KC and I headed to Goa this Diwali. Diwali can get pretty boring if you are not religious and do not burst crackers. A colleague who has recently shifted from Kolkata was also complaining about the deafening noise of crackers. KC was travelling from Mangalore and I headed from Thane. The journey was uneventful and was not uncomfortable at all.
We had booked ourselves into Cida de goa which is 10 km from Panaji. It greeted us with a beautiful view of the sea. Thankfully, we could check earlier into our sea facing room.
The food at the resort was amazing… the buffet had everything- chicken, fish, mutton/lamb, pasta, Indian, range of desserts, sausages at b’fast. Day 1 was spent relaxing. I generally like to start on the activities- be it water sports, sight seeing, going to the beach. KC is the more relaxed (lazy) kinds. During every trip the 1st day has to be spent sleeping. Even if we check into a hotel in Mumbai I am sure he will want to sleep first since he would have travelled from Mulund to ABC. (With all due respect to his hectic travelling sales job).
The beach was a disappointment. It was dirty and the tides were low. I missed having a good time on the private beach. Well, atleast the swimming pool was overlooking the sea. The beaches at Dona Silva (have been there twice- once with parents and another time with KC on Diwali 2008) and Kenilworth Resort were heaven compared to this one.
We rented a bike on day 2 and headed to Fort Aguada which is 20 km from Panaji. We have done the usual sightseeing earlier- the church, the temple, the cruise and had no interest in it. We picked the Fort since it has a nice view. Beautiful!!!
Unfortunately, the Fort and lighthouse close at 5.30 pm and we had to leave soon. There are very cute restaurants along the way. The resort had organized a Diwali Gala dinner for which they had charged us 1200 bucks. I tried to negotiate out of it but was unsuccessful. Anyway, arrangements were made on the beach… there was a dance troupe and dinner under the skies. It started raining and the venue was moved indoors. It was 9 pm by then… people were hungry and we ended up eating whatever was available. It was an absolute waste of our money and I did complain while checking out. The manager was courteous enough to apologize. When we refused his offer for a free lunch he sent a wine bottle after us- too bad it is red.
Day 3 we checked out and headed to Panaji for lunch. The rest of the day was spent lazing around in the resort since neither of us wanted to shop.
Here are some tips if you are planning a trip to Goa:
- Pick a resort with a good clean private beach. It doubles the fun
- During Diwali and New Year’s you will be charged anywhere from 500- 1000 bucks per head for the Gala dinner in most resorts
- Skip the regular sight seeing… it is boring. Rent a bike and explore Goa’s lanes. It is beautiful. You don’t need to visit any other beach if there is a private beach
- There is a good market in Panaji behind Inox where you can shop. We came across it on the 3rd day and it was too late by then
- Relax… laze around in the sun… have some fun
- Check out timings of sight seeing places… you do not want be late and miss the view like we did
- Skip the cruise which resorts will book you into. They are total crap
I hated to go to work today… no matter how many times we part there is still the heavy feeling in my heart. I could not drop to the bus today since I had a lot of work in office and was in no mood to drive all the way to Vashi and back.