Goa has been in my mind for quite a long time and each time we have planned a Goa trip; something or the other would eventually block the trip somehow. So the other day two of my colleagues Arun and Gummy (Goutam) came and asked me whether I knew any place where to get a self drive rental car to go to Goa, I joked that I’ll get them one if they take me along too. In the end; we eventually left in Gummy’s Swift and not the rented car; but I still managed to get a seat along with Gummy, Mathew and their two room-mates Rakesh and Rakshak.
We started off from Bangalore in the evening; a bit apprehensive about the road conditions and driving at night. However almost everything went along smoothly except for some stretches of bad roads in between and some scary maneuvering by ‘some’ of the drivers just to make sure that the ABS works ;) We had begun a round of betting in the car as to when we would reach Goa. Bids ranged from 4.30 AM to 8.30 AM, but Rakesh got it perfect at 8. Once in Goa we had a brilliant government guest house to host us; courtesy Mr. Mathew. Along with an A/C room; a complimentary breakfast all for the price of Rs 40 per head. Now that’s what I call value for money!
After dozing off till evening; we were ready for our first (mis)adventure. We went to the Casino! I know you would be already guessing as to where this story is heading to… and yeah you are right! We went all-in and we returned all-out! But as we consoled ourselves after the fiasco; it was indeed a different experience. Now we can say that we have tasted sweet victory in a casino despite the bigger bite of bitterness in the end. Next destination was Baga beach. The shack restaurants on the beach were awesome. The atmosphere with the IPL matches going on in one place and karaoke in another one with people dancing all around was amazing. We had initially planned to go to a disc and even got entry into one (using Mr. Mathew’s influence off course). But then we were so comfortable at the shacks that we decided to drop out on that. The other reason could also be interpreted as the lack in willingness to go in a disc as a stag and drool over the hot chicks while they were dancing with other guys.. ahh.. no .. we didn’t want to look like losers! :p So we stayed at the shack very late into the night and finally came back to Panaji (were our guesthouse was) and crashed into bed.
Next day was quite the same pattern with us sleeping most of the day. Afternoon we went up to Wagathore beach where Aamir Khan and his buddies had done their gig in ‘Dil Chahtha He’. It was a short trek up to a fort near the beach. The view from there was spectacular; covered on three sides with the sea and nice looking beaches. After a few photos we headed back down. The scorching sun sucked all the energy out of us and at one point it seemed that it was impossible to move a muscle! But we overcame that and headed towards Condolim beach to do some water sports. But it was way too expensive there; so we headed to Calangute were the prices were much better. We did a round of parasailing (which is awesome; you should try it once) and also a trip on the water scooters (which is not so great; unless you convince the guy to let you drive the scooter). After that we crashed back to Baga which was not that far away.
We stayed on at the shack long into the night and then after we were convinced that we were drunk enough we headed back to Panaji. On reaching Panaji; Gummy and Mathew wanted to go back. Now that wouldn’t have been a crazy idea if Baga wasn’t 25 km away and it was already 2.30 am. But anyway I was game for it too; and Gummy, Mathew and I went back. We were caught by the police thrice; and I’m really impressed with the user-friendliness of the Goa Police. They just asked me for my driving license and when I produced it; one guy just quipped whether I was sure that it’s my photo in the DL (it was taken 6 or 7 years back you see). But that was it! They just waved us off. Cool! The trip back was really worth it and a feast to our eyes. The carnival atmosphere was still going strong even at 4’o clock in the morning! After a satisfying and ‘educational’ trip we headed back home.
Next day was our last in Goa and after filling up the car with the legal amount of liquor we were allowed to carry back we returned back to a mostly uneventful drive back. On the way we also had a short stopover at Old Goa were we visited the church of St. Francis Xavier. I had heard of this person in a Social Studies lesson in third standard and always wanted to visit his grave; where his body still lies preserved after 500 years. One more tick in my checklist. The guys also put on some temporary tattoos on their hands; I wasn’t that wild enough to do that; even though I should have tried something like that.
That was it. Our Goa trip. And in the end I can say that Goa is simply awesome. Don’t ever miss a chance to go there! If somebody asks you to arrange a self-drive car to go to Goa; always say Yes!