If you’ve ever made Goa plans with your friends, you know how hard it’s to make those work. After all those cancelled plans, we did go to Goa on the Republic day long weekend. The beaches were not exactly pristine blue but they were huge and lively. Frisbee games by the beach, horror stories with chilled drinks by the campfire, a cup of tea while watching the endless waves, bike rides along scenic roads and morning swims at the sea- Goa has given me a ton of memories to bring back.
During the journey, we saw some beautiful beaches of South Goa. Kiranpani ecofarm, our guest house, was isolated from the city and had tranquil surroundings. It had an excellent view of the backwaters on one side and hills on the other. We spent some time having lunch and going around while our bikes arrived.
It was almost sunset by the time we reached Arambol. It wasn’t too crowded neither did the beach make us say wow but this place gave us our first feel of Goa. By evening, all the shacks lined along the shore had lit up and there were candlelit dinner tables laid out on the sand. Most of the crowd had disappeared and after a round of food and drinks, we walked along the shore as the cool breeze swept along.
On the way back to the guest house, we went shopping for groceries (sweet potatoes and pineapples to barbecue) and drinks. Once at the guest house, one person made the Maggi and the other started the campfire. And then the endless banter and partying began. When in an isolated, calm guest house, where you can even hear the rustling of leaves and there is pitch-black darkness around, horror stories are warranted.
Keri (Querim) Beach
For the 2 days that we were there, campfire at nights and visiting Keri beach in the mornings were our rituals. Keri beach was just 3KM from our guest house and the morning bike ride to the beach was very pleasant; the narrow roads were cut through the beautiful Queriem village and had very scenic views of the ferry point and the sea. Good weather and zero traffic made the ride all the more enjoyable. Keri beach, with a couple of shacks and only few foreigners, was almost like our private beach. Unlike other beaches, there was no restriction on how deep into the sea we could go. After a delicious breakfast of chai and sandwiches, we went for a swim.
This is one those typical Goa beaches bustling with people, activity and nightlife. It was too hot for us to do the water sports, so we sat down and had a peaceful lunch at one of the shacks. Later, we did the banana ride and few of us did parasailing. The banana ride experience was awesome: they took us into the sea on a small boat and dropped us into the water! We played Frisbee (it was super fun playing with 7-8 people!) while the sunset began. Every sunset has a different story and I sat by the shore watching the day disappear into splendid shades of crimson and grey.
After sunset, we drove to Calangute beach, another vibrant beach in North Goa. Like Baga beach, the entrance was lined up with tiny shops selling jewelry, beach wear and souvenirs. The dark ocean was spectacularly lit up by the colored fairy lights in restaurants and the outdoor tables laid out for candlelight dinners. We had dinner by the table closest to the sea and it was a lovely feeling having dinner while watching the ocean waves crash the shore.
After racing back to the guest house in the chilly night, the chatter, cooking and campfires began. These campfires and conversations were some of the exquisite moments from the trip. The next morning started with a visit to Keri beach and delicious ganne ka juice (sugarcane juice) en-route.
The 20 KM drive to Chapora Fort from our guest house almost left us tawa-fried, thanks to the fiery sun. It was almost impossible to go around due to the mid-afternoon heat but we trekked up to the fort from the parking lot and explored the fort. The fort had a marvelous view of the city and Vagator beach and was surrounded by Arabian sea on all the sides. Had it not been so hot, it would have been a lovely place to spend some time.
This was our last beach in Goa; we reached the beach in the evening. This beach was crowded and not very clean and there weren’t really any water activities to do. So we played a lot of Frisbee till sunset and then started to Club Cabana, which is slightly hyped up, in my opinion.
We spent the last day of our trip at the guest house mostly and left early to Panjim, so we could catch our bus back to Bangalore.
The trip logistics
Stay: Kiran Pani Eco Farm. Very highly recommended for a peaceful stay. The owner is very kind and helpful; we even had breakfast at his place one morning. The caretaker cleaned up the place everyday and got the logs for campfire before we reached in the evenings. Only con is that it is 20 Km from the popular beaches like Baga and Calangute. Pretty close to Arambol and Keri beach though.
Costs: The 5 rooms cost 10k for 4 days(1k per person). The travel was around 3.6k per person. The rented bikes(Royal Enfield, Avenger and 3 Activas) cost around 9k for three days. The whole trip cost around 10k per person. Don’t remember minor costs like parking, rides, food and drinks.
We had a very relaxed itinerary but you can cover more places if you wish to. It was very crowded when we went(thanks to the long weekend!) and there was heavy traffic on the way to some beaches. Nevertheless, I don’t think we would have had as much fun if we didn’t drive. We mainly covered North Goa in the three days that we were there. Keri Beach was perfect for swimming while Baga, Calangute, Anjuna beach are perfect for water sports and nightlife. Also the latter three beaches and Calangute and pretty close. I don’t think three days is sufficient to cover both North and South Goa peacefully.
Only few pictures this time coz what happens in Goa, stays in Goa 😉