Saturday, July 11, 2015

48 Hours in Goa

I am cashew-nuts about Goa! Went there for the very first time back in 2008, and have made it a point to head there for a weekend getaway at least once a year, or even twice.

From Mumbai, Goa is reachable by flight, train, bus, or car—if you’re up for a crazy road trip. No matter what mode of transport you choose, the journey would be ranging between 1.5 and 12 hours, i.e., it is just hours away. Yet once you reach Goa, it feels like a completely foreign destination. The vibe, the chilled-out atmosphere, the lovely people (both local and tourists), and the beaches!
I personally prefer taking a train because, thanks to Indian Railway, there is a very nice train called Jan Shatapdi that departs from Panvel early morning and reaches Madgaon station at afternoon. And all the money you save that you would otherwise spend on flight tickets can be used on booze or shopping! #SoMuchWin!

So what would you do if you had only 48 hours in Goa? Let me tell you how to make the most of that! If it is a Saturday–Sunday, make sure you book a train/flight/bus and reach Goa by morning. Even noon is fine. If you want to chill, party, spend the night out, then you must stay in North Goa. If you want a peaceful, silent retreat, then South Goa it is. There are countless Goa Resorts you can check online, fitting every budget.
Minus the empty bottle of water, this is what it looked from my seat. The sea, the sand and the sheesha!
Once you check-in, get fresh, change into your shorts and tank tops and head out for lunch. You must have the local cuisines, i.e. seafood especially (Prawns, Fish etc), and if you've got a sweet tooth, do not forget to try the local desert, Bibinca, which you can get at any local bakery/confectionery.
After a lazy lunch, you can take a short nap in your room or even better head to the beach, grab a space on one of the shacks and lounge there. Cocktails, the local Kings beer, fries, wedges are must have at any shack. The owners are usually very helpful and courteous. Read a book, listen to some hippie music that usually plays around, or simply put on some sunscreen and snooze!

From my 1st trip in 2008, the water scooter is still my favorite. 

If you’re up for an adventure, go for the water sports—Water scooter, Para-sailing, Banana ride are among a few musts. This way, it will soon be approaching night, and if it is a Saturday night – The Saturday Night Bazaar is where you must head. At Arpora, it is a bit crowded during peak seasons, but still worth it. Food, Drinks, Live Music & other performances and a lot of stalls to shop from! Antiques from all around the country, clothes, accessories, music CDs, etc. Make sure you bargain though! And the food is to die for; this is where you should have your dinner. World cuisine – there is something from every part of the world!

You better not be tired yet, because after this, you definitely must head out to party! The real parties begin only post-11 pm. Try the old famous spots like Titos or Mambos or newer ones like LPK – Love Passion Karma. Dance like you have never before and let your spirit free. You can then head back to your resort or hotel to crash or take a drive around the empty roads. If you’re hungry again, there are a few 24x7 options like Subway where you can eat some more.

Believe it or not, this one is part of the awesome decor at club LPK.

If you were me, you would get up early next morning even if you are sleep deprived. You can catch on the sleep on the way back home (or at work the next day…hahaha). The beach at sunrise is absolutely blissful. Do some yoga or simply walk along the shore. I personally love that. Have a nice heavy breakfast or lunch – I would recommend going for a proper English breakfast with eggs, pancakes, toast or whatever else you like.
This one is from my first trip back in 2008 when I also was crazy about Photoshop. :P
If you want to visit the churches, you can do that next. Or go shopping for cashew and other local delicacies if you want. I recommend you packing your bags and keeping them ready for the night train/flight so that you are not in any last minute hurry. After this, spend the evening chilling at the beach again, or get a temporary tattoo made (they last a month). Have a nice fancy dinner at Thalassa, a Greek-theme restaurant, and head back home with memories that will last forever!

Goa is calling, resistance is futile.

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