location. You walk out of the beach. And the closest thing to you is -- Foodland! A nice plump DJ plays some music from his laptop there. And occasionally sings if the song is his type or if he has the lyrics. Nice place. But service is bad. Felt more so after the Shivsagar experience. Food took a long time. And we were too bored to pursue any activity. After all, we were on a holiday.

We returned to the beach. Sat down and wasted time again. Over-enthu Nilesh and Hashal went for a walk along the beach again.

Finally at about 11 ish or so we decided to call it a day. Conserve energy for tomorrow. Those bike rides are tiring and since we go on the same road everyday, it kinda gets monotonous. We went back to the room. Finalised on Fort Aguada and Sinquerim beach for the next morning. As with other days, and other times where I started dozing off, the TV was on. Set on some sports channel, showing some Barca match. There was Snatch going on some movie channel. But the start had been missed, and it might have been difficult for the others to catch on to the plot. So, channel changed.. to Asterix - Mission Cleopatra. I dozed off as Obelix tried to hide the broken tip of the Sphinx's nose....

1 comment:

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