January 27, 2004

From Honnavar to Goa 9th Jan ,Day 2

Route: Honnavar - Kumta- Ankola - Karwar - Polem - Chauri - Cuncolim - Madgaon - Panaji - Mapusa- Vagator Beach.

Woke up early next morning and went off to see one of the beaches with Prakash and Gayatri. A calm place by the sea but that day it was very windy. We were surpirsed that the beach was so near by. Coming by we had the famous gadbad icecream at Meher Ice Cream parlor, another recommendation by friends of friends in Bangalore. Prakash and Gayatri were excited about the icecream. I was too since I had missed this in Mangalore on our Coondapur Trip. This ice cream is famous in Mangalore too. Meanwhile we came back had our breakfast and then got ready for the ride. We started at about 10:45 in the morning and rode to Karwar and then Goa. The mood was upbeat and everybody wanted to party. The plan was to reach Goa by the end of the day or earlier. En route we were suddenly slammed by heavy gusts of crosswind. The bike was being pulled from both the sides and I was a little scared that we would lose control. After manouvering the bike we got used to the wind and the trick was to accelerate and to go on... as we were riding fast and furious, a crow lost his way and came flying at us. Poor thing might have been confused because of the sudden gust of wind and hit our bike and I just saw the crow being thrown far away at the road side legs in the air upside down... I was just praying that it was in shock and would just fly again... Mahendra was almost sleeping on his tank to avoid getting messed up by the wind. We reached Karwar and I must say that this town is beautiful with wide roads and the highway by the town is a beautiful stretch of road. We took some time off to have some lunch at Karwar and then admire the coastal area. Wind was as strong as ever and it was forming mini sand storms in the highway, very dangerous if one is not careful. After a long break full of beer and fish fry, we carried on to Panaji. On the way I met a friendly cat at the petrol pump where I spent some time with it. The destination was near and the mood was getting lighter and lighter... the group was getting slower and they decided to stop and have another round of drinks. Gayatri was hungry too so we waited till everyone finished. Some of us were eager to reach our destination which was about some 40 odd kms. In goa we went through Madgaon. Madgaon is a crowded city and we went through the famous bridge of Madgaon... was dying to get to cleaner landscape... and the highway. We reached Panaji and then it was time to contact Keerthi. I was loving the roads this time. Clean and smooth roads with funny ads like kingfisher Beer or something which was Goa's "maka naka drink". Lots of hoardings advertising about different events and different places to stay... This was truly a tourist's haven. We stopped somewhere outside the town, contacted Keerthi who came by with Supreeth aka Slowglow in bright sarongs and t shirts... well the party begins now... but we had to settle our lodging place too. We rode via Mapusa to Vagator Beach. Keerthi booked just one hotel that day and we were expected to share it with the Madras bulls and cram up however we could. Most of us did not like the idea much and we got a hotel nearby of the same guy, Mr Milton who accomodated us after much bargaining and talking... The view from the rooms was amazing. The Hotel Alcove was a happening place with a pub and a restaurant at the same place and it was teeming with foreigners from all the world. The Ozran beach was just below the hotel easily accessible from the hotel by steps and it had great view points for sunset and one could just relax and sip some wine and have some good food and watch the sun go down. Of course the preference was given to the foreigners and its sad but in places like this Indians would feel very left out but I must say that Milton was the perfect host. Some decided to stay at the Royal Resorts while we bunked at Alcove.This little place had everything in proximity, all types of hotels, a happening party place which occured everyday from 5 to 10 in the night, lots of shop to buy chunky outfits and jewellery from. Near this place there were lots of eating joints like the Marrakesh Cafe, German Bakery, French Cafe, Italian food, Tibetian Cafe all within short walking distances and very colourful. The only disadvantage was that everywhere the food was extremely expensive. The group went in search of hotels some distance away and got one called Old Day and Nite hotel where they had a good meal comprising of goan fish curry and rice. I was not that fortunate since Rocky was feeling dizzy due to his reluctance to eat and had to settle for Roti and Dal fry from the restaurant where we stayed. After that we explored the Tibetian cafe and had some momos. I realised very soon that this area was not a very good place to explore if you are on a budget. So I gave up the idea. But we had a nice time enjoying the Kings Beer og Goa which you can get from 15 /- to 30/- depending on the place you are staying. Its exactly a pint. You can check the bottles out in the pic below. Nearby there was trance music happening and lots of guys and gals poured in to a nearby place to party and some of us also went to see what it was all about and had a gala time. They said that hash was moving fast along with the music and well the crowd was very hippy to say the least. And yes a sight for sore and tired male and female eyes. LOL. I shopped my usual knick knacks, got an amazing harley davidson as a small silver pendant for 350 bucks which he would have sold at 2000 bucks to the foreigners... my bargaining skills was so great that he agreed to start a business with me in Bangalore where I could split half of the profit. ha ha ha !! I was more interested in getting the bike pendant... at a lower rate... LOL