The First Planned Weekend Getaway: Goa
This time, I made my way to the famous Indian beach state that Russian mafioso also call home.
Hello, people of the world, have you heard about Goa? The Indian beach state that was a global hippy dream land in the 60’s and is now the decadent party capital of our country. For my very first planned solo trip, I chose Goa.
I went to Palolim (South Goa), a place described by Lonely Planet as ‘the least developed of the Indian state’s seaside stretches with miles of sand on offer to satisfy your every Robinson Crusoe fantasy’.
I went in the off-season, so it was humid (but not too much) and most importantly cheaper. My 4 day trip costed me around 5,500 rupee or 86 US Dollars. But of course, you can do it for even cheaper, if you plan in advance.
Here are some useful bits from my Goa journey:
How did I travel?
I went by an overnight bus from Pune to Goa and inside Goa I took long distance journeys by buses as well. They are cheap, frequent and run on time. You can book online or see the schedule here or use Redbus or just show up at the bus station and ask around like I did.
You can also easily get bicycles, bikes and cars on rent. I got a gearless scooter on rent, at a cheap price.
Trains are highly recommended but book in advance
Though some international flights do operate from Goa, the nearest major international airport is in Mumbai
Haggle with the local vendor in Goa for the scooter rent price
Have the vehicle registration papers with you when you are driving
The scooter rental prices are cheaper during the weekdays and in shops a little away from the beach
*Uber/Ola do not work in Goa.
How was the food?
Goa is deservedly famous for its delicious Portuguese-Indian spin on the abundant and fresh seafood, with almost every eating joint offering a long list of must have dishes. The good news is that vegetarians coming to Goa, don’t have to worry, I found plenty of yummy food all over.
I had a really great time in Ciarans, a popular multi-cuisine restaurant with excellent vegetarian food, beach view, and most importantly live music.
Where did you stay?
I stayed in a hostel - summer by thehostelcrowd in Palolilm. This clean, orderly and affordable hostel is a 5 minute walk away from beach. In three days, I met a unicycling marine geologist, an aeronautical engineer, and a cycling enthusiast from Brazil in my dorm. For 500/day, I got a light breakfast and a cozy, clean AC dorm room with a private toilet.
I used booking.com to book the hostel.
You can book for the first night online and check out the great options for hostels, beach shacks, resorts and bungalows nearby, yourself. You might get a better deal this way.
Tell me your Goa stories
My first big surprise from Goa was seeing how colorful it was, the houses were painted in bright pastel colors (Portugesse heritage) and looked delightfully beautiful.
One night, we were looking out for a place to have dinner and stumbled upon Ciarans, we sat down and I saw a tiny little stage just a few steps away. The next time I looked, there was a mature, unassuming couple on the stage, with the wife on the keyboard and the husband on the guitar. And what followed was my first encounter with blues music. It was an incredible experience.
For the very first time in my life, I ventured into the ocean deep enough for the water to cross over my head. I was scared when I got dragged down by a surprise wave but forgot all about it when the next one came. I had a lot of fun in the water that day.
Hi folks, if you are looking for suggestions on your Goa trip, just drop me a message here or you can show some love by leaving comments and clicking on the heart icon below.