07 Mar 2021 Goa Travel Blog Story 2021 !!
A big Hi to all my readers!! Hello after being MIA for almost 6 months. I couldn’t write for several reasons but realized it’s just a lot of excuses. One of my resolutions for this year is to prioritize blogging but let’s see how it goes. Let me try to get back on track with a regular schedule.
Life Update – Career/Work-Life gets more focussed attention. I am continuously sick and totally down health-wise. My routine is hectic and I end up getting less me-time. I’ll definitely try to publish a lot more in the upcoming months.
I wish to share my recent trip to Goa with you all today. Read on to know how my experience went.
Goa; the party capital is the place to be if you’re planning a most “happening” holiday within India. I wanted a relaxing getaway from my hectic lifestyle but ended up spending my busiest days in Goa. As soon as our tickets were booked, I started dreaming of green landscapes and sun-kissed beaches.
The duration of our trip was 3 nights and 4 days. We started on Monday at Noon and returned Thursday evening. The mode of transportation chose by us was flight. We took the Indigo 6E direct flight from Chennai to Goa with an approximate travel time of 1 hour 15 minutes. Please note that the direct flight is not available on all days. Otherwise, we would have started Friday evening itself. We booked our tickets at the last minute. The cost of a flight ticket for a two pax two-way journey comes to around Rs 22000. You can save on this if you book your travel tickets in advance.
It was a much-needed break for me owing to post covid scenario and ýear ending work pressure. My stress levels were high and I badly wanted to travel. Thankfully, I got consecutive holidays due to weekends, Republic Day, and the Thaipoosam festival in the month of January 2021.
Travelling was a bit different this time. You must reach the airport two hours prior to departure and boarding closes half an hour before the scheduled flight departure time. You must do a web check-in 24 hours prior to your flight time. You can print the boarding pass at the self-service kiosks in the Airport. They don’t print boarding passes at the concerned flight counter. You can drop only your baggage at these counters (Covid-19 restrictions). Then, you can proceed to the security check. You must show the boarding pass and Id Card by standing before a webcam to enter inside.
Other procedures remain the same. At the airports, they have ensured social distancing by leaving the middle seats vacant and placing suitable signboards. While boarding, the concerned airlines will give you a kit with 3-ply surgical face mask, face shield, and hand sanitizer sachets. If you are gonna occupy the middle seat in the flight, you need to wear an additional white robe.
I suggest you have Arogya Sethu App installed. Also, try to book additional services like food, xl seat, priority check-in, additional baggage, etc. online itself. Pay through cards and avoid cash. Even if you wanna use cash, make sure you have the exact change to minimize contact. Wear masks and sanitize your hands often to stay safe.
As soon as we landed at the Dabolim Airport Goa, our taxi driver (booked through the resort) was waiting. The pickup point area was crowded. It was a bit difficult finding our taxi driver. Taxi fare is very high in Goa. Our resort was around a 20-minute drive from the airport and we were charged INR 1200 plus GST (Innova – Non AC). I was annoyed that the vehicle was non-air-conditioned at this price tag and it was extremely hot due to parking in sun. The driver was polite though. Once you come out of the airport exit, a lot of drivers approach you asking for details of your drop. There are a few booking counters too. There is a Govt Taxi counter available. Govt Taxi fare is relatively low but wait time is higher. You can also try your luck with the Gomiles App.
We had booked our stay with Heritage Resorts. The cost of accommodation came to around 30000 and other expenses were around 10000 Rs. The total expenses for this trip came to around 65000 Rs.
I liked the resort very much. It is suitable for families, kids, and couples. The resort is spacious, well-maintained, and clean. The staffs are kind and hospitable. Food taste is great but the selection is limited at their in-house cafe. The resort is surrounded by many flora and trees. You will wake up to the chirping of birds in the morning. We got a free upgrade from Superior Deluxe to Club room. The rooms were comfortable. My stay was pleasant and peaceful. I look forward to visiting the resort once again in the near future. My special thanks to the team members Salonie, Veena at the front desk, Arjun, Marc, and Sachin at the restaurant. A free Breakfast Buffet is included in the stay.
The club room has amenities like Television, AC, Mini Fridge, Hair Dryer, etc. The room is housed with required cupboards and furniture. Laundry service is available for an additional cost. Free Toiletries, water bottles, and one bottle of complimentary wine are provided on arrival. The bath area is small but you can enjoy a hot shower. The resort conducts daily activities for leisure.
My only disappointment was that the pool is closed due to Covid. The spa center is also closed due to Government Regulations. I do understand that Safety is the First Priority.
The best and affordable way to explore Goa is to rent a two-wheeler or bike. You can also look for self-drive rental cars. If you have the budget, then you can hire a taxi. Rentals were available before the resort itself. We rented a Honda Activa. The price for this rental was around Rs 1000 for two days ( Rs 500 for 10 hours). You need to carry your Driving license, anyone additional OVD, Caution Deposit amount, and rental amount. The rental service took a xerox of my Driving License and handed the original back. They gave me a helmet and two-wheeler docs. I had to deposit my original id proof (Voter Id in my case) along with 2000 Rs (1000 caution deposit). The bike was okay and not in great condition (6 lakh kilometers run) with minimum petrol (manageable). The owner was kind enough.
Day 1 – After relaxing at the resort for some time post-lunch, We went for a walk on Arossim Beach. Arossim Beach is around 500 meters from our resort. It is comparatively clean and not much crowded. We witnessed a beautiful sunset alongside the beach. If you are lucky, you will find a starfish.
Day 2 – We started our drive to North Goa Side. It is around 40- 45 km from our resort one way. On the way, you will see the Mandovi River. North Goa is very touristy and extremely crowded. We went sightseeing and drove up to Fort Aguada. It was noon by the time we reached and the climate was so humid. There is an entry fee of around 50 Rs and parking charges of Rs 50. There is a jail, lighthouse, and Millionaire’s Palace nearby but we couldn’t stop there.
On the way driving back, we stopped at Sinquerium Beach. Sinquerium Beach is located back side of Taj Resorts. It was crowded and we had to pay Rs 50 for parking. We had Vadapav from a street shop here.
Our next stop was Baga Beach. This is one of the famous beaches in North Goa. It was so damn crowded all over. The place had many water sports like Parasailing, banana boat, Jet Ski, etc. It also had many shacks selling seafood. Outside the beach, there are many local shops selling t-shirts, flip flops, magnets, and souvenirs.
We spent less time at all these beaches and left the place. The drive was through NH. You will find petrol pumps and eateries on the way.
On the way driving back to our resort, we stopped at Pilerne Lake Bird Watching Point. We were disappointed to see only weeds growing in the lake along with a few herons. Nothing great. Cows were grazing. There is a small temple too nearby.
There are other beaches like Calangute Beach, Anjuna Beach, etc. in North Goa. These beaches are famous for nightlife and flea markets. You will enjoy it if you are a party person or a shopaholic. It is not suitable for peace-loving persons. They charge you Rs 50 parking (two-wheeler) for every place in North Goa. I would say North Goa is mostly commercialized.
We reached the resort back by 7 pm. It gets very dark post 6 pm and street light is not available in many places. It gets difficult to drive after 6 pm.
Day 3 – We decided to explore South Goa and drove to Cabo De Rama Fort near Canacona. The drive was very scenic with backwaters, palm trees, and hills. There are so many beaches along the way. Cavelossim Beach, Cola Beach, Mordard Beach, Velssao Beach etc. There is a ferry point at Cavelossim. There is a nice bird-watching point with water lilies on the Velssao Beach Road if you want to checkout.
Farther away are Palolem Beach, Agonda Beach, etc.
Cabo De Rama is a fort. The main entrance into the fort is reconstructed, the citadel remains in ruins with one of the walls preserved.
The top of the fort provides a magnificent view of the Arabian Sea and Konkan Coastline. The view was breathtaking. You can walk down the steps to reach the beach. Entry is free.
Entry to most South Goa beaches is free and parking is also free.
You can explore other places like churches, casinos, and scuba diving centers when you visit Goa.
Note: From my experience below are the few tips I want to share.
1. Carry Light Weight Summer Clothes and comfortable footwear. Travel with light luggage
2. Sunscreen, Sunglasses, and gloves are a must – you will get tanned badly
3. Police Checking is done at most places. Carry your driving license along with vehicle documents, wear a helmet
4. Drink enough water, stay hydrated and if possible carry a bottle with you to avoid buying plastic bottled water.
That’s all for today. Until Next Time, Iswarya Signing Off.