Saturday, April 26, 2008

Goa - Day1

Bangalore to Goa

I were at PF-1 at KBS, an hour early to the scheduled 6:00 departure of the Bangalore-Panjim Airavatha. Rs 699 /- one way was a good offer. KSRTC claimed Airavata would take 10 hrs straight, compared to others which would consume 13 to 15 hrs.

Kissed by Friday evening Bengaluru traffic, it took long to hit NH4. I have a special blessing while on NH4. It always rains while I converse through NH4. This time too, it was a heavy downpour till we hit Chitradurga.

Discussed on what outfits, accessories, footwear and Snacks our bags contained, while a crappy Akshay Kumar's movie was being played at the background.

Tissue, Water Bottles and Blankets were offered and lights were off.

A sound sleep until the A/c vent started leaking due to heavy rain. And the victim was an ex-MLA of Sirisi. :-)
The bus was full and he did not have another alternative. The Driver tried convincing the MLA...all efforts in vain..... Nothing could stop him call-up the Government and the KSRTC chief.
It was utter entertainment, better than the movie being played. :-)

We were told that we would be reaching Panjim at 8AM, instead of the promised 6, due to heavy rain. :-(

While I next woke, we were at Sirisi and it was 'Airavatha minus the ex-MLA'.

Next stop was at Karawar for Tea. Though we did not venture out; as we were strictly instructed by Mommies and Daddies, not to get down even to visit the Loo. (obedient kid)

In a few minutes, we were along the coastline of Karwar beach. Splendid Moonlight, wide-window-pane-of-Volvo, the sound of the Sea, the light breeze, what more. I sat awake while the whole bus was sleeping. :-)

And we were in the Ghat in a few mins. At 5:30, Airtel woke me up again with a, 'Welcome to Goa' message. I was excited! Finally, we had reached Goa. How tough it was to convince everyone back home....

The Bus kept halting frequently, to deliver luggage, parcels and people kept getting down. Panjim was the final destination.

The Brick-Red houses with Bottle-Green Window and Gates and Grills, were my favorites. :-) I surely plan to revisit and get inspired before I plan constructing my house...

We were at Panjim at 7:45. Had not decided whether to take our South-Goa tour from Panjim or Mapusa. Luckily, the Panjim Bus stand houses the intercity, state run, private and city buses in the same place.

Goa transport is called a Kadamba - A tribute to the Kadamba dynasty.

Day 1 - 15 Mar 2008 - South Goa

We were at Mapusa at 8:20, which is 15 km from Panjim. Goan roads are very narrow, and can only accommodate mini-buses. The Mapusa Bus stand is right opp to the Mapusa Residency, which is GTDC owned. We bought tickets for South Goa and the Sunset Cruise, and dropped the idea of landing at Mapusa YHAI.

We had 8 mins to Brush, refresh and change!! We'll never forget to thank the person who invented Deo-Spray and Chewing Gum. :-)

The bus was full of Honeymoon couples. We decided to occupy the last seats. Our guide for the day was an 'Animated character'. The bus crossed the bridge over Mandovi River; in a few mins we were at Old Goa.

Old Goa - 10km from Panjim

Old Goa was the capital city during Portugal rule.

Highlights: World Heritage Site, Preserved body of St. Francis Xavier.

The Basilica of Bom Jesus, constructed in 1696.

SeCathedral dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria.

Church of St.Fransis of Assisi which has now been turned into a museum.

The Golden Bell at Se Cathedral.

The chapel of Cross of Miracles, which is said to be growing in size!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Water Sports @ GOA

Water Sports was a very important itinerary of the vacation.

at Colva - On the first day of the vacation - where signs of restlessness of the previous night journey, PLUS no breakfast, PLUS no time to bath & brush, kept us less energetic.

While we landed at Colva, we decided neither to venture into the Sea, nor opt for any of the Water Sports. But, then within minutes we had put on our life-jackets!!

The speed boat, Parasail and sturdy rope of 300mts not to mention the life jacket............And the next few seconds, we were high-up in the sky.

The bird's eye view of the coastline, the vast Sea, the lofty Western Ghats, mild Sun, clear Sky, turquoise blue Sea and light breeze, and one is freely suspended!! It made me spellbound & thoughtless for the next few hours.

Its surely adventures, and as affordable as 250/-

Jet Skiing at Calangute
- 'I think, you suffer from Hydrophobia', is what they said, when I were tagged by the Lifeguard/instructor as 'The-only-one-less-enjoyed-skiing'. The Jet powered water scooter had a VERY powerful engine, and so the accelerator.

Within seconds the waves were above me, and as soon as I held the accelerator, the scooter gained much velocity, adding to that the high waves splashing against my face.

I was afraid, I'll end-up discovering a new piece of land. :-)

Adrenalin rush!! - I was shouting, wanting to reach shore soon, and pay him 100/- irrespective.

Banana Ride at Baga - We thought it would be a happy go bumpy ride on a bloated Banana, and we wouldn't even require a life-jacket.

It was a whole
of Kannadigas here and thus got a good bargain. So, it was again a Speed Boat, A sturdy rope and a bloated Banana. We had 2 instructors/lifeguards, whom we thought were never required. The speed boat had a navigator and a young couple enjoying their vacation.

It was nearing evening, 100+ mtrs away, into the sea the Banana turns upside down. And we are all into the Sea. Water all around...within seconds eyes and lungs were filled with salt water. Couldn't even shout for help....

Being sure I would get drowned, everything from family, near-n-dear-ones, LIC policies, Coffin to Condolence-card made a quick allocation in my mind. :-)

We were instructed to keep legs straight and hands-straight-up. Aaaah.... my sense organs were still working and I were alive. And courtesy life-jacket, our heads were above the water surface in the next few seconds.

I quickly took a count of all heads, like a School teacher at Picnic with her Pupils. The count was complete, none were missing. The Speed boat floated the Banana towards us, and we clinged onto it.

Now we were to climb onto it back, much more challenging, as it kept wobbling. Finally we did, courtesy life-jacket and life-guard. We thanked the instructors for saving lives. Within minutes, he shouted 'get ready for another dip'. We utterly enjoyed this time around.

And the 3rd/last dip was near to the shore, and we were brave enough, by now.

Btw, all this while the couple in the Speed Boat were enjoying our misery.

Each of us had gifted the sea a piece of Jewelery (non gold), but then, we were alive and it was entirely soul satisfying!! Hugs and pats....

The entire evening went discussing the ride, while we aptly spotted this at the YHAI reception. :-)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Goan Temples

An SMS woke me up as early as 5:30 in the morning. I pulled out my Cellphone, curious to know the sender. It said, 'Airtel welcomes you to Maharashtra & Goa. Call or SMS to 121 for ANY assistance'. Overwhelmed, to have crossed the border, tied-back the curtain to peep out of the Window pane.

Red tiled roof, Maroon painted walls, Deep green coloured gates, looked perfect. After a while a sea-green house. Ooooooooopph..... Then a Lemon Yellow coloured.... Copper Sulphate Blue, See blue, looked peculiar.

But, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent Green, fluorescent Purple and pink & fluorescent orange, did strain my eye. :-)

Its not only that Goan people and houses that are colourful, but Temples too.

1. Mangueshi Temple, Mangueshi

2. Shantha Durga Temple, Kavlem

3. Mahalasa Temple, Mardol
4. Temple at Miramar Beach

5. Nava Durga Temple, Borim

6. Temple at Baga Beach

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