Goa Journals

Goa: The Magic of the Monsoon

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A July 2005 trip to Goa by phileasfogg

Wildernest Resort Photo, Goa, India More Photos
Quote: Goa’s a perennial favourite with honeymooners, large Indian families, the glitterati, the sun-worshippers, the beach bums, the beer-lovers, the religious, and the irreverent. It's happy-go-lucky, exuberant, and no-holds-barred. And it's at its best in the rain-drenched months of the monsoon.

Goa: The Magic of the Monsoon

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Overview

A cloudy day in Goa Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Though small, Goa has loads to see. The beaches that fringe the Indian Ocean are its biggest attraction. Among the best-known beaches are Dona Paula, Miramar, Calangute, Anjuna, Baga, and Vagator in North Goa; and Bogmalo, Colva, Benaulim, and Cavelossim in South Goa. In the monsoons, the sea’s choppy and swimming’s prohibited, but you can walk along the shore or wade in a bit if you’re hell-bent on wetting your feet.Other than beaches, Goa’s known for its history- the state was a Portuguese colony till 1962, and Portugal’s left its stamp almost everywhere. Check out the churches and convents of Old Goa- the Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the remains of St Francis X...Read More

Calangute Residency

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Hotel

Calangute Residency Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
A relative (whom I shall never trust again!) assured us that the Calangute Residency was a "very good place". Run by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), the hotel has two sections: the main hotel on the seafront, and the Annexe, which contains the dormitories and is further away from the beach.I had misgivings from the moment I saw the place--the courtyard leading to the rooms was grown over with weeds, and the dining room on the ground floor of the building looked one of the shabbiest I’ve seen in over three decades of wandering about. Three moth-eaten mattresses were stacked against the wall of the corridor outside our room, and inside our room, things got--if possible--even worse. A ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Calangute Residency
Calangute Beach
Goa, India
0832 - 2224132

Wildernest Resort

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Hotel

Wildernest Resort Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
We can never afford really posh holidays--shoestring is more our type. But the good thing about off-season (other than the blessed lack of crowds of tourists) is that many otherwise pricey places can be had very cheap. The Wildernest Resort, for instance--which charges a whopping Rs13,000 a night during the winters--drops to just Rs3,000 a night in the monsoon. And it looks awesome too.Wildernest lies tucked away in the densely wooded hills on Goa’s border with the neighbouring state of Karnataka. It’s 60km from Panjim, on the highway to Belgium. A bunch of 18 cottages, all plate glass windows, thatched roofs and wooden interiors, spread across a hillside that’s thick with bamboo and dozens of othe...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Wildernest Resort
Swapnagandha Valley
Goa, India
91-22-24042211

Capricorn

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Restaurant

Capricorn Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
We first spotted Capricorn when we were approaching Calangute Beach--and it looked so inviting, we decided we’d go have a meal there at least once. The restaurant stands on the main road (which, by the way, is pretty narrow), surrounded by quaint souvenir shops, palm trees, and hibiscus. Like a lot of eating joints in Goa, Capricorn too has a low wall punctuated by pillars, and tables are lined up right against the wall, so you can look out on the road and do loads of people-watching while eating.The place is neat and clean--pretty blue or red-checked tablecloths, photographs of Goa, coconut palms, and buffalos on the walls, and (inexplicably) posters of Zermatt next to the kitchen door. The day we...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Capricorn
Calangute Beach Road, Calangute, Bardez
Goa, India
-

Infantaria

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Restaurant

Quote:
The man who drove us to Chandor and back again praised Infantaria’s food--great breakfasts, good dinners, fantastic 'pastries' (which, in India, doesn’t mean shortcrust or flaky or puff; it simply means wedges of heavily iced cakes). We decided to give the place a try at dinnertime and walked down to the restaurant, which stands next to the small chapel of Sao Joao Batista. If the number of occupied tables in the restaurant is anything to go by, this is a popular place. It has a large barbecue station--a well-like structure with a prettily tiled parapet all around it--towards the front of the restaurant, but that’s about all that’s interesting when it comes to décor. The tables, all covered with grubb...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Infantaria
Unta Waddo, Calangute (Bardez)
Goa, India
2277421

Souza Lobo

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Restaurant

Souza Lobo Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
Seventy-two years is a long time--long enough, at any rate, to establish a restaurant that’s really very pleasant. Souza Lobo, on Calangute Beach, was set up in 1932--the 'Since 1932' motif is there on the waiter’s uniforms, on the menu cards, and on the restaurant’s signboard. Today, it’s run by John Jude Lobo, the great-grandson of the founder, and is definitely one of the nicest restaurants in and around Calangute. We discovered Souza Lobo while strolling along the beach and decided to give it a shot for dinner.At first glance, it seemed simply like a somewhat upmarket version of most Goan eateries: a ceiling of prettily woven coconut fibre, tables covered with red tablecloths, waiters in cheery...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 30, 2005

Souza Lobo
Calangute Beach, Calangute (Bardez)
Goa, India
2281234, 2276463

Red Earth and Gentle Rain

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Story/Tip

A roadside village in Goa Photo, Goa, India
Quote:
We were on our way back from a three-hour trip to the beaches of Baga and Anjuna and the hilltop Chapora Fort.The jaunt had had its ups and downs. The view from Chapora had been splendid; the waves at Baga had been cool; the coconut groves had been pretty; and the many miles of bright green rice fields, with threads of gleaming water between them and the sheltering coolness of rain-laden clouds above had been exquisite. On the other hand, the bike we were on--a beat-up vehicle very low on power--had nearly thrown us in a ditch; Anjuna, which we’d visited simply to see the famed flea market, had turned out to be more or less deserted; and by the time we got on to the straight road leading to Calangu...Read More