GOA - A TRIP TO REMEMBER

I’ve always heard my friends and cousins raving on about how wonderful Goa is, how it’s a must go to Destination and so on. All these great word of the mouth advertisements about Goa was enough to get me intrigued about the place but somehow or the other I had never gotten the opportunity to make it to Goa for either pleasure or work (Yes, people do go to Goa for professional meetings too, Thank You!!)

As luck would have it, it was at the beginning of this year that my work gave me the opportunity to take a 4-day trip to Goa with one of our donor groups called “One Love Dallas” (I am social worker by vocation), as the leader of these tours had become a dear friend. So on the 31st of January 2016, I packed my bags, took a jet plane (We took Jet Airways) and headed to Goa with a group of 12 foreigners from the United States of America.

The journey to Goa proved to be a long one as our flight was via Bangalore and after starting at 8.30 in the morning from home and reaching Goa at around 3 p.m. I was exhausted. We then made our way from the airport to our resort called “Yoga Magic” as the group “One Love Dallas” consists of yogis. After taking detours and getting lost a bit, we finally reached the resort at around 5 p.m. and we were welcomed by Phil, Juliet and quite a number of mongrels. After that we were all given ribbons of different colours such as red, blue, yellow, etc. which finally turned out to be the colour of our tents. Yes, you heard right, they were tents. Now you have to stay at Yoga magic to believe how spectacular and unconventional experience it is, with its beautiful suites, composite toilets, open bathing and washing area — all inside the tent. The composite toilet, though took me some getting used to, with not only having to squat while you poop (out in the open), and then having to cover your poop with chips of wood and finally spraying it with some form of bacteria killer that helps in fast decomposition without any kind of stench, I became quite a pro without any kind of inhibitions by the time we checked out of the resort.

Our Tents In the Yoga Magic Resort
Open Bathing and Washing Area inside the Tent
Composite Toilets

After having a quick dinner, a couple of us headed to local Saturday night market, which is basically a flea market, with great stuff and even greater deals. After lots of shopping for dresses, trinkets, shorts etc. we returned back to our tents at around 12.30 a.m. and after somehow managing to change, I simply passed out from exhaustion.

The next day after a quick breakfast and quick yoga session in the morning (which I spent mostly doing the Shavasana), we headed to the Ashwem beach, which is located on the extreme North of Goa and is by far the cleanest and least crowded beach with less tourists and even lesser noise. If it’s serenity you seek, Ashwem beach is the one for you. We mostly spent the entire day getting massages right on the beach, lazing around and reading and then going for a swim now and then. The beach has a great restaurant called the La Plage serving essentially a palate of yummy French cuisines. If you love seafood and are open to experimenting when it comes to food, then I’d definitely recommend La Plage to them. After hanging around the beach for almost the entire day, we returned back to the resort around 6 and then sat around chatting.

Chilling Out at the Ashwem Beach
Yoga on Ashwem Beach
Entrance to the La Plage

On the third day, a couple of us rented some bikes for as cheap as INR 200/day and spent the day at the Calungate beach, trying out various adventure sports such as jet skiing, parasailing and the banana boat; visiting the Aguada fort (Yep, the popular fort where the movie “Dil Chahta Hai” was shot), visiting some of the beautiful quaint churches and gorging on delicious seafood along with pints of beer in rented shacks. In the evening after briefly returning back to the resort to change, we then headed out to the Anjuna beach where after grabbing dinner and some drinks we headed to a club known as the “Hippies Club” on Anjuna beach itself. I don’t know if the club is in reality called the “Hippies Club” or it’s a colloquial name (as one of the workers from the resort, who is a local, took us to the club and there was no sign board anywhere) but it was an open club on the beach with several hippies swaying to psychedelic music, completely oblivious to the world around them. After loads of dancing and people gazing, we returned back to the resort at 4 a.m. in the morning.

Jet Skiing in Calangute
Aguada Fort
Sunset at the Aguada
Gorging on Sea-Food
The Hippies Club

On the final day of the trip, most of us lazed around the pool at the resort while the rest went shopping at the local market. In the evening we went to this amazing Greek restaurant called Thalassa located on the Vagator beach that is not only a delight for it’s great choice of food and wine but also it’s stunning view where you can see the sun setting into the sea.

The Thalassa

All in all, my trip to Goa was really therapeutic and I was really dejected on my flight back home because it almost impossible to resist the charm of the little State in Western India or wish not to be back again and soon.

Note: Picture Credit- Kelly Campbell