Three Days Stay in Goa

goa travel

What we did during three days stay in Goa and what we did to make the best out of budget in hand? Our stay was at Neelam The Grand near Calangut for three days. Also, three days were more like half day – two days – half day.

First learning from our three days stay in Goa, it’s not like any other state in India. In fact, for a moment it really doesn’t feel like India at all. A review of the history will tell this is the only part of land in India ruled by Portuguese. While the rest of India was ruled by British colonials. The outcome is high influence of Portugal culture in Goa. That sums up Goa to Churches, beaches and houses with Portugal influence.

Another learning from our three days stay in Goa is, this place is about nightlife. Morning is just mundane thing, Goa gets started in the night. Say hello to the party animal inside you, get lost in trance and of course beers, wines, tequila or whatever you can grab while on the floor. The morning will read your blood group OH positive (smirk) science joke, remember? ;P Keep lemonade handy.

Last thing we learned about this place, Goa is about yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re with family, couple or decided to go solo. Goa has this unique lifestyle that brings you out from the inside. Perhaps that’s the reason why we didn’t get any suggestion for souvenirs. We checked with the hotel manager, taxi drivers, chef and many more about what we should take back for memories? Their unanimous answer turned out to be ‘fun and enjoyment’.

Last thing we learned about this place, Goa is about yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re with family, couple or decided to go solo. Goa has this unique lifestyle that brings you out from the inside. Perhaps that’s the reason why we didn’t get any suggestion for souvenirs. We checked with the hotel manager, taxi drivers, chef and many more about what we should take back for memories? Their unanimous answer turned out to be ‘fun and enjoyment’.

Day 1 of the three days stay in Goa

It started with our arrival at the hotel from airport a little past mid-day at Neelam The Grand. Hotel was a wow experience altogether. After an hour of review of the place and refreshment we decided to take a walk to Calangut Beach. Calangut is a 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel. It is neither a sunrise nor a sunset beach so photographers need not hurry. There’s a wide array of shops and shacks on the way selling everything from spices (bought from Kashmir) to Chillam (well, that’s a Goa thing). You’ll find clothes too, but wait for it, we’ve some other recommendations.

Cashews are most talked about buyouts by tourist from India. Kaju Mall is one branded premium offering you’ll find on this street. Past the market is the entrance to the beach. Yellow sand, clean blue water and lots of footfalls. The beach is yours, use it as per your taste. We chose to walk by the beach side relaxing our body from the journey. Later we decided to find our tent in Pink and sat for the next few hours with Kingfish steaks and double apple hukka. A night walk back to the hotel, enjoyed scrumptious dinner buffet and to the room with complimentary bottles of Goan Port Wine. Half day ends here.

Day 2, keep sunscreen handy from today.

Morjim

We had a whole day in hand so we decided to go North. We had two options for the travel, either rent a bike or get a taxi. Keeping the long hours in mind we took up Taxi. After a little negotiation, we were enroute to the beaches. Locals’ familiarity from the places come handy when you’ve 4 to 5 spots to cover. The first on our list was a white sand beach – Morjim. It is 50 mins drive from our stay. The beach enjoys maximum footfalls by the foreign tourist. Its white sand and blue water is idle to soak under the sun.

Many shacks have arranged beach chairs and tents for relaxation and the fees varies from free to Rs 700, depending on seasons. The sea here has high water current and you can enjoy surfing here. We did get to see many surfers having fun. On the way, you’ll find amazing psychedelic prints on the clothes totally worth buying. Do not forget to negotiate. After an hour and a half long stay we moved to our next destination – Chapora fort. 

Palm Grove Resort Lunch

But before that – Food! We stopped by at Palm Grove Resort for the lunch. It featured an economic menu, no tandoors but still many options of Goan recipes and combinations of Thali. They’ve a regular space and a separate AC cabin. Pick whatever suits you. We had a range of menu to choose from. We opted for a delicious Prawn Biryani and a Thali with Goan Chicken Xacuti cooked in coconut and spices. It was all delicious. Then we started for the Chapora fort.

Chapora Fort

Chapora fort in Goa is on Chapora river near Vagator beach. It is old ruins of a fort and almost everything is destroyed leaving the boundary walls behind. The fort has a long history and passed from a ruler to other. What we know about this fort is an important scene from Dil Chahta Hai (Bollywood movie) was shot here. Now that’s another story. Fort has view till the horizon on all the sides. Photographers must’ve guessed that it is has sunrise as well as sunset point. Pano shots are good to go here. Use HDR as it’ll help post edit the hard reflections from the sun. Some of you might as well wonder why you came all the way up here. Because there’s no fort at Chapora fort. Well, firstly the location has a historical significance. Secondly, the location is an amazing spot to just spend leisure time.

Try connecting to the view, you’ll know. Nearby is the Vagator beach and you can always stay up here for a while. Although the beach is not busy but it does offer a beautiful sunset. We reached Mapusa market on our return but owing to Sunday it was a bit fade. Shops were closed and street market business was on. As it turned out to be one of the regular city market for us, we decided to leave. So not a place to spend time, as much as we learned. 

Wax Museum

We came across the Wax Museum on our way back and it was a fun. Selfie stick skills are necessary when you’re at a wax museum. Tip: find the right angle where the wax statue appears to be looking right at the camera. Now, all set for the pose and Click! There, you’ve an amazing looking photo with your favorite avengers or super celebrities. They had 9D cinema experience too but we chose to skip as we planned something better for later in the evening.

Back to Neelam The Grand

We took a drop at Calangut market and shopped a few random stuffs. Had this amazing Rabdi kulfi from the Punjab-Sindh Dairy, which originates from Mumbai. Took a walk back to the hotel. We moved to the ayurvedic spa which is inside the hotel’s vicinity and chose full body message. It was 6:30 pm, an idle time to take body message. In the process, you’ll end up bathing twice ie right after message and next day morning. It really relaxes your body to gain the extra bit of energy. So, after the message and a super relaxing evening hot water bath we headed for dinner. Sure, it was as pleasing as it sounds.

“For your reference, best time to take ayurvedic body message is either the morning or later in the evening. Noon is not preferred as body heat level is high during the day time. Naturally our body’s relaxation mode self-starts during the evening, making it the best time to go for it. “

Day 3 Figure out First Half Next Half on the Hotel

Neelam The Grand offered us a half day city tour the next day starting 1:30 pm. So we just had to plan the first half activity. Coming to Goa and no water adventure sports will be a pure sin. We hired a bike, drove it for like 15 mins to reach Baaga Beach. Baaga beach boast amazing blue water and it is pure scenic. It was 9:00 am but there were already enough footfalls at the place. After the seaside walk we went ahead to choose the ride. We decided to go Parasailing where they would charge you extra to dip you into the sea. Yea, I mean you literally pay more to put your life into more risk! In the name of adventure, we let go that extra bit from the wallet :D.

It takes two boats transit for parasailing here. Firstly, a boat takes you from the seashore to the deep sea. With just little sum of money, you get an option to gently dive into the deep sea with life jacket on. Amazing experience when you know the water down below is 300 ft. deep. Then after this breathtaking experience you’re transferred to the next boat. After they’ve tied you with safety gears and of course the parachute, they let you go. Up you go…

Up you go with a sense of sounds fading around you. In the sky all you see is the vast spread of the sea, the horizon and the sky. Far somewhere a beach. Then with a slight jerk the parachute elevates even more. There the word ‘experience’ comes alive. You don’t want to think, you just want to be here, hanging by a moment. Eyes open or close, doesn’t matter because it feels the same – air. Then the release when gravity slowly pulls you down. Looking at the sea below, you know what’s coming next. Feet just inches away from a no base and then the motor throttles grabbing speed. You take a dip once knowing water just made it to nose mouth ears what not. Dip two, you loose the breathing rhythm and then up again. As the conveyer pulls you towards the boat, you’re like… F**k! O:).

Ok, back to the three days stay in Goa story. So everybody sharing experiences, photos and videos on the speed boat. Transit back to the boat that takes back to the shore. We have had enough, so we drove back to the hotel. Took a bath, drained all the saline and sand off the body. Ordered lunch in the room, loved the chicken schwzan chunks and scrumptious lemon cheese cake. Yet exhausted, got ready for the half day trip offered exclusively by the hotel.

The half day tour started with visiting the Old Goa Church. We count ourselves lucky because the church of St. Basilica had an ongoing festival The Feast of St. Francis Xavier. People from various parts of country and world came to visit. We couldn’t capture the old Goa church from the front as the lawn was occupied. Inside of the church restricted us to click person with church. Interesting? The church is built in ancient roman style. It has beautiful arches and a sense of design in it. At the same time, it was peaceful. We got a chance to see the relics of Priest Francis. The whole journey started with the museum which is right beside the old church. And going through the history of Goa further confirms to the fact that it is least like the rest of the India.

Our next stop was on random narrow streets boasting the Portugal style houses. Panjim or old Goa as famously known gives a very interesting twist about Indian history. We really wondered how there’s a dramatic difference in the lifestyle of people living here. They’ve a very distinct identity unlike any other place. More so, the architecture made us believe that if a student architect wants to learn a different chapter within national boundaries, then this is the place to go.

With this though we reached the next Church Our Lady of Immaculate. Another beautiful sight that completely blends with the culture of Goa. The criss cross stairs led us to the main door. Inside the white, the turquoise, yellows and the blues took us over. The mere combination of this color offered a sense of uplifting soul. Also, we got a chance to relax a bit after a mile-long walk at the old church.

Our last and final destination was the boat Cruse and we had the tickets from hotel’s reception. But still, first on the line gets to choose everything. Cruse we’re sure is a one-time thing but a must once. It took us on a tour-de-Goa on water. People dancing and enjoying their time on the boat bought us smile. There were folk performances by the Goan artist. The Goan music is all made up of all major chords in music. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy the music a lot. Full of energy and always in the sequence of E maj, D maj and A maj the progression itself is so cool if you happen to play guitar. The cruse came to the dock, we’re off the hood and on the way back to hotel. Took the meals and packed our bags for the next day to check out.

Adios Goa

Last day our taxi was to leave at 10 am so we can reach the airport by 11:30. So pretty much we did everything at ease and kept the itinerary entirely empty. Alternatively, we could’ve hired a bike to Aguda fort but perhaps next time. You know, we leave behind a few good things in the hope to meet again. With that our three days stay in Goa came to an end.

PS: We just got some cashew from the airport to bring home. A few keychains and fridge magnets from Mario just to serve us a memory of the time we spent.

Here’s a list of what we’ve missed during the journey: Aguda fort, Vagator Beach, Miminar Market, Saturday Night Market, Anjuna Market (because it’s on every Wednesday) and Temple. Perhaps one more day or even better – next visit.

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