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Trip to Goa (India) (land of beaches, greenery and churches) – Part 1 – Visit to Calangute beach and settling in




It was the time of end-September, and there were around 4-5 days of holidays going upto the first week of October. I had never been to Goa before in my life, and really wanted to go there. I had heard of a lot of stories of Goa, including the beautiful beaches, the churches, the greenery, and the architecture of the place. The spouse and me spent a few minutes talking about Goa, and finalized that this was the destination we had to go to.
Booking a place was not terribly difficult, I consulted a number of sites and spoke to a couple of people, and given that I was not looking for a very expensive place, just a comfortable place to put and use as the base, I decided upon a place called Palmarinha Resorts (website). I took a package that included a local trip, and included breakfast and dinner, and this cost me around Rs. 7500 for three nights. The resort had got favorable ratings on TripAdvisor and other places that I checked for reviews, and thus it was decided as the place. I called up, made the bookings, and also made the plane bookings. And now I was ready to go. The weather was checked, and by that time, apparently the monsoons get over and it is not too hot or rainy as well (remember this part for later). The plus point was that the resort was near the Calangute beach.

View of the Calangute beach in Goa from a distance.jpg
View of the Calangute beach in Goa from the top of the steps leading to the beach

On the appointed day, we reached Goa in the afternoon, and it was raining at the airport (and now I remembered what we had forgotten to get – the umbrellas). Anyhow, nothing to do. We got out of the airport, located the car that was picking up us, and reached the resort. There was some initial issues we had with the room, they had given us a room right at the back, far from the reception, and with no other persons in the same block. We got this exchanged for a room right at the front, since we would prefer to save our walking while traveling rather than inside the resort. All this time, it was raining, and when we asked the taxi man, he insisted that this was unseasonal rain, and it would end soon.

The Palmarinha Resort in Goa, as seen on a rainy day, with a swimming pool in the middle
The Palmarinha Resort in Goa, as seen on a rainy day, with a swimming pool in the middle

View of the smaller pool of the Palmarinha Resort in Goa, at the back side of the resort
View of the smaller pool of the Palmarinha Resort in Goa, at the back side of the resort

Anyhow, after some time, it was clear that we could either spend the afternoon indoors or go out to visit the nearby beach (even though it was raining), and so we used the shuttle provided by the resort to make out way to near Calangute and then walked the remainder of the distance. To get to Calangute beach, you have to walk a brief amount of time, walk through shops on either side, and then you are at a place where you climb down steps to reach the beach. And when we did that, this time armed with a large umbrella borrowed from the resort, there were a large number of people at the beach already (apparently visitors to Goa will go to the beach even if it is raining). Because of the rain, the sea was a bit rough and lifeguards were constantly advising people not to go too inside.

People wading in the shallow part of the Calangute beach in Goa.jpg

A decent sized crowd of fun seekers at the Calangute beach in Goa
A decent sized crowd of fun seekers at the Calangute beach in Goa

So, we spent the next couple of hours at the beach, ate something nearby, looked at some of the shops, and then decided to go back; and it was still raining. We eventually managed to trace the return journey of the shuttle back to the resort, and arrived safely at the resort. A brief talk with the reception made us realize that the canned trip that they offer is a standard bus tour offered by the Goa tourism department, and we decided not to go down that route (we prefer spending our own desired time at a location), and so we spoke to the same taxi driver who had taken us from the airport to the resort and arranged 2 separate days of journey, one to North Goa, and the other to South Goa. Together, we were able to negotiate a total rate of around Rs. 2500 for these 2 days, using a Maruti Swift Dzire (a comfortable vehicle).
Back at the resort, we were now in time for dinner, and even though the dinner was nothing spectacular, it wasn’t too bad either (with a couple of choices for veg and non-veg items). So ended day one at Goa, full of rain.

Bar stools inside the Palmarinha Resort in Goa
Bar stools inside the Palmarinha Resort in Goa

Many more photos of Goa at this link.




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