Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Budget Vacation in Goa - Day 3

Boat Ride and Cheap Sightseeing in Goa - Majestic Beaches

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Aguada Fort River Princess CandolimOur host had arranged a boat that would take us out to sea to view Dolphins at close range. It was 8.00 am when we climbed into the blue wooden boat with an outboard motor at the Sinquerim jetty. We had no lifejackets nor were there any safety devices on the boat and we were a bit nervous as the boat sped and bounced about on the choppy sea. In the distance we could see prisoners waving out off the jails of Fort Aguada and the River Princess grounded at Candolim as we sailed over the horizon into deeper waters.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Dolphin Boat Ride St. LawrenceOur sun burnt captain drove to a preplanned area, set the anchor down and told us to wait a bit. A few minutes later we spied the first Dolphin. Very soon it was joined by other dolphins that circled the boat begging for tidbits. We relaxed in the boat listening to the enchanting myths of the sea told by the boatman. A while later we saw a thick, long sea snake slithering about on the surface of the water. Suddenly our host had a massive bout of sea sickness. At first we laughed but then he had a panic attack which freaked us out real bad that we cut shot the ride and headed back to land. At Sinquerim, our now embarrassed host insisted that he was alright and apologised offering to take us sightseeing in his car for free.

We drove up a nearby hill to the church of St. Lawrence who is known to protect ships and sailors. Looking back, I recall having seen many boats with pictures or statues of St. Lawrence on the stern. The entire coast was visible from high up in the church garden. Our host pointed out the cellular jail at Aguada and the swanky penthouses owned by Mumbai millionaires.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Fort AguadaWe then drove to Fort Aguada which was built in 1612. It had an old lighthouse and jails and thick walls on which we walked and posed for photographs. We had a fun time swinging on a gate that lead down to some haunted passages underground. We also saw a film unit shooting some scenes for a Bollywood flick.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Sinquerim Beach Fort Aguada tajSinquerim Beach - was below the hill on which Fort Aguada stood. There was another smaller fort on the beach from which we could saw folks taking off on boat rides. There were facilities for surfing, waterskiiing and parasailing. The crowd was mostly honeymooners from the nearby Taj Aguada Hermitage Hotel - a bit of Indians in sarees and flabby international tourists.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Mapusa Muncipal Market Francis Xavier restaurant Our host dropped us off at the Mapusa Muncipal Market around midday and headed home. We had lunch at the Francis Xavier restaurant which was decorated for Chrismas with figures of snowmen, Santa and Disney characters painted on large mirrors. The price was low, the food was good but the servings were real small.

We looked through the wares on sale at the Mapusa Bazar - spices, garlands of flowers, dried fish and saplings of trees. We bought some Goan sweets like Bebinca Bolinia, Ball and Dodol and pickles to take back home to Delhi. At the bus terminus we caught the bus to Candolim Beach.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Candolim BeachCandolim Beach was relatively empty even though it was peak season basically because of the dangerous sea currents that take many lives every year. There were shacks, beach beds for suntanning and fishing boats all along the coastline. We took a closer look at the ship 'River Princess' beached on the shore before walking through the waves northward along the coast to Calangute.

cheap budget hotel rooms goa travel trip vacation holiday Calangute BeachCalangute Beach - was crowded with Indian tourists and stalls selling Indian snacks like bhelpuri, golgappa, falooda, naryal pani and vada paon. Hippies moved about pedalling their cameras and watches to pay for their daily dose of drugs. There were lots of shops selling funky beach jewellery and 'I love Goa' T-shirts. We watched the sun set into the sea as the sky turned a magnificent red.

Back at Mapusa we checked our email at a Sify I-way internet cafe in Corleim. We had dinner at 'Delicious' which I can say served the most delicious mouthwatering chinese food I've had for ages, that too at a very reasonable rate.

Budget Vaccation to Goa - Day 2 Expenses
Dolphin boat ride @100/person - 500
Bus Tickets - 70
Breafast/Snacks - 130
Mapusa shopping - 300
Lunch at Mapusa - 200
Dinner at Corleim - 250
Total - 1450

Day 1 - Mapusa on New Year's Eve.
Day 2 - Old Goa Churches, Panjim and Miramar Beach.
Day 3 - Mapusa, Dolphin Boat Ride, Sinquerim, Fort Aguada, Candolim and Calangute Beach.
Day 4 - Vasco Da Gama, Mormugao, Hollant and Anjuna Beach.
Day 5 - Siolim and Morjim.

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