Day 4: Wednesday
By now, the routine is growing on you! You are halfway through your much cherished vacation and you have had enough beach action – so it’s time to go beyond the ordinary. Head out to the Goan Capital—the vibrant Panjim. Act all touristy at the Dona Paula or spend time walking or cruising along the busy market place. Before the sun sets down, head to Casino Royale. A three deck cruise liner with a full-fledged casino, an entertainment zone which offers entertainment and dining options. For Rs 3,400 per person (with chips worth Rs 2,000 thrown in to get you started), you get drinks and snacks on the house. Enjoy performances by Russian dancers and popular performers and sway to an in-house DJ belting out numbers for you. Do check out their open terrace to watch in awe the glittering city at night after a three course buffet dinner. Casino Royale is a not-to-be-missed experience which no one should rush up, so make sure you have enough time on your hands and enough moolah in your pockets.
But like someone I know said – Goa is for everyone. Those seeking value can head for a cruise at the sparkling and beautifully lit up Mandovi River with cheaper options to suit your mood and pocket. At Rs 100 per ticket you can try the 600-seater Paradise Cruise, which has song and dance performances creating a complete carnival feel. With Goan dances and Bollywood music to keep you entertained, there cannot be a better way to spend an hour in a hundred bucks after which try out an elaborate Goan three course meal at Viva Panjim. A quiet little restaurant run out of the home of Ms Linda– this place is as unpretentious as it can get. Try out the recommendations by the owner who literally sits and supervises the staff and comes and exchanges greetings with everyone who comes around – eating authentic Goan ‘home made’ food here is an experience that lives beyond your pleasure of discovering ‘dining at a highly recommended place by the likes of lonely planet’- doesn’t always bring a dent to your pocket.
Day 5: Thursday
Give your overworked glutton-glands a rest and enjoy the simple pleasures of life by trying out a cutting chai and an anda-pav at a roadside store. Eat to your heart’s content as the food is served hot right out of the kitchen as you watch the lazy city coming back to life.
It’s time to wear your floaters and apply sun-block before getting on your bikes to head to Anjuna and Vagator – two more popular beaches. Try out a motor boat ride( Rs 100 per person) complete with all the twists and turns – enjoy the deep blue sea as you tumble away in your yellow ‘sea pirate’ boat. The proverbial – wind in the face and sand in my feet – can’t get truer than this.
Stop at one of the many French bakeries to try an apple crumble or honey almond cake or anything else that leaps out of the inviting shelves and catches your eye. Pick up a ‘flip-flop’ shaped fridge magnet as a curio & it’s worth your while to negotiate it to half the cost that’s being quoted.
A couple of more minutes of riding uphill and you are in Greece for a lazy lunch overlooking the sea. Yes, I am not mixing up places here in my utter state of deliria. Step into Thallassa, literary meaning ‘sea’ – a vision in breezy- white and melancholic-blue. Soak in the gorgeous ambience – wooden cottages named after Greek gods like Zeus, tavern like seating overlooking the blue expanse, a menu that promises Greek delicacies for a wholesome meal. Romance is in the air and you are on top of the world.
Once you land back on earth and if are still upto it, you could resume the club hopping at ‘Capetown & stop by at Titos for old time’s sake!
Day 6: Friday
After the tiring week, time to say TGIF. And after five days of beach hopping— it’s time to slow things down and move towards the quieter beaches of Arpora and Candolim. You may wonder if you are still in India—amazed at the number of foreigners sunbathing and surfing. You can spend the day lounging under a beach umbrella sipping some lemonade and reading that 500 page-turner you’ve been struggling to finish for a year now.
The rest of the day is dedicated to acting touristy – with the customary visit to the Church and the adjoining Museum. It’s Friday so next up on your agenda will be the not-to-be missed, famous flea market. From clothes to food to those literally ‘sweet-nothings’, fill up your bags with all the junk you can handle and more!
As you fly off on day seven back into the monotony of the daily trivialities – you can’t help but wonder about all the unexplored acres and acres of heaven that a week in Goa wasn’t enough to explore. The Rudrasagar falls and the luxury hotel line up of South Goa. But then that would make up for yet another travel-tale – the one that talks about ‘a month in Goa’. Till then, the memories of the refreshing week can take you through.
Chandni Moudgil is a marketing professional based out of Delhi, though she would much rather be a travel show host. An enthusiastic blogger and a travel buff, she believes travel writing is the best way to see the world without moving an inch. She dreams in technicolor, swears by the movies, can spend hours chatting over coffee, blogs occasionally and aspires to write a book one day. She blogs at The Address