Why do I bring this up? Because this is the background to our first Goa trip. This was about 4 years back, from Delhi. We had very little money to spend on that trip. It was November. Season had already started. Most sites reflected some obscene room rates. So, as usual, it was decided we would just….. go. And so we……… went.
The only information that we were armed with was that we HAD to stay at north Goa and it had to be as close to the beach as possible. So after the usual 3 hours of drama and driving around looking for a place we settled for a resort called ‘Whispering Palms’. Well…..definitely not a shack…I think I romanticized a bit in my earlier post. But most definitely not a Taj.
It was your usual aunty and uncle — and loads of screaming children – kinda resort with one nice, tiny swimming pool with aunties floating around in their salwars and one restaurant which served only buffet for breakfast, only buffet for lunch and only buffet for dinner.
Nice rooms though…and close to the beach.
Since the resort really didn’t offer much in terms of entertainment, it had to be the beach, which was exactly what we had in mind anyway. That year we discovered absolutely pig – like behavior of guzzling beer and nibbling on fish while lying on a beach cot for 7-8 hours at a stretch. To get around in Goa, you have to have a bike. We’d get out of the resort for breakfast at a shack on the beach, drive around lazily to some more beaches close by, come back to Baga (which by the way will always remain my favourite), lie around on the beach interspersing beer drinking with dips in the sea. Absolute, sinful fun. We were younger then. It took absolutely no effort to pick up the bike and travel around Goa to far flung beaches like arambol up north and palolem down south with dinner thrown in at Panjem.
To digress a bit, you just have to take the route up north towards beaches like arambol. It’s a beautiful drive through villages, across a river and through the ghats, Very scenic.
Anyway, that was then.
This year we decided to splurge on the…Taj. So Fort Aguada it was. Booked very much in advance by moi. It’s a beautiful property. And that ladies and gentlemen is the difference. This year we spent most of our time at the resort. A beautiful swimming pool overlooking the sea, a beautiful bar called SFX ( which I loved) again overlooking the sea and 3 restaurants offering different cuisine. It was a different Goa. One did do the trip to Baga beach, one did do dinner at Brittos on Baga beach ( a delightful, very popular hang out – for the uninitiated to Goa), but this time one did not madly rush around to the other beaches, or madly drive around. One stayed at the resort, visited the spa, and generally behaved very la-di-da.
So I wonder, was this because we’ve grown older, or was it because one has slightly more paise then 4 years previously?
But Goa is Goa—-whichever way you enjoy it. Whether at a 5 star resort or at a shack on the beach, the romance of the sound of the waves, the never ending sight of the sea, the calm village like atmosphere, the endless beer, and the ease with which one can slip into a different world altogether where client deadlines, screaming bosses and traffic snarls seem from like a different lifetime, the place has a attraction that will keep pulling me back there and honestly I don’t care where I stay as long as I get unlimited beer and unlimited sea.
Oh, and this is my 50th post 🙂