Goa Year End Bash
New year eve was spent in Goa. A sincere attempt to record the happenings for historical records is being done now (after a month of the tour)! To go to the Goa like the DCH way, mostly with those whom the DCH was watched was a wish since long. No one knows how many times it was planned/discussed only to be dropped later. This time the plan was executed without any hassles.
Also I had to keep up the appointment with Goa I had made that I would re-visit it in another 3 years or so. Unfortunately no other takers of the oath could join me as they are in US
The planning started almost from November 1st week. As usual these days, most of the discussion happened over mail, starting from the kick-off to sign-off. Even if we were planning 2 months in advance, the accommodation was a big question mark, luckily sorted out by a high-profile contact Skv had The leaves were the easiest part (for me as usual and I guess it was easy for others too.)
Mode of transport was zeroed in on Car basically to emulate DCH. (Thank Farhan, he did not choose a helicopter !). With our own car (Skv’s actually), the next big concern was over the route to be taken to reach Goa and the places to be visited en-route.
Looking up on net gave us few suggestions and more confusions. Few alternatives were discussed:
2. Try taking the Toll Road which starts just before Hubli Town and then take the Karwar Route (u need to take a left at one of the interchanges) which is smooth as silk and awesome scenery next to you as u drive
3. The recommended route is via Tumkur, Davanagere, Hubli, karwar and Margao. Around 580 km. Best road
4.Bangalore – Tumkur – Chirtradurga – Harihar – Hubli – Karwar – Madgoan – Panaji – Goa -Total distance 680 km
1 was decided at the nth minute due to the apparent advantages it had over others (shorter distance was the compelling factor I guess). So on 29th morning we started at around 6:30 AM and most of the day was spent in traveling. Various matters were discussed including Karnataka’s politics, songs, movies, girls, respect, culture, perception, cricket, videos etc and the highlight being Dhoom 2 (also thanks to Cineblitz’s pun on the movie which made the laughs explode).
The road was so bad b/n Dharwad and Goa and there were absolutely no road at many places and this was, after all, NH4A! Once we crossed Karnataka-Goa border, the road was good. The roads on Karnataka are heavily damaged and completely unmotorable (Skv kept one eye on the road and the other on the fuel indicator…no peterol bunk for a long stretch …we were getting prepared to push the car thru the road in the dark night!)
At around 9:45 we made to the rooms near Meeramir beach in Panaji. We inaugurated our beach visit program then and there by going to Miramir beach and staying till 12:30
We had planned to go to the dolphin’s show which is possible only on Saturday and Tuesdays. We had to get ready by 8:00 for the dolphin show and we woke up at 9. So thus dolphins missed to see 4 amazing characters that had come all the way from Bangalore. Breakfast was had and we were beginning to see the hospitality from the servers in hotels in goa, more about that later. Other highlight was the curd worth rs 40.
Our next interest was in Casino on the cruise. It is a whole night package with dinner and we just barged in and ordered the tickets. The experienced receptionist that she was, asked whether we knew the prices. We left from there, a 3k special price for only these 5 days was unaffordable, the normal prices for other days of the year being as low as 1300.
We then immediately booked for the night cruise (and mistake we later realized that we should have booked for evening one.)
Thus with 2 plans flopped, we next went to Aguada fort (around 12). Sk’s camera got life from here after. It’s a different topic that we started addressing him by 12x by 4x (zoom of his camera). Next stop was at Candolin beach. We went on para-sailing and jet skiing (again, on the lines of DCH). Para-sailing was one wonderful-memorable experience. Now I have got little courage to do the sky diving! If I were not to hold and pull the ropes, I could have enjoyed it even more. I had felt, even if every other thing does not happen as planned, this one sport has made the tour paisa-vasool.
The car key along with autocop, which too played water sports in Skv’s pockets, had by now become wet and could not communicate to the car that we were the rightful owner of the car. Since autocop could not be turned off, once the door was opened, the alarm started to shout. We had to cut the wire of the alarm speaker by opening the front bonet.
We then tried to book for the 31st night disco, but the mambos and titos was a bit costly and anyways we were told pre-booking is not necessary. On the way back from here we saw the remains of a very tragic accident – scorpio after hitting tree which was on the wrong side reduced to its half, car which was on the opposite direction probably got hit by the scorpio reduced to its 3/4th, and a man laid on ground with face fully covered with blood. We were not able to comprehend the way the accident might have happened too.
Post lunch we went to play Frisbee at Miramar beach.
There wasn’t much fun in the cruise, we just enjoyed the ride, talk and gossips.
The already eventful day hasn’t yet seen the end. We wanted to go to the ingos night bazaar shopping. On the way, we were royally misguided by a girl, with a mischievious smile! The smile gave away about it, but not till we had already gone in wrong direction for some time. On the way to shopping, the traffic moved as slowly as it could, and we barely made a km after 20 minutes or so. A brilliant idea struct to park the car in a near by place which though made us walk for 2 kms, saved us nearly an hour or more. The entire 2-3 km stretch were cars.
Ingos was expected to be the bazaar where electronics articles among other things were sold at a throwaway price.We didn’t go to Ingos, did not notice the name and entered the first bazaar available. The shopping stalls was not any special – usual tour articles with exaggerated prices – mainly to suit/target $people and ladies. We bought shades here.
We slept at around 2 AM and the day started late, as usual. We started with the visit to DCH fort. Its fort chepora but now widely known as DCH fort itself. During my earlier visit, we had climbed this from Vagator beach and this time we first went to the fort by the other direction.
Next stop was at vagator beach. Photos. Beach. Fun.
We then had a very relishing food (@garden valley restaurant). Here the soup was served at the end and Lassi at the beginning, but the food was very good. Had a time like the old times’ visits to Dhabas.
While many events we wanted to emulate from DCH happened quite easily, an unexpected oppurtunity arose when we saw a train coming in full speed and before it crossed the overhead bridge we wanted to go through it. Train was fast and in same style, we encouraged the man on steering. The car speeded up and won the race and huge enjoyment resulted. It happened so fast that the whole scene – we saw the train, we recognized the oppurtunity, the race was a close call- was unbelievable and breath-holding and one of my favorite moments of the tour.
We went to Anjuna beach in the evening and here the sunset was seen. On the way to the beach, a drug deal happening very casually was witnessed. Photos were taken in the beach, enjoyment of playing in the beach happened.
Till now the plan to spend the night, “the night of 31st dec”, was not made and I was all prepared for any happening/un-happening and disappointment. Thanks to our host, we got passes for the “Scintilla 2007″. We had seen the venue when we tried booking for the casino and luckily it was very near to our stay. Anywhere farther would have proved unpleasant with the traffic involved that day.
Scintilla was just perfect for our varied tastes. We had a relishing menu; fire-dance, troupe dance, live music (all the way flown from Dubai it seems, it was intolerable to say the least and were stopped soon enough) was performed, DJ’s music and an irritating announcer were present. Many people danced and enjoyed the time – particularly a girl in red, a small kid, that kid’s parents, an old man and his young son/grandson danced very well. The merry happened till around 2 Am after which we went and had coffee.
The day started almost at afternoon. We went to Baga beach and slept on the beach (for a change, this time I did not sleep on the sand but rested on the cot.). Bk and I bought some gift articles here. We then paid a courtesy visit to Calungunte beach which was as crowded as the railway station and we did not even go till water.
We then went to a bakery and after delayed orders and mistakes in the bill (we were charged less than we consumed), he was cool enough to dismiss the error in the bill saying “Jaane do”.
After little rest we shopped for liquor and cashewnuts.
We then had a good dinner at Delhi Durbar amidst interesting discussions.
While the bags were put back to the car, we expected someone to announce his stay back in goa to do “makki-paling” with Christine. Luckily no such incident happened
This day was spent in traveling but with better route now it was a pleasant experience.
We somehow escaped Goa border police but Karnataka police took bribe for carrying liquor.
Various matters were discussed including remembering dialogues of DCH, NRI lobby in US, influence of Indians in west, the usage of cars in US, China’s rates for services
Around 10 PM we reached back home.
Song of the tour : Tere Bin by Atif Aslam (Any guesses why? ) and DCH song.
Some of the assorted recordings:
- We had funny incidents with restaurants many times. The waiters were generally very fast.
- First time we had to wait a long time for the bill and when we said we were in hurry, he immediately started to clean our unfinished plates !
- In another place, we were looking around and guessing what might be available to eat. One confirmed thali as many were having it and other guessed pavbhaji too as it was getting prepared in the entrance. Once the waiter came to our place, for formality we asked what was avaiable. He said Thali, Paavbhaji and stopped after that. We were expecting more items. He was not ready to take any orders that took more time and since we had discussed these two (we guess he heard us), he had to tell these two but then stopped immediately. The hotel was so crowded that by the time 2 of us washed our hands and returned the seats were occupied. We went out and waited for the other 2 people. When they too came out, we could have easily left, without paying the bill. The good guys that we are, we called the waiter and asked him bill, he saw us interrogatively and the question was a brilliant-n-innocent one liner “Koun Dega?”. We were so tempted to point at the other 4 ppl who had occupied our seats and leave from there !!
- Again during breakfast, the sauce plate was taken away even while we were left with Buns. So when we said “By the time we say D in done, they would have picked up the plates”. Just then, right when we were saying that, right exactly when we said D, waiter appearing from nowhere had picked up another plate right under our nose. The timing was so unbelievably perfect that, we could not resist bursting into loudest laughter. (Causing confusion to them, who cares. In an unknown place we don’t mind the tag of mad guys too !)
- In the bakery the other day, we waited so much to initially place the order and then to pay the bill. The only person in the coutner was taking orders, packing things, taking bill and was very busy with 2 heavy orders. He was not bothered to even look at us. But we were very reluctant to pay the bill (the good guys that we are), and waited impatiently. Finally when the bill was made, we had to give some amoung for correct change. When we told we didn’t have the change, he said “jaane do jaane do” He had missed out on one item that we had bought. We pointed it out and took pains to make him understand he should be paid more, again he said with such indifference “jaane do jaane do” I guess he just wanted us out of the bakery!
Other Strange people whose memory put smile on our faces :
- On a night while driving we asked for directions to a traffic constable who was in half sleep, standing, and probably drunk. He opened his eyes with effort and showed us the direction, and the eyes were almost wanting to shut down again and we asked another direction. An irritated person “Ek bar bola na…seede jao”.
- On the way to bazaar, we asked a person for direction. He said pointing to the roadside repair(in english) in full enthusiasm “5 years. from 5 years this is a construction site.” He was drunk too.
- A gang of girls and boys were standing in the intersection of the road that was heavily crowded on one way. We asked her for direction towards the shopping bazaar, she so confidently pointed to the side where traffic was free, and we happily cruised along. With confidence she had given a mischievious smile too. On reconfirming with another person we realized that we were going the wrong way and if we had taken the right direction at the intersection we could have saved a km or more (equivalent to 30 or more minutes in that heavy traffic).
I was so very impressed with such different,
dreamsleep-walking people, that I wished greatly to ask local on-goers for directions to Australia via road in all seriousness. Some sanity (or probably the esteem company I kept) stopped me from doing that.
As much as I wanted to embed photos, this writing itself has taken a large amount of time. I will leave with the link. Here
Some links :
We stayed here