I did that. I took a break and went to Goa. Just ahead of launching my next portal, I thought I must unwind. Unwind to relax, recharge and put my spirits high to face the grind again. And one of the best places one can go, is to Goa.
I have been to Goa a couple of times before, but not in November. November is supposed to be the start of season time and weather is supposed to be cool. Unfortunately, this time the visitors have not yet started flocking in huge numbers and the weather is also not cooler than Bangalore! Bobby, the restaurant owner of Brendons Shack on the Palolem Beach attributes this to global warming and recession. I kind of agree with him.
I had stayed at Chalston Beach Resort, a good hotel nicely placed between Calangute and Baga beach. I found it good value for money and the ambiance of it’s restaurant; bang on the beach, awesome! It had a clean swimming pool, large garden area and reasonable room service. We were at good comfort and enjoyed our stay there. Taxi, two wheelers and four wheelers for rent were available just outside the hotel adding to the convenience factor. The staff was generally good and responsive. Of course, you may sometimes get the uncanny feeling that foreign tourists are being given more preference. Overall a recommended place to stay. We were in an AC room (which we hardly used) that costs about Rs. 2000/- per night including breakfast. During off season, the rates are about half of this!
On day three we decided to visit Arambol beach as we were told it was very beautiful and great by one of the friendlier staff at the hotel. We would have found it great had we not stumbled on a stretch of one on the best beaches I have ever been on! This spot is just about 5 kilometers before Arambol and after you cross the Mandrem beach. It was clear blue water and not more than 20 people on the whole stretch of the beach! There were a few shacks there which sold stuffs at a bit higher price when compared to others. But this was absolutely OK as they really do not have people there and it is pretty isolated. Stayed there for few hours and then headed back reluctantly. Check the map below to reach there.
That night we went to TITOS. Big Mistake! It is no longer what it used to be. We were there from about 11 PM in the night till about 2 AM. Except 2 men who didn’t seem gay kept dancing alone! A few couples sat waiting for the crowd to come in which didn’t happen. The lack of crowd can probably be attributed to the ban on smoking but what couldn’t be understood was BAD music. Can you imagine Punjabi and sad Hindi numbers at TITOS! Our Bangalore DJs (aka DJ Neil) get to play less but they can surely do a better job! There is Mambo next to it but we had no guts to enter the place and take another shock. We left cribbing about the unjustified entry fees and time wasted there.
These are about the few things worth mentioning broadly. There is more to the trip which I may pen down later. I was at peace, with nature and my best friend which makes this one of my many memorable travel experiences. And for the first time in the last 5 years of holidaying, I did not bother to check my email and did not answer any business call! Total peace of mind. Take a break, go to Goa! Let me know if you take my advice.