Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Going Goa

We had been thinking of this trip from a long time and finally made it. It is our regular gang of Manju, Saravana and I. Since Aug 15 was holiday, we took 14th off. Total of 4 days.

Friday, August 12: 8:30PM, Rajahamsa to Mangalore. Reached Mangalore at 6AM(The road is very bad and reached abt 1 hour late).

Saturday, one of the best part of trip : We had booked Madgaon passenger train to Madgaon. Total distance is 437km and train covers in just abt 7 hrs and fare is Rs.57 + reservation!!! No need to mention how beautyful is Konkan railway is. The train passes through more than 20 tunnels, longest one being more than 3km. On the way there were numerous water falls along the way and at some places water used to fall over the train. Weather was wonderful, it was drizzling intermittently. I did not realize the time, within no time we were in Madgaon.

We checked into a room at Kolva beach. We got a pretty cheap deal(Rs 350 per day). Hired 2 bikes(250 each, lil costly), and went zooming around. Visited Benaulem beach and Leela beach. More than beach, the ride on the Unicorn was groovy!!!
Benaulam beach ---->

Leela beach ------>

Sunday, August 13: Realized that there is nothing much in south Goa. So headed to Panaji which is the real Goa to see. It is about 2 hour journey in non stop Kadamba transport. A guy approached in bus stop in Panaji and told he can get room for cheap(Rs 350) per day near a beach. He also agreed to arrange bikes for us. He took us to a lodge near meeramar beach, which was OK~OK. He arranged two splendours too.
Got ready and left at around 11:30AM on splendour. It is splendour only for name sake... That was my first 100cc bike ride.
Our next srop was Aguada fort, where few scenes of DCH are shot. The road to Aguada is picturesque.
Aguada Fort ------>

Calangute beach: One of the unique beaches where water was showing its power and ferocity. Just two days later, we learnt few people were washed away by waves... Though the beaches of north Goa are not that clean.
Calangute beach ----->

Vagator Fort(Best part of the day): There is sunday market every week and sea shell items are very cheap on sundays. Beach is not that clean but less violent than at Calangute. There is a fort near the beach, which is extremely green. We went and sat at the cliff. None of us realized that we spent almost 1 hour there, each os us were lost in thoughts. That was a great moment. Given a chance I would sit there forever facing sea.
Backwater merging sea, Vagator---->

Vagator Fort ----->

We returned after a wonderful day in the paradise. Evening, went on a cruise on Santa Monica, which was just OK. Nothing great. They have a dance floor, and some Konkani folk dance on a big boat.

Monday, August 14:

We headed towards old Goa, where there are beautyful churches built by Portuguese during 16th century. Old Goa is a small town which is just like in fairy tales. Small curvy road passes through old Goa. There is a hill along the river Mondovi. These houses are built on the foothills, and the narrow(but well paved) road passes between these houses and the river. Oh I can't explain this in words. One has to be there to feel it. Since we were on bikes, we could stop at any place to enjoy it. On the other side of Mondovi river is the Diwar island, and one has to take a ferry at Ribandar to get there. More about Diwar island later...

One very important in these churches to notice is the architecture. The roofing of all churches is amazing.....

Bassilica of Bom Jesus ----->

body of St. Francis Xavier ---->

SE Cathedral, view from outside ---->

SE Cathedral, view from inside ---->

St Augustine Church ruins. This is where Gumnam song was shot ---->

St Cajetan's Church, From outside ---->

Inside view and roofing ---->

Our next destination was Shantadurga temple. Supposedly the richest temple in Goa. It is some 10km after old Goa towards Belgaum. Its a different story that we were caught by cops for not wearing helmet and bribed him to escape...
Shantadurga Temple ---->

On the way back, we visited Diwar Island. One needs to take a ferry to reach there. There are 4 ferry points from Ribandar to Diwar island. Ferry's are avaialble very frequently and it is free!!! I drove my bike into the ferry!!! man it is hell of an experience. The whole island is another fairy place. Both sides of the paved road are swamps and reminded me of Lord Of The Rings part 2!!!
It started to rain and we took shelter under a tree. Met some kannadiga people there and came to know that a bit further there is a bonda-bajji shop. There is no match to hot bonda/bhajji and rain combination... All houses in Diwar island are so beautyful, if god had granted me a single wish, I would have asked a big bunglow on that island!!! Since it was raining all the way, I could not click any photo there.
Diwar Island ---->

Tuesday, August 15: There ends our bike adventure. There was time till evening. We had to rely on public transportation. It was raining heavily. We haeded to Dona Paula(I think this was the only place left out). It is a posh residential locality on shoreline, where fierce waves slam on rocks as if punishing the rocks. They have constructed some view points. Occationally wave gets so angry that water sweeps over this view point drenching people before they realize and run for cover. It was kind of fun, when new comers lean forward to on the railings and waves drench them completely...
Dona Paula ---->

Since there was a lot of time left we decided to go back to our favourite place, the fairy old Goa. This time we got down at Ribandar and ventured into old Goa on foot. I just wanted walk there forever. I didn't even take photos there, I was lost in the fairy land.

Well, that is the end of a wonderful trip.
Return was very boring, two tyres of our bus got punctured at the same time. There was problem at the checkpost since it was an extra coach and so on. After about 20 hours reached namma Bangaluru.