When I started blogging, I read a lot about solo travel; and this; and that; on numerous travel blogs. All those travel tales sounded cool. But little did I know that I too would also be making a solo trip and moreover so soon. And what better place than Goa for the opening.
The Train Journey from Mumbai to Goa
LTT, Mumbai from where I boarded the train
I was to take the 1 am LTT Karamali Express and the train was pretty lazy to not show up at the station until 3:30 am. During all the waiting, the railways had done away with their fault with the cliched announcement ‘ …….Yaatrion ko hone wali asuvidha ke liye khed hai’….(In English: the railways regretted the inconvenience caused to the passengers). Hope the railways will come up with better liners in the days coming ahead :). However, It was very grateful of the railways to have the train parked at the station by 3:45 am finally . Much relief to the super sleep deprived faces on the station.
In the morning, the bogey woke up to find that the train was still pretty much behind the schedule; but none gave much heed to it, as they were busy enjoying themselves midst the beautiful Western Ghats. It was surprising to find the ghats in such a good shape even before the monsoons. The western ghats are 10 times much cooler to see during the monsoon and I could not imagine how magnificent it can get, as it was so stunning even before the rains. In fact, the reason to choose Train instead of Air Travel from Mumbai to Goa for a lot of people are these beautiful ghats. Here is a short video recording of the western ghats(actually more of the green forests, as other parts were not sharp enough to be uploaded) captured during the return journey from Goa back to Mumbai.
This journey would not have been so fun and cool without the people I met throughout the trip. One such person was a small friend I made in the train. The best part about him was his naivety and fun nature. We had quite a lot of fun together and time just flied.
The fun pack from the train
The train didn’t mind taking umpteen pauses in between. A snap of the train peeking at the signals in the background.
Road Tracks to Goa
Time for Kokam Sharbhat..loved every sip of it…!!!
Beating the summer heat with Kokam Sharbat
IN GOA, THE PARADISE
Finally, the train dropped me at Thivim Station( Thivim is the closest station to North Goa) somewhere around 2 pm in the afternoon. I already had a reservation done in RoadHouse Hostel in Anjuna for 2 days. Outside Thivim station were a dozen rickshaws waiting to take the hungry and eager looking tourists to their respective destinations. However, the transit charges were pretty high. Luckily, I met another traveller from mumbai who was single and wanted to go to Baga beach, which was pretty close to Anjuna. We quickly decided to ride together and save a few bucks. The 30 mins shared together in the rickshaw was all about IT industry, blogging and travel tales . The IT part was rather boring (I was coming from my 4 days week in an IT company and didnt wanted more of it 🙂 ) In no time, we reached Baga beach and waved goodbye trading each other’s number. And then I was standing right in front of RoadHouse hostels. “When you see grocery stores sellingBeer, you know its Goa !!”
Beautiful Entrance of RoadHouse Hostel, Goa
This is how the Roadhouse Hostel looks. The place was just awesome with a retro vibe and had some awesome backpackers from different parts of the country and around the world. Infact, my roommate was a traveller from Brazil who had left his corporate job to travel the world. How cool is that !!The place had such a decent mix of all kinds of individuals with everyone adding a sort of creativity to the time-space. Another cool guy which I befriended was a guy from Bangalore, he had a pretty amazing professional profile. He was a bouncer, cum painter, cum artist. I called him Maggi man, as he was always spotted with a bowl of Maggi in his big hands. There were just so many wonderful people, all at same place for just one purpose…celebrating the current moment !!!
Some more pics from the RoadHouse Hostel in Goa.
Bean Bags and Wooden seats near the entrance
Roads leading to the Backside of the Hostel
Stairs leading to the Guest Rooms on 1st Floor
The staff at the place were also very friendly and sweet; and all the guests just felt at home. It was less of a hostel and more of a second home.
Brendon, the shy hostel manager
The Jolly Staff at the Hostel: Uttam, Prasad and Ram.
All in all, the place was a ‘Superb Value for Money’.Yes I said Superb and not just Great. The makemy trip booking for the place costed me a meagre 125 INR(US $ 2) per day with facilities like free tea, wifi, tv etc. Not to forget the company of so many cool individuals.(Actually by the time, i complete this post now, I have received a msg from MMT that INR 200 has been added to my wallet as a cashback :). So, actually, it makes 50 INR for two days)
Outside the Rooms on 1st Floor
Ground Floor – Living Room, This is where Hippies love to hang out and chill !
After a great refreshing shower and a light lunch, It was already evening and I hit the road with a rented Activa and the first place I visited was the serene Anjuna Beach. It was the most beautiful beach, I have ever visited till date. If I were to rate it out of 10 on cleanliness, I would give it a 11. Extra one point for the love that the beach showers upon the visitors 🙂 . The sea foam felt so pure and the white color just spoke so much of the rawness. I wish I could stay at the beach for more time and keep on gazing in admiration of such beauty. No wonder, why so many foreigners who have come with a tourist visa to goa, now call this place their home.
“While in Goa, You feel like a free flying bird “
Nice Sand Impressions and Wooden Logs on the Beach
Youngsters Enjoying the Waves at Anjuna Beach
Another Beautiful Capture on Anjuna Beach
Sunset at Anjuna Beach
The next morning, it was time to explore more and Vagator Beach turned out to be a pretty good place. Not very crowded and just as beautiful as it could get. I didn’t had my camera with me at the time; it would have been so lovely to capture some good pictures there.
Ride to the City
To me, the exquisite and enticing beaches was all that I could have asked from the trip. But since, half a day was still left, I went on to see Panaji a bit. It was a long drive towards the city.
“Goa – A place that brings out the Photographer in you !!”
But, the roads were cool and the drive was pleasing with hardly any traffic on the way .
Between Anjuna and Mapusa
Highway to Mapusa
Mapusa is a small village between Anjuna and Panaji.
Beautiful trees and farms were just mesmerizing.
Crossing the Big Bridge on the way to Panaji
The Kingfisher Signboard looked so awesome, couldn’t resist capturing it in my cam.
The King of Good Times
Just as you have crossed the bridge, they have the Cruise Liners lined up to sail you on the river.
Large Cruise Liner
A nice looking Motor Boat on the river
I could also spot a good number of casinos on the way…..like “Deltin Royale” ..
Deltin Royale Casino in Panaji
Inside the city, the architecture and the designs of the buildings were so stunning and they looked kind of a mix of old and the new. The clean city roads made for a wonderful tour.
Clean Streets of Panaji
More from Panaji City
And then I was on my way toDona Paula,a famous tourist spot in Panaji.
Poultry in Action near the Roads
A Cool Looking Bench from the Drive to Dona Paula
The picture above was taken from across a very busy road. The reason, no vehicles are in the frame is just sheer timing 🙂
During an earlier trip to Goa, I had visited dona paula only at night and had no idea what it looked like in daylight. In no time, I was right at the spot and had to actually confirm with another tourist whether it was Dona Paula. The other guy nodded ‘Yes…’ . I guess, the place was kind of ‘ok’, not something very great like the beaches. But still, there was a handful of things to do there, from Jet Skies to Chaats to Nimbo Paani.
Jet Skies in Dona Paula
Life Guard Cabin in Dona Paula
Chaats and Snacks from Mumbai are famous everywhere
Refreshing Lemonades at Dona Paula
After having a glass of nimbo paani, I finded my way back towards Anjuna. Spotting, there was some time still left for the sun to set down, I also visitedBaga Beach. It was rather a crowded beach with a hell lot of more tourists and sporting activities. Even the famous Calungute beach sits next to Baga and Anjuna. So many beautiful places and so less time…hehe…!!!
There were plenty of other places I had visited in that short span of 2 days and a lot of interesting experiences that took place within that time. However, I would leave it for you to experience more of Goa and its people first hand.