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12 Dec 2002


(Contributed by V. Hari) (12 Dec 2002)
A trip finally materialised during the weekend of 15th & 16th. A trip for which the seeds was sown as early as Feb of this year (in fact, the idea was conceived even more earlier) did finally materialise, though the destination was finalised only recently. After much deliberation & planning, it was decided to go to Goa on this particular weekend and hence a trip was arranged within a short span of time (just less than a week).

Some 12 of us finally left on the night of 14th (Friday) by Konkan Kanya express to Thivim, a station in North Goa. The group consisted of 8 Orbitechites and 4 from TCS. Well, all of us were first-timers except one. A few hours before we embarked on our journey, we found that we had cancelled all our return ticket journeys because it was around waiting list 25. We boarded the train at 23:00 hours from Dadar. The rain Gods did give us a sign of what was in store for us for the next 2 days, when there was brief rain (for a period of 5 minutes after which it subsided) just at the time of boarding train itself (so that we could get drenched before we leave Bombay itself). It was quite an ordinary journey with people going off to sleep just after midnight, after wishing "yours truly" the first of the two persons who were having birthdays that weekend.
The next morning, when people woke, they could get to see some good lush scenery along with rains. The train reached the destination at 09:40 (being 20 minutes behind schedule). After getting down, we went to book our return tickets (shows how good planning has gone into that trip) and there we found that 4 of us, did not have any ID card to be produced for getting a Tatkal ticket. So, we had to talk to the person at the reservation counter and found a "workaround" to have all persons get a valid tatkal ticket. The fortunate part was that all of us managed to get a confirmed ticket for our return journey. It took us 3/4th of an hour in getting this done. Finally, when we just left the station at 10:30, it was raining quite heavily and we got ourselves into two vans and reached a cottage near Bhaaga beach.
The location of the cottage (Sea view cottages) was quite nice (being just opposite to the beach) and the rooms were also decent. We checked ourselves in 3 different rooms (4 each). The rooms were quite spacious for 4 of us to share the same. Immediately after checking in, we went for lunch in a restaurant in the same cottage. Here again, we had a quite different experience in the sense that the items were served only after 1 1/2 hours of ordering and for 2-3 unfortunate people among us, no item was served because it seems that they were unavailable but this was communicated after 2 hours of ordering. What a different experience!!!
So after a "semi-lunch" (not to confuse with brunch), we directly plunged ourselves into Bhaaga beach. It was around 2:15 p.m. and it was still pouring heavily. There was absolutely no one in that beach except for our group. So, it was exclusive for us. The beach was much clean and there were quite high tides there due to heavy rains. We all had a nice time getting ourselves wet in the beach as well as in the rains that was pouring in. We were playing around in that beach till 04:00 p.m. after which 8 of us (the remaining 4 went back to the hotel rooms) moved to Calangute beach. From there, we walked down further to a different beach. There it started raining even more heavily after which we started to walk back to Bhaaga beach. The walk was a memorable one with heavy rains. The rains were sharply hitting us (sort of thornly pricking). We were the only ones in the entire beach again. We reached Bhaaga beach after another half an hour. It was already 05:30 p.m. We started playing in the beach by throwing around a ball and catching the same. Finally, we decided to call it a day in the beach at around 6:00 p.m. and returned back to the hotel room.
After refreshing ourselves here, we set out for dinner. We went to Calangute by van and had dinner in a good restaurant. We all had a sumptuous dinner and then returned our way by walking to our cottage. For a change, the rain Gods also decided to take some rest and hence there were no rains during our walk back to our cottage. We went to the beach again and were enjoying the moonlit view of the same by sitting on its shores for around an hour. At the stroke of the midnight hour, we wished Selva (the second person) for completing another year. With this ended our first day in Goa.
The next day started with people getting up (after a good sleep) around 8:00 a.m. A couple of us managed to get even more earlier and went to the beach to again have a bath. We vacated the rooms at around 09:45 and then set out on 3 different vans this time. Again it started raining just as we were about to start venturing out on our second day. Our first stop was at Fort Aquada (in North Goa itself). The fort was quite a nice one and it offered some good views of the beaches in the city. The heavy rains at that time just added to its splendour. After spending considerable time taking a stroll over there, we came to another beach which is Miramar beach (Gaspar Dias) in Panaji. From here, we moved on to Dona Paula beach. "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her". True to this, here we were provided a good visual treat by the view of the beach. The next stop was for a good lunch at a restaurant called "Delhi Durbar" in Panaji. We reached here at around 01:45 p.m. and when we left after a good lunch, it was half past three. We were given a football as a complimentary gift by the restaurant as there was a "food ball" season going on there. The next place on our agenda was old Goa. Here we visited a museum as well as a church. It was a museum of archaeological exhibits of Portuguese. Some of us bought some souvenirs from Goa. It was already 05:30 when we finished this and just to add one more place before winding up the tour, we visited a tower there and reached the station back at 06:00 pm. to catch our train at 06:25 p.m.
The fun did not end here. It continued well into the last part of our trip which is the journey back to Mumbai (by Konkan Kanya exp). We played 3 rounds of a game called "Literature" (also known as "major minor") in cards. Since this was new to almost all of them (except 3 people) it was more fun. This lasted for 4 hours after which people started retiring to bed. Finally we reached Dadar at 05:30 on 17th morning.
Probably the rain Gods wanted to be part of our trip as they accompanied us till we reached our homes back in Mumbai.

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