Birthday Planned in Goa!
The last big trip I had ,was visiting Darjeeling and Gangtok in February. Though I did some wonderful treks in the rainy season, they were all one day trip. I got busy with my office work and then Diwali approached, hence did not get a chance to travel far. But, deep down, I knew I would go somewhere during November (and why not! it’s my birthday month). This time, my close friends had already planned something great for my birthday. They did all the planning and booking; I felt so pampered because it was the first time I did not plan any itinerary for my journey, wow! They kept hiding the place from me until October, and then one day I got a call from them and announced “Intezar ki ghadiya khatm hui baalike! To, hum jis jagah par ja rahe hai ,wo hai..(long pause) Goa!” Woah! I had been to Goa in my college trip but it was a too short and disciplined trip. I was very excited to hear Goa and my next question was :
Me – “for how many days?”
The beast – “not much ..we will be starting at 7th Nov and will be coming back on 14th Nov”
Me – (calculating the days, looking at the calendar) “What! 6 days! What are we going to do for so many days? Beaches dekh dekh ke b kitna dekhenge?”
They hung up the phone and texted me to shut my mouth and follow them. I had no clue what we would do but one thing was clear for sure “Maza bahut aanewala hai!”
First Adventure in Goa
So the journey began with Goa Express train from Pune on 7th November. You know, I love children, but few species roam all around the train bogie and shout as if it is their home. Unfortunately, I encountered these species and they were shouting right beside my seat! Somehow, the night passed and we reached Vasco Da Gama station at 8 am. At one exit gate, we saw a ticket checker. While I walked with full confidence, my friend pulled me back and told me in fear “shit! our ticket was till Madgaon only, but as Panjim is near to Vasco Da Gama, I decided to get down here.” I was shocked and angry, but then, there was a huge line of passengers getting their tickets checked. I waited for the right moment, checked for another exit gate (luckily Ticket checker was not standing at the main exit gate) indicated my friends and slowly we slipped away from that gate. As soon as we came out, we started laughing like hell; the adventure had already begun.
In Goa, if you wish to board any bus or shuttle even for shorter distances, you will have to collect tickets from the counter first (unlike in Pune where the collecter comes to you to purchase tickets after you are seated in the bus). Hence, we took bus tickets till the Panjim bus stand(Vasco to Panjim takes 42minutes approx). As soon as we got down at Panjim, we heard many people shouting ‘rent a bike’. We hired 2 Activa 5g for Rs.300 per day with half-liter petrol in it. We had booked an Independent Studio from Oyo at Dona Paula. We reached Panjim at about 9.30 am and the check-in time was noon. Hence, we had our breakfast and started to reach our room. Traveling in Goa becomes very exciting if you have a nice scooty and proper roads with coconut trees on both sides. Panjim to Dona Paula is a mere 5.6 km, still, we decided to reach our Oyo. The area and view were so fascinating! Clear blue sky, coconut trees, cruise on the river and smooth roads! Previously, I wasn’t a huge fan of Goa but when I saw such wonderful scenery, I thanked God a lot.
In Love with Dona Paula...
It was a 4 bhk bungalow in Dona Paula, with a Jacuzzi at the terrace! There was a nice caretaker who took good care of that bungalow and allowed us to roam around the house. Before you imagine, let me tell you, we did not hire the entire bungalow; it was just two rooms, one for boys and one for girls (and that too was in budget..will share all the expense related details at the end of this blog). Luckily there was no one at that time other than us hence we got the golden opportunity to explore every room and caretaker was sweet enough to let us choose our rooms. I desperately wanted the room which had Jacuzzi outside, but that was too hot to stay during the daytime. We freshened up and were too lazy to go out for lunch; hence we utilized the kitchen area and prepared Maggie and coffee over induction.
P.S – We booked this apartment through Oyo, in the name of Beautiful Independent Studios,Goa .
You can easily download the app through Google Playstore and use the code ‘ARYAPXGBT‘ and you will get a heavy discount on your first stay (and I will get some benefit too!).
Later, in the evening we went to Miramar beach but the sun was already set and all we could see was the black sea with huge white waves. There are many stalls near Miramar beach, hence we had some yummy rolls and Badaam shake. On our way back, we went a Dmart (sort of) and was amazed to see a separate section containing all a variety of wines! We took some stuff for the next day’s breakfast because, why not if you have got such a cool kitchen as a complimentary.
Met with an Accident !!
We had to check out from the wonderful bungalow of Goa the next day as we were moving to some more cooler apartment. But before that, we had a super tasty breakfast of half-boiled egg and bread! The second property that we went to, was much cooler than the first. It was an Elegant 1Bhk Apartment booked through Oyo and that too in Dona Paula.
Let me show you how my apartment looked like!
Again we avoided going out and chilled in the apartment itself. That evening, we went to explore the Panjim market (Panjim and Dona Paula shops close by 9.00 pm). I was simply walking behind my friend, he was crossing a small fence; I tried to do the same but…. before I could understand what happened, I found myself lying on the ground! My friend turned back suddenly and the people there gathered to pick me up. My right knee hurt a lot; I wasn’t able to get up properly. I managed to sit somewhere in the market and was crying like a baby when I saw blood coming out of my knee. And my friends were confused about whether they should laugh or keep quiet. My mood was turned off after that incident because hundreds of thoughts ran across my mind; I had ruined the trip, we could not go for water sports, what if the wound worsened and I had to go to a doctor!
Yay! It's My Birthday
It was 9th November when this happened to me and 10th was my birthday 🙁 My friends tried to cheer me up but I was in no mood to do so. When we reached our apartment, they locked me up in a bedroom and told me to sleep and relax till midnight (as they needed the hall for the decoration..aww!!). I put some Dettol and then went for sleep as I had nothing to do. At 11.45 pm, I started getting calls for birthday wishes and was fully awake till midnight. I knocked the door and reminded them that it was my birthday but they were taking their own time (the funny part is, I could hear the loud bursting of the balloon as they were blowing it!). Finally at 12.30 am, the door opened and I saw candles and balloons all around me! They burst a balloon and put sparkles all over me as I walked for the cake. I felt very special at that moment as I could see the efforts put by those guys. Thanks to the independent apartment that my friends could do such beautiful decoration.
Dona Paula is a very quiet and calm pace in Goa. We wanted to stay there more but the main beaches were quite distant, hence we decided to move towards Calangute beach. The aura is the exact opposite there! Busy roads, colorful shops full of tourists; that was real Goa vibes. Our rooms were hardly 1km from the beach, hence we freshened up and went to the beach for some water sports (though I was scared that my wound would hurt, I took the risk). We did kayaking on the Calangute beach; there is a small boat (for 2 persons) with two oars and we have to sit one behind the other and row the oars in the same direction. It seems easy but it is not! It requires great energy to row the boat and cross the waves. We were enjoying it a lot when suddenly a huge wave came and turned our boat upside down. In a few seconds, the boat was above us and we were in the water! I panicked a little but was relieved after realizing that I wore a life jacket. We played a lot with the huge waves that, first buried us in water and then threw us at the shore. I could have never imagined my birthday to be so adventurous.
I came to my room fully drenched, took shower and got ready again for dinner. We entered the shopping area and I was so delighted to see so many decor items. I purchased some home decor stuffs made out of coconut wood as they were cheap and light-weighted. Nightlife in Goa is more happening than a day as it is hot and humid during the daytime. We had a nice dinner at a restaurant and then we roamed around to look for a paan shop. This was the end of my perfect birthday.
This was just the beginning ..there was a lot more that we explored! To know what happened next, go ahead and read my next blog on Birthday Planned in Goa-Part 2.