GOA (Great Outdoor Adventure) Diaries

Flight tickets… check! Swimwear… check! Music… check! Camera… check!

Oh wait, I need to start from the start.

Prologue

Boring monotonous life, mundane routines, heightened stress levels… I am allergic to all of these which makes me an urban nomad. Urban for the fact that I am surrounded with concrete and cement, I guess that’s what cities are made of 😛 , and nomad as I always crave to be on the road looking ahead to new journeys. To cut the long story short, I was feeling saturated and needed a much desired break with my partner in every crime (Wifey).

Options were extensively explored and it was decided to treat ourselves to the royalty of the desert (Rajasthan) but as my love for the Thar is highly jinxed, it was unanimously (wife, brother and sis-in-law) decided to hit the beaches and let the party animals within UNLEASH!

And in order to compensate for the change it was decided to add a twist to the journey. Part of the journey was to be covered by air and the most interesting part by road. The destination was GOA and the icing on the cake was the opportunity to drive through the majestic Western Ghats.

The Start

My vacations have never been short of a week since that’s the minimum I need to reboot and recharge. It was decided to take a short flight to the city of Pune and then carry onward by road with our new travel buddies (Bro and his wife).

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Hitting the holy road in the wee hours has always been my choice lest the terrain is unsafe for night travel. So continuing with the legacy we left Pune at 3 in the morning with the promise of well maintained roads, beauty of Western Ghats, scenic beauty of two states and a riot of cuisines.

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Majestic Western Ghats
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On The Road

No matter how hard I try it’s quite difficult for me to even try to explain the feeling of being on the road, cruising with my thoughts and capturing every inch of beauty strewn around. The drive through the ghats had been on the bucket list for quite a while and I literally gave no chance to my brother to get behind the wheels 😛 (barring a few stretches).

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The Revelers
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I want to break free…
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Goa Never Disappoints

Goa is not a place but a moment. It’s different and more dense every time I come back. You get to live it, cherish it, even try to hold it close but it slips away just like the sand on the beach for you to come back again and feel it. There is something for everyone here and still there is scope for more.

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Food Wars

My late brother always used to say.”If you can enjoy the local food, you belong to the place.”. And strangely enough I am a natural at it. The only non-vegetarian (proudly 😛 ) in the squad my taste buds go crazy when in Goa. Sea food, good quality cheap booze and the green and blue around is what I crave for 😀 . Listed below are a few tried and tested eateries with the best food and surroundings one can’t afford to miss.

Purple Martini

Michele’s Garden Cafe

Mr. Gelato – Cream Choc

Martin’s Corner

German Bakery

St. Anthony’s

Baba Au Rhum

Dropadi

Caravela Cafe and Bistro

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The city of Flea Markets

Goa is unknowingly the city of flea markets as it humbly boasts of a host of flea markets all through the week. Some adorn the beaches during the day time while others keep the nights busy. A few of them start in the evening and continue till wee hours and are literally a riot of colors, food and music. You will find a variety of things under the sky ranging from a trinket to expensive paintings. There are rides for the kids, live music for enthusiasts, locals selling their wares, all varieties of Goan food and whole lot of talent on display. You wouldn’t even realize how quickly and how many hours pass through while you are busy exploring.

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Do and Don’ts while in Goa

When in Goa you are supposed to hang on your boots and just groove with the rhythm but there are indeed a few things that are not to be ignored at any cost. The most important aspect of being a traveler is to be aware of your surroundings and not lose the bearings. Secondly, trust no one. Although Goa is full of friendly and beautiful people but has no dearth of hoodwinks. Fleecing in the name of cheap guided tours, exotic massages and rave parties is a common practice and too enticing for people to fall prey to. Thirdly, Goa can burn a hole in your pocket if you go all guns out and no holds barred. So it’s important to plan and improvise as this place has options galore and something for every kind of traveler.

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Epilogue

The time spent in Goa is never enough, for the aroma of sea, mixed with the lush green surroundings is more intoxicating than any drug. Every piece of sand has a story to tell and every footprint left behind is a mark of freedom to rejoice. The trip did not conclude in Goa but went on to yet another charismatic city, that is Pune (home to my brother). Pune is an amalgamation of rich history and dynamic modern setup.

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La Familia

We utilized our time lazing around with family and old friends and going on a culinary frenzy. As customary, a visit to Kayani Bakery was planned which is famous for its butteriest biscuits and a whole load of consignment was ordered to be taken back home. This bakery has been dishing out delicacies since 1955 and is quite popular for their Shrewsbury biscuits. Unknown to many, Pune is also popularly known as the city of biscuits as it has some of the best bakeries in the country.

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Shopping Frenzy
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Memories

So that marks the end of this trip and with a refreshed mind and soul, I embark on the quest to refill the coffers and explore many more destinations in the new year. The post does not include details about places of stay and itinerary but feel free to connect in case you need some help in planning a trip to Goa 🙂 .

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I am a nomad at heart who craves for journeys and experiences. Life is too short to stop exploring and the quest to be happy should go on.

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