As we travelled through the ghat section post margao,the last lap of our journey to get the destination South Goa.Murmurs n dissents had started to occupy the little left space in the wagon full of 6 men. The dissent resolution raised by Mr.Kabra, “Calangute,Baga,mapusa chod kar hum kaha niche ja rahe hai, ek din dekhte naito kal upar ayenge,Tito’s,sab log toh udhar hi hote hai” was seconded silently by a majority.*silently* i say coz of the 4 at aback of wagon n sleepy n tired hangover,no one was in much mood to give it a thought 🙂 By then I too had started getting the Feeling if this place isnt what ive read,m gonna get some words from the gang..
At around 12pm,the first sight of the “Palolem beach” put all the mixed emotions of the 6minds to rest,n put to lead was the agenda of finding a Good shack.
If it isnt the Hanging garden fruit of ‘Are we going or not’ it wont taste sweet to us. But this time around to add to the predeparting chaos; When it was almost a 12hr window to scheduled departure as earlier decided was left to the mercy of the Indian rail,
To explain it further let me introduce to the 6 inhabitants of the Wagon
a Abhay G. & a Deepak K. & a Girish Z*read Ambu* & a Mohan*read Monya* & me. >all Pune’kars
the 6th man was already off from Chandigarh the earlier day on The Pune bound Zhelum express scheduled to arrive Pune arnd 5th noon.Running around 4 hours behind schedule & a ‘False seat confirmation’ blunder in the army quota caused severe fatigue to the arriving man Krishna R. So much that he was almost into a state of denial after not having slept during the journey.Somehow he relented n hence picked him from the station to drop him home,n myself after a long tense day with the sudden interview call.With a ‘we leave @9pm’ parting note,By the time we all made it to our respective homes it was 7pm. hurried thru the bag packing n off we were via Katraj
*goes to gmap to map the travel trail* n here 😉
↔вy d way↔
The events in their chronological order of occurrence was the rear seat down,bags tucked in all corners of wagonr,sleeping bag as cushion.get the needfuls for the journey n all 4 spread.Krishna to the wheel.1st stop came at Amruta garden post Khambatki ghat.3 designated drivers for the Wagon,n hence the other 3 had thier ample reason to happiness.A hour ahead of loud music n karaoke It was 2 down *literally* Post the 1st Toll post after Satara,it was all laughs till the stomach hurt,n 1 had the other1 almost coax to eat the raw egg while having halted for tea. Ya,i know!but the mood *i wont say ‘hangover’ here* with all besties is 3rd world. After kolhapur came n a gas refill arnd 4 am,Ambu took to the wheel with all silence in the car,n a quality tar stretch passing Nipani reaching Belgaum arnd 5.30. Tea stop n me to the wheel as we left NH4 n entered Belgaum city to take the road via Khanapur via the anonymous ghat n into Ponda,Goa.passing Margoa Palolem came around 11.30am
Palolem has been rightly mentioned by travellers as the ‘Laidback capital of Goa’,True it is with the most no. of foreign backpackers amoung which the russian count seemed prominent.The Beach is a semi-crescent shaped scape ending in hillocks on its ends & a few islands adjoining the Beach.Given the quantum of Foreign crowd,shacks adjoining the beach cost anything between 1k to 5k a day which again were difficult vacancy.We found ours at 1.5k a day for 2 rooms which was a 200mtr inside,not sea facing hence the Bargain.
Lunch made the aging afternoon turn into evening post the ‘tenents’ charge,such was the slow speed of service at the super-duper overpriced restaurants.Which was impliedly to be taken that the place was meant for the Gora’s. a walk arnd the beach arnd sunset n the sight was as besides
The diner again lasted for long 2-2.5hrs,by the time we all were done we had watched the ‘Hangover2’ playing there n started on with Xmen. All piled up,the elcharo alike did no good.Me n deepak retired into our rooms post 2am after the obvious lukkhapanti.But the 4 stayed up until 3-4am learned conversing sans-russian,looking upto the 3mermaids n the best man n all untellable tales 😀
Next day a roam around the beach,n stumbling into the ‘Guaranteed Dolphin sight’ assurance by the local all hopped onto the hodi with reserve’s.N the sighting was abundant n captured thru the lens of Nikon D3000.The 1-1.5 hour hungover ride was much remembrance to me,ambu n krsna as the ill timed act of swimming underwater across the boat n then being down there n getting the feelin that its almost land n getting sandwitched betwn sand n boat bottom. *scary thought* Again by the time lunch n allied culminated,it was evening..a roam arnd in the market n misc.,now was after almost 30 odd hrs that the car was retrieved from the parking for a monetary n fluid stock-up from a nearby place. Again Dinner got us past 12am. 3am odd we were retired into our rooms after a 5-6 km walk along the complete perimeter of the halfcircle beach to stumble upon many ‘firsttime’ things.One of such The Open air pub full of foriegners at 3am in the morning located quite a walk from the central beach place. Mind you this palolem has everythng for whosoever n whatsoever tourists desire.
Post the morning chores,back on the beach n found the kayak renting guy n got into action.How right i was in insisting 1kayak-1person thing was on exibhit just after we were asail.With all the lack of sync,the kayak refused to budge n then kept circling in tune with the waveforms.After things were sorted digging the oars right seemed a mighty task owing the c/f fatigue.All in all was a fun ride,thugh this was the 2nd time handling a kayak,this time getting technique aware was attained.so taking of Kayaks n a bit of lesson learned should the hrishikesh rapids come to mind !!?yesh,wat a adreline rush it must be.
Okie,back to goa n off from gao after a few belo’s n keep walking in the wagon hind.Krishna to the wheel n me co-pax,all rock n rolla at the back n the interesting stories were absolut entertainment n stomach aching laughs,n ofcourse karaoke,n throwups were company.Lunch was at calangute on deepak’s insistence n he didnt eat any of the veg. 😀 just to the restruant n back,no one bothred to check on the crowded beach that was just a few mtrs away from the eating place,such was the spell of ‘keep woking’.Calangute ended in a uncalled for roughup ending up in a torn shirt at our end. 😀 it happened that a person was sleeping inthe parking such that the wagon couldnt be retrieved.Abhay was ‘High’ly agitated by this n stumbled upon him n the rest happened. The easy border crossings,police haltups,Checkposts,Toll waivers were all in credit to the ARMY badge on the wagon & the army-police ‘bhaichara’.Pune came arnd 4am.