Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Goa Vacation - Day 0 ( Preparing for my longest vacation)

As I take my first vacation longer than a couple of days in 7 years, I have been going crazy planning (as per my friends). I have been reading loads of travel books, my bedside is stacked with travel magazines, and I have been researching everything I can find about Goa on Tripadvisor, and other newspapers.


With all books and the reading ... today I surprised myself, when I started singing a supposedly Goan song -  "Naam hai mera Fonseca, baby humein tum nahi Jaanta"  :)

We'll be spending 24 nights - 10 in North Goa , 10 in South Goa, 2 in Panjim (Central Goa) and a couple in Chorla Ghat, east Goa. 

Initially, we went to a host of travel agents in Chandigarh, as a ready made package made sense considering the very little time we had. However, all of them, told us that it was too long a duration to spend in a small place like Goa. They suggested adding a few places, or going abroad. Rubal and I, however, wanted to spend time with each other, and knew we wouldn't get bored even if there wasn't much to do.

After a couple of weekends of research, we believe, after 24 nights we'll come back wanting to go back and explore Goa some more. Here are some of the things I am looking forward to.

1. Walking through the villages, the old city, the scenic beauty. 

Take a trek to Chapora ("The ride to Chapora felt like straight out of a movie. Verdant hills, lush fields, clouds turning from white to grey as we raced them, and even a double rainbow")

See the outlook traveller article for more 10 Great Walks in Goa

2. Try all the Goan Foods -

Goan fish curry
Garlic Prawns
Chicken Xacuti, curry with lots of coconut.
Pork Vindaloo
Benebica - Desert

Just writing that list has made me hungry (More details below)

3. Explore the still tranquil North beaches (Mandrem, Aswem) and the quiet South beaches (Patnem, Polem)

We plan to stay in one of the quiet beach shacks in the last week and we'll review and finalize it during the first couple of weeks.

One of the places we really like is Dwarka


4. Wildernest Nature Resort Chorla Ghat

Rubal's recommendation. This is the side of Goa off the beaten track. A nature resort with waterfall treks, and extremely eco-friendly. They supposedly have a stunning infinity pool. This resort has great story, and is off the beaten track.

tn_infinity pool 3

5. Stay in cruise boat for the night - watch the sunrise, and the sunset

6. Go Snorkeling to Grand Island

7. See the Silent Parties at Palolem Beach

8. Visit the Butterfly Conservatory Of Goa near tropical spice garden, Ponda

There are a million other things, in a list that Rubal and I are updating every couple of hours. I'll put that in a separate post. 

For now here's a photo of Rubal just after she finished packing today





Here are all the restaurants we are interested in eating at (Comments from Travel books and TripAdvisor) -

Aswem -
Lunch at La Plage before sunset

Baga -
Eat at Britto's , East meets West, Nick's Place, Anthony's
Mackie's at Baga /Ingo's Saturday Night Bazaar at Arpora

Calungute -
Eat at After Eight's(or Sevens), Soup & Momos Tibetian Kitchen (Rubal's interested in this), Aggie's Cafe (Prawn Chilli Fry at Aggies Beach Shack with a garlic cheese nan), Le Jardin , Souza Lobo (Great review on TA, long wait but great sea food. Try king fish and pomfret ), Claudinas shack (Entertainment night on Thursday), prawn sizzlers served at at Boscos.

Candolim -
Eat at Shining Star Beach Resort, Republic of Noodles (One of the top 20 restaurants in Asia as per the Miele Guide - crunchy prawn chips , Bangkok Style Pahd Thai flat noodles ), A Reverie, Victor's , Claudinas Shack , Shivers near Kingfisher villa , Lloyd's (Pork Vindaloo, Sorpotel and Sausage Pau. Just the way your granny would have made them had she been Goan. )

Eat at Taj Holiday Village ( The Banyan Tree at the Taj serves fiery Thai cuisine. )


Eat at-
Viva Panjim(sausage rice, fish curry, xacuti, vindaloo and cafreal. ), Cafe Chocolatti, Jorges restaurant /horse shoe/ hotel venite, Deli Darbar, Panjim city
Mum’s Kitchen in Miramar in Panjim—they do an excellent crab in coconut gravy called crab xec-xec.
In Alto de Porvorim, is O’Coquerio where the squid masala and the prawn stuffed papaads are as much of a draw as the table where the infamous Charles Sobraj was arrested.
Dinner on Noah's Arc

For a traditional Goan breakfast at Longuinhos in Margao te chorizo sausage-and-eggs with pao bread is a must. These air dried and smoked sausages are cooked into a thick hot sauce with onion, potatoes and tomatoes—scrumptious.

Eat at Joets (Grilled garlic prawns )

Check out Zeebop on the sea (with great sea food) - Highly recommended by Outlook Traveller and Times Food Guide

Martin’s Corner in Betalbatim which also is in South Goa, is the most happening restaurant—the seafood is ocean fresh

Tandoori Kingfish, Madhu Shack, Agonda Beach

Eat at - Mackeral spiced and fried in Semolina. Served at the Annapurna restaurant or Hira bar in and around Palolem.

Patnem -
Eat at Anant's , try Gazpacho at Home Beachfront, Patnem

Rubal suggested that we check our Body Mass Index (BMI) on the Wii before and after the trip, so here are a couple of pictures for the record. Lets see how things pan out after 24 days !




1 comment:

  1. I love the name of the blog!!
    Good writing, really enjoyed the post and will look forward to it everyday.

    the dessert is Bebinca...and yes, its AWESOME!! It can stay for 6 months so do bring some for me please.