Goa - A place of juvenility, enjoyment and happiness... A place for the youngsters and couples with enjoyment for entire day and night... A place which rocks on waves in the day time and in the casinos and cruise at night.
It is a true saying that sometimes path is more interesting than the destination. Moreover companions in any journey are very important. Like-minded people with full mood of enjoyment and a destination like Goa... what else is needed to thrill and chill your daily routine life. I got a chance to visit Goa with my office staff when I was working at AurigaIT. It was really a very interesting journey for me because I was about to view a sea for the first time in my life and that was my first journey (return) by plane. Young office group, full of energetic boys and girls and the excitement of Goa was thrilling me from the day when I asserted for the journey. Our Goa journey was from train because we want to explore the train route of Konkan Railways as it is one of the best and beautiful train routes in India.
Our journey was more exciting because it was a quick-planned journey. So some tickets were not confirmed till end and mine was one of it... but we were enough to fill 3 to 4 compartments of a bogie, so easy to adjust colleagues with waiting or general tickets. We don't have direct train to Goa so plan was to go to Kota from Jaipur and then from Kota to Goa. Purchasing of new dresses and research of places to view & things to do in Goa was going on for the whole week before the day of departure. Then the day arrived when we all were ready with our travelling bags and backpacks at Durgapura Railway Station, Jaipur, in the evening. We already ordered food in train provided by Haldirams - A quality food delivery chain in India. With lots of jokes, songs and plays we passed the route till Kota. At Kota Railway Station we booked guest rooms for us and those were larger than any hotel room and have king size attached clean washrooms. We were happy to see the luxury and cleanliness which was unexpected for us at Railway Station. The only thing which was bothering us was the sound of trains and announcements at station. But soon we felt asleep as we were all tired.
The next early morning we woke up and got ready for our further journey from Kota to Goa. From here we had tickets of II AC. We were treating the whole bogie as our home and we all were shouting and dancing. Some of us were preparing video of whole environment and some were busy in taking selfies with friends. Of-course some travellers were getting irritated with all our noises and activities and TT already warned us 2-3 times for our conduct, but he also knew that a big group of youths cannot control itself from making fun and noise. We were playing card games, a few magician boys were showing magic tricks from those cards and yes some seniors were taking soft and healthy raging of new comers to pass the time. It was the whole day time when we were passing red soiled Madhya Pradesh. At night we were tired and the TT also warned us strictly to not to make noises at night, so we all slept silently.
Plateaus of Madhya Pradesh
Next morning was a pleasant one as we were at Konkan Railways route and lots of hills, tunnels and round paths were coming in our way. We were shouting and jumping and clicking photographs of the picturesque nature. Different species of flora and fauna, rivers, waterfalls, all were attracting us and in place of sitting in our AC compartment we were on the gates of our bogie to capture nature by eyes and cameras without any hurdle. I still remember my joyful shout and monkey jumping in the train when I saw Sea or even river delta for the first time in my life. Soon we were at South Goa station around 1PM in afternoon.
Konkan Railways Route
So basically Goa is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its Western coast. South Goa beaches are clean and most of the foreign crowd comes here for sunbath and enjoying in the sea water. The North Goa beaches are not that much clean, Indian crowd moves there. These beaches have water sports. Casinos are all around in Goa.
So as per our plan first we want to explore South Goa beaches in the day time and market at night and then after staying for one night there, we planned to move to North Goa for water sports and other things. We already booked concierge service, bus and hotels on both the places. So at railway station our bus was waiting for us, which dropped us to our hotel around 1:30 PM. A few couples were booked camps on the beachside on Palolem Beach. We took bath and changed for the beach and to our surprise our Palolem Beach was very close from our hotel and only in a five minute's walk we were in front of the largest water body... I mean the SEA. Amazing experience to express in words... I was just speechless by viewing such a large creation of God. Endless body of water... where one can see meeting of sky and water, one into another. I was wondering how large the world is in actual and how much tiny is our thinking and imagination. We compare one thing of imagination from those which we already know. But God's creations are incomparable. Yes, it was true that many a times I saw sea in TV and movies. But feeling it in real is so different from having its view on some screen.
Enjoying in the waves
I was with all my colleagues and we all were enjoying with the waves of sea. Some moved a few far in the waves. All were having fun in there style. We were hungry, so we ordered food at the beachside restaurant. Food was not too delicious but not bad at all for the hungry people. In South India, North Indian food especially Roti or Nan is a problem. But we were hungry so we adjusted in Pasta and Pizza. And after lunch again started our fun. We saw canoe (small pointed boat) in the water and asked the nearby shopkeeper who was allowing tourists to take canoe into the sea as far as they can...... for an hour in Rs. 150 only. Two people were allowed in a canoe. And after viewing a few colleagues into it, I also purchased a trip of it with my friend... First time in the sea... without knowing swimming and what was about to come in the coming days, I was not at all aware of it. I was just admiring sea and the sea was approaching me to admire me. :)
So basically this sport is called Kayaking and the science behind it, both/all the person should propel the paddle in the same direction and with similar force. It was very hard to start the ride because in starting waves were taking it back on the shore. But with the help of few of my colleagues push it was in the water and we were sailing. My companion was good enough who was alone responsible for the force and right movement of our boat and I was helping him and following his commands. Soon we were a Kilometer or two, inside the sea and now my heart was sinking. Nobody was near us and as it was early evening, so waves were higher than before... what if one wrong move we did... we could sink there. So I asked him to take it back to the shore and we started... and because we were now propelling it in the direction of waves it only took 2-3 minutes when we were at the shore, but last command was followed wrongly and our boat twisted and we were into the water and boat was upon us. Thank God! we were not in the mid of water... it was a shore and everybody was fine. I got the answer how shopkeeper allowed us to sail alone in the water, because he already knew how far one can sail and how fast sea waves will return him to the shore. So rare chances of drowning and his men were standing near the shore to help anybody who got into the trouble. We were the last one who sailed that day because waves were really high then. So we took some pictures with canoes and then start waiting for the sunset.
Sunset at Goa Beach
After sunset we walked to explore the Goa market and took dinner there only and it was again a pizza party there. With friends and fun you never know how much you eat. The same happened with all of us as well. We ate too much and don't want to sleep that time so after returning from market a few of us sat on the shore, while others were busy in there chit-chats. Although there was lesser visibility near shore that time, shops were about to close but we were hearing the roar sound of sea waves. The night waves were higher than the day time waves. In the mobile flash light we were able to look the milky white water of sea. A cool breeze was blowing there and we enjoyed sitting there till 1 AM at night. Then we got back to our rooms for a sleep and to maintain energy for the next day journey from South Goa to North Goa.
So as per our concierge schedule, we all were ready by 9AM. Even I and a few of my friends were already took a walk on the beach in the morning. I clicked lot of pictures of morning sea in excitement. Then we started in the bus and our guide was telling about the history of Goa and showing us the monuments and spots which were coming in our way. Our aim was to enjoy beaches, casinos and water sports instead of exploring different places and monuments. So we stopped our bus only on a few places and we visited them. One of those places was the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Bom Jesus Basilica Church'. It is a large and 400 year's old church of Goa where body of saint Francis Xavier is preserved. It is said that body has great healing powers in it. The church was constructed with laterite stone which gets stronger with time. The Chapel has carvings and paintings in the interior which tells about the life of the saint. Overall it was a good place to visit. We also saw Jamun Trees on the roadside in the old Goa city. We took our lunch in a nearby restaurant and this time found a good variety of food items. We purchased cashew nuts from an old shop in the Goa city and then around 4PM reached in our pre-booked hotel. It had a swimming pool, so boys just put their bags in the rooms and jumped in the pool. We girls were busy in getting ready for evening outing.
Bom Jesus Basilica Church
In Goa you can hire a bike or scooty in Rs. 100 a day by just depositing your Driving License. We all also hired different bikes because our plan was to view all beaches and then move to casinos at night. First we visited famous Chapora beach and because it was the time of Sunset and we were near the famous Sunset Point and Chapora Fort which was famous after 'Dil Chahta Hai' movie, we moved towards the fort. The fort was about to close but we entered and enjoyed the sunset from its wall. A few of us were on the beach. Everyone was in his leisure mood and enjoying in his own way. I with a few of my friends, was enjoying evening at beach. A few moved to explore the market. Some were finding partner to enter in the casino. Casino prices were starting from Rs.1000. Cruise casinos were just awesome but expensive.
In the night I with my friends took a ride on Bullet and one of my friend has his birthday, so we decided to celebrate it on the Baga Beach. We purchased cake and candle and in the mid-night surprised him. Really it was one of those moments which are unforgettable... A birthday at sea shore. It was hard to light the candle in sea breeze, but we managed. We skipped our casino trip for that awesome moment and just enjoyed at the beach. The colleagues who went to casinos were returned hotel around 4AM, after having great fun and disco there.
Birthday Celebration at Sea Shore
Milky Sea at Night
For the next morning we had a great plan to go deep inside the sea. Yes... I am talking about Scuba Diving. A water sport in Rs. 4000 to explore sea by diving inside it. One thing I want to tell you that I did not know swimming that time. That means no need to know swimming for enjoying scuba diving. We woke up around 5:30 and left hotel till 6:00AM. Firstly they gave us training in a swimming pool about basic scuba diving practice with snorkeling (breathing with oxygen cylinder). They told us to stop breathing from nose and start breathing from mouth from the oxygen cylinder. They also made us aware about the air pressure in ears when we move deep inside the sea and trained us to talk in signals by hand if we were not feeling OK. Then they took 12 of us in a motor boat to an island called Netrani, where there was an old ship inside. So different species of fishes like butterfly fish, trigger fish, parrot fish, eels and coral reefs, rock pinnacles, shipwrecks with its large iron anchor was there inside the sea. It was an hour journey and a few of us had sea-sickness there although I enjoyed it. High sea waves were pushing our boat and we can see water and only water all around with no shore or island for a time being. We saw Daulphins jumping in the water and a fast trigger fish from our boat. Then the time arrived... our guide asked us to wear snorkel gear - mask, fins and pump and then he tied heavy oxygen cylinder on our back, put its pump in our mouth and push us from our front so we can dive on our back into the sea. It was a thrill to view that process, but they were all trained. Due to the weight of oxygen cylinder the divers moved deep into the sea and there they were ready to take you more deep near the drowned ship. The Goa water is not much clean so in starting we were unable to view anything. All was just sea-green color. Then I found that blindness is not necessarily having BLACK color in-front-of eyes but no particular object or color difference to determine or to calculate in mind. So blindness is actually blankness, which we were facing there. We were feeling pressure in our ear and due to that, I was not able to go more deep into the sea, but my colleagues managed. But yes I was happy that at least I tried and life will again give me chance to enjoy moments like those.
When we returned from there it was around 2PM and other colleagues who not joined us in Scuba, enjoyed water sports on the Baga Beach like dolphin rides, parasailing, jet skiing, banana ride, water scooter and more. We missed them but overall enjoyed the trip. We took lunch and decided to roam in group only as we already enjoyed the previous day in separate personal groups. We all queued at beach for group photographs. In the night we took dinner at beach side restaurant with live band and roar of sea waves. It was our last day of trip and next morning we were returning to Jaipur. I was happy for such a memorable trip but sad that I was leaving that happening city Goa. I wanted to spare some more time in capturing sea from my eyes.
Bye Bye Goa
I thanked to God and to sea for whatever they showed me. This is the basic difference of what you can plan and what God can plan for you. I never saw sea just before two days. My desire was to just view it and capture its beauty in my mind. I never planned for Kayaking or Scuba, but just God gave me chances and I enjoyed them. At the Church some old man told me the meaning of 'Goa' in their language and it was 'Completing all of your desires'. I found more than what I wished for. Yes... the old man having sense in his sentence. One good place was left by us and that was the Doodhsagar Waterfall. Many films have its scenes. It is a beautiful place to visit, but we missed it due to shortage of time and to plan another wonderful trip to Goa ;)... to cover the uncovered places.
Our return journey was from plane and it was my first plane experience but I enjoyed another plane journey more, which I told you in some other travel story. Till then keep reading.
For more images kindly view 'Gleaming Goa Tour' Hope you are enjoying my travel experiences. Kindly share your feedback here and support my writing :)