Friday, July 16, 2010

Going Goa!

I have a hectic life in Mumbai. As a copywriter in a digital agency life can get particularly complicated and I look forward every two months or so to unwinding at my most favourite destination on the entire planet - Goa!

From goa this august

The name itself conjours different images in the minds of the people - sun-kissed beaches, beer, fish curry rice and goan delicacies, laid-back life, beautiful temples and churches... But for me, it's not about what the tourism brochures show you. For me this place is Home. It’s about spending time with my folks and sitting for hours at end at the watering hole.

From goa this august

I originate from a small little village in Bardez called Parra. I was born here, then spend my younger years in Oman before we were back to Goa. I could tell you where you must go while in Goa like the beaches and churches which are a must see. But that you can find in any tourist brochure. In the posts that follow I will introduce you to another side of Goa, one that I love best.

So Goa. A little bit about my state. It’s a tiny piece of land nestled between two large states and a water body - the Arabian Sea. What I love about Goa is the uniqueness of the place. People don’t think here like the rest of India, dressing sense, cuisine and culture is so different. Hindi the national language is rarely spoken except in schools. On the streets English is the primary language with Konkani the next preferred language.

This tiny state in India is rich in Portuguese heritage having been a Portuguese colony till as late as 1961. Divided into North and South Goa, it has four major town in Goa - Panjim, Mapusa, Vasco and Margao. Panaji or Panjim as it’s locally called is the capital city and houses can be considered as the legislative and commercial centre.

The weather in Goa is pleasant all round the year. My favourite is the rainy season which is usually during June to mid September. There’s no better time to visit Goa than in the rains. It’s off season time, meaning you can get great deals on hotels plus enjoy a Goa without the hordes of tourist. Tourist season begins in October and carries through the end of February. During this time you can find the likes of the Flea market, Saturday Nite Bazaar and a number of activities on the beaches.

Accommodation is easy to find. If the hotel offers are not enticing enough for you, try local homes which have rooms to let. This way you can experience the true Goan way of life. Transportation can be quite a nightmare tough. The local transport is tricky and most often over-crowded, even I wouldn't use it. The easiest way to get across is by Taxi or motorbikes. Be careful of the former as there is no formal rate card and taxi drivers are known to fleece tourist. The best way is to hire a bike. Make sure you have your licences in place and watch out for strays while you ride around. While in Goa do make sure you ride the ferry, even if it’s just for fun. It’s free, only vehicle owners need to pay.

What you need to get to Goa. Plenty of sunscreen!

3 comments:

  1. Awesome...........I love Goa!!!

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  2. You forget the most important part. Goa had The Lovell D'souza!!

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  3. Great post! I'm in India for the summer and have been wanting to go to Goa but wasn't sure if monsoon time was a good time to go. You've changed my mind! If you're interested, I'm also writing about my experience: http://rupeethoughts.blogspot.com/ Continue to enjoy your travels!

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