Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last Moments at Goa

After finishing two major tours at Goa, we decided to go around the city and buy gifts for our family and friends. We had not seen everything in Goa. Three major spots, Mayam Lake, Shaptokoteshwar Temple and Palolem Beach were still left. But Palolem is too far from Panaji and our driver didn’t seem to know much about it. Crocodiles had arrived at Mayam Lake and Shaptokoteshwar Temple was closed for the time-being. So, first thing in the morning, we went to have breakfast at Dona Paula. This time, we took grilled chicken sandwiches, omelettes and coffee at a better restaurant. That day, it was raining. Immediately after breakfast, we came back to the city’s market place. After roaming around a bit, we entered a Handicraft shop. Here, we found Goan Handicrafts for everyone. Very happily, we bought them and then, we bought two bags from another shop. I bought a cap for myself. But Goa is a pretty expensive place. All things, including food, clothing, shelter, conveyance, etc. are a lot more expensive than Kolkata. That afternoon, we had a very delicious lunch at Goa. It consisted of Rotis, Chicken Tandoori, One vegetable curry and Limca. This was the best meal we’ve had in Goa. After lunch, we saw a church situated in Panaji itself. It is called the Church of Emaculated Conception. We couldn’t go inside the church as prayers were going on inside it at that moment. So, we just looked around and came back. This church is not shown to the tourists in the conducted tours. Tourists have to see it by themselves. We saw the houses of businessmen and other VIPs [the Bishop, the Army Commander, Dempo Brothers (members of Dempo, the football club)] in a locality called Altino (meaning “height”). These houses are really beautiful. We also saw a temple of Hanumanji, which no tourist ever visits. It was completely empty. But it is very very beautiful. I don’t know why it is never shown to the tourists in the conducted tours. But it should be shown.
That night, we couldn’t go out for dinner because the drizzling continued. Instead, we sat in our room and tried the food at our holiday home. It was not bad.
Next morning, it was time for us to leave Goa. We checked out of the holiday home at 9.30 a.m. Then, we went to have breakfast for the third consecutive day at Dona Paula. This time we were lucky. After finishing the breakfast of Masala Dosa, Dahi Vada, Half-boiled eggs and coffee, we found a family of four searching for more people in order to rent the eight seater family boat. Immediately, we gave them half the cost for the boat and went with them to a blue boat which was waiting for us. And it was great! We enjoyed ourselves immensely in the 15-minute ride in the rivers of Mandavi and Zuari. At about 12 o’ clock, we reached Dabolim Airport. Biding adieu to Goa, we boarded the aircraft to Mumbai. From Mumbai, we were back to Kolkata by 7.30. Nothing very significant happened on the way, except that the woman at the Security check-point at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport opened my cap to see if I had hidden bombs there.
The Goa trip was fantastic. But I missed my maternal grandparents, Mama, Mami, Tanni Didi (who is known as Woodsmoke in blogosphere) and Riju Dada. After seeing the beautiful state of Goa for the first time, memories of our Rajasthan trip came rushing back to my mind. My grandparents stayed back at Kolkata to enjoy Durga Puja, while Tanni Didi is now miles away in Idaho. It’s pretty unfortunate that Mama, Mami and Riju Dada visited Goa just a week before we did. If we had known before, we could have made the trip together. I feel that Goa is a must-se place for everyone. It provides the perfect getaway from hectic city life. If you’ve not already visited Goa, please do so in your next vacation. And I promise you, you’ll feel better when you come back.


Woodsmoke said...

Yes a trip together would have been fun. What were the gifts you bought?
And was Bhanudas a Ghasiram or better or worse?

Butterfly said...

Bhanudas was slightly better than Ghasiram.
We bought a small vase for everyone.