Goa - Sun, Sand and Beaches - Chapter 2

Well, this vacation meant a lot as we were going together as a family after a long long time. It took us 2 months to finalize the holiday destination. We started planning for Mauritius, Singapore, Kerala, Pondicherry (now Pudducherry) and then we finally agreed on Goa. Though we have been there before but since Goa has it's own charm and value proposition, the excitement grew each day as we  were nearing our vacation dates.

Selecting Goa was also a wise decision as we were taking along our 2.5 year old son and we didn't know how will he react to completely new place, that too for 5 nights. We had it in mind even if feel restricted with him on our vacation, it will not be a problem as we have been to Goa before and stayed in the same hotel and I knew what all facilities I was going to get. But all our anticipation was false. He enjoyed a lot and didn't want to return home at the end of our trip. More on this later.

So, the date arrived and we did all the packing a day before and kept our tickets and IDs safely with us. In the morning we called Uber and since it was Saturday morning, I hoped there wont be much traffic, but I was wrong, we were already running late and then the traffic! I have mentioned in my previous posts as well that I am jinxed so how can anything go smoothly? Soon, we diverted from our route and switched to a longer route and hoped not to get any traffic on the way. However, another trouble was awaiting us. As we were about to reach airport, my son puked in the cab. We stopped the cab, opened the luggage and changed his clothes and wasted another few minutes.  I was suddenly so spiritual, chanting God's name hoping to reach airport on time, which we did (Thank God).

Soon we were done with all the check-in formalities, security checks and we finally boarded our flight. Since I was unable to do any Web check-in due to issue in Air Asia's website, I paid additional premium amount at the time of check-in to ensure we get at least two seats together. When we boarded, guess what? We were given three different seats. Two aisle seats and one behind of the aisle seat. The only question I had in mind at that time was, "Why God why? Why me?" God did listen apparently and a helpful gentleman gave his seat to us and with some juggling, we got all three seats together.

"Off we go", a kid shouted behind us as the plane took off and we diverted our son's mind by playing with him and offering him candies. Kids usually get scared, but he is the brave kind. Soon, we all took a nap and after good two and half hours, we landed at Dabolim airport Goa.

Airport has changed drastically in five years and improved a lot. I remember from my last visit that it nowhere looked like an airport. Much better now and spacious as well with many facilities. We had to collect our baggage so we went to the conveyor belt which was already surrounded by all other people from our flight.  "Excuse me" I said to the people who were standing in front of the conveyor belt as soon as I spotted our luggage arriving while others were still waiting and gave me looks. With my experience, I can tell you that the joy of getting your luggage earlier than others is one of the best feelings in the world.

My wife ran towards me with the trolley and my son sitting on it as she spotted me holding the luggage by myself in my Superman Pajamas with T-shirt of course.

We found our way out of the airport and I quickly searched for my name on the banners which various hotel's staff were holding to welcome their guests. Without much delay, I spotted the driver holding my name banner and offered us to hold the luggage and we walked along towards the car.

Sagar, our driver, was really nice to talk to and within half hour, we reached our hotel Coconut Grove Beach Resort in South Goa. "Back to my happy place" I said as I stepped in to the reception and was greeted by the welcome drinks. Soon after some formalities, we were allotted our ground floor room. The room looked exactly same as it did on our previous visit.

It was 4 in the evening and we quickly changed and relaxed for a while. While my son slept, I unpacked everything and got ready to go to the beach. He finally woke up at 6 and we all left as soon as we could.

Though, we were still tired from our flight, we chose to stay away from water and walk along the beach and watch sunset. We returned back to our hotel and had a warm bath and went for a quiet dinner, It was good to see some old folks there, the bartender also recognized us. We took suggestions for the best dish available and were not disappointed by it. We ordered Fish Tikka and a bowl of rice which was delicious. After the tummy full dinner, we returned back and watched some television and went to sleep.

Next morning, I was awakened by my wife who was already ready to go to the beach while I still took my good sweet time to get ready. Damn, I just hate mornings. After a kick by my wife, I finally woke up and got ready. We quickly went for breakfast which was again very tasty. We had to run after our son to make him feed and soon all waiter staff also was helping us to feed him. I am still glad the way they went out of their way to play with him. The staff was definitely lovely. After breakfast, we returned to our room and rested for a while. Since it started to get hot outside, we chose not to go to the beach and had fun in hotel's swimming pool. After spending good half hour there, my so also started to enjoy and played a lot with the beach ball in the pool.

The noon we spent lazing in our room and evening again at the Betalbatim beach, sunset beach and Morjim beach. My son who was bit scared of the water the previous day, now he didn't even want to get out of water. We literally had to drag him out. We spent lovely family time playing at the beach, playing with the sand while we looked at the sunset.

Next morning, we woke up early to go to the beach. We had quick breakfast and reached the beach. Though the beach is usually secluded, there were just few people in the morning. It was bright and sunny and we all stepped into the water and played as long as we could. We did photo shoots and made castles and didn't even realize it was half past 12. 3 hours at the beach passed so quickly and we didn't even realize. It was getting hot and we reached our room and lied on the bed and ordered few snacks. After sometime, my shoulders started to pain and soon I was unable to move them. Sunburns of course. I didn't even realize until I was in water and this surely was the after effects. Now I was realizing that I should have applied sun protection which I ignored. My shoulders were paining and burning as I touched them. I applied some ice which worked a bit and helped me sleep.

In the evening we went for a walk while my shoulders were still paining. We went up to Colva, the local picnic beach of South Goa and watched people playing football, enjoying water sports. We did all the water sports in Colva during our last visit so we decided to let pass this time. We returned to our hotel before sunset. Night was awfully painful due to sunburns that the next morning, immediately after breakfast I walked to the nearby market (2 kms away) to get the medication for my sun burns. In the evening I felt much better and we spent that day in our hotel only as my son also complained of itching and pain on his shoulders.

Next day was our day outing and we hired a bike to visit Agonda beach. Though we were staying in South Goa, this beach was still 1.5 hour away. We started our journey in the afternoon hoping to avoid traffic, but fate had something else in mind, First we had to stop at a railway track and then there was a jam due to some military trucks were crossing. Then we finally took NH 17, the Kochi highway and built some speed. The way was just awesome, with greenery, mountains and very less traffic. After riding an hour on that highway, we took a turn where we saw the sign towards Agonda. We crossed so many small villages but we couldn't locate Agonda. We asked a guy in the village and he mentioned we left it behind as there was a small cut towards the bridge. We were glad we were almost there. Damn you Pulsar, you almost broke my back. We finally reached Agonda and parked the bike. Trust me, this was the most beautiful beach I saw in Goa, we rushed towards the water and had fun, did photography while my wife posed happily for the camera and my son had lot of fun. 

After spending some good quality time there, we decided to return back to our hotel. My back was also feeling little better by now. We left at sunset and again after 1.5 hour, we reached our hotel. My wife was so tired that I had to convince her to have dinner, While she relaxed in the room, I ordered the dinner at the restaurant and enjoyed the meal with my son. After a tiring day, we crashed on the bed.

Next morning we decided to go North towards Vagator and Anjuna. After breakfast, we left at 10am and soon we reached Panjim and then around 11:30am, we reached at Vagator. Vagator is a nice and lovely beach with some rocky areas. Bit commercial if I compare it with South Goa beaches, but still very neat and clean. Let me just copy and paste (we rushed towards the water and had fun, did photography while my wife posed happily for the camera and my son had lot of fun). 

Next stop was Anjuna, not too far away from Vagator, we reached there in no time. To be honest, I have no idea why people visit this beach? It was too crowdy that we left as soon as we reached. 

The day was getting hotter now so without wasting our time, we left for our hotel. No stoppage on the way, actually we did stop, for petrol and for my back! Never ever take a Pulsar with you on a long ride. Lesson learnt!

We reached our hotel during lunch but we were so tired that we satisfied ourselves with snacks and crashed on the bed. the evening we spent was quiet at our hotel's betalbatim beach just looking at the sun, the waves and remembering our 2011 visit to this place. This as our last night n Goa and we spent it by spending quality family time and a lovely dinner, 

Next morning, we went to the beach early in the morning and played as much as we could. I don't know about my wife, but for sure I was about to miss Goa. The last day at vacation is usually the hardest day. We promised to return soon and left the beach, had breakfast and packed our bags. After the check out formalities, we took the cab and I watched the beauty of Goa silently through the window and once again I made promise to return to here once again, to cherish all the memories and good times once again!

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