10 tickets were booked by Atul. 3 Neech guys backed out viz. Navandee, Kamzor Kali and Cedric. The reason was common – leave not sanctioned. So 3 tickets had to be cancelled and 7 return tickets to be booked. Aur iss nek kaam ke liye… the chosen one was Atul. But even I accompanied him this time.
So, this time everything was in place. The night before the journey we stayed at the Hotel Kandu International. The chances of anyone sleeping with Anna, Rehan and me around were very dim. Also, we had to get ready at around 4:00 in the morning.
Early morning, empty roads and rickshaw drivers make a dangerous combination. Two auto rickshaws dropped us at the Thane Station in 15 minutes. Kanda Bhajiyas, Batata Chips and some hot tea consisted of our breakfast. Some Vada Pavs and Samosa Pavs were also packed for the train journey.
5:45 in our clocks and all started getting impatient. A wait of 5 mins and our official carrier to
(L-R): Ali, Nirav, Atul, Kandu, Rehan and Anna. I am the photographer.
After settling into the comfortable cushion seats, everyone dozed off. It was the result of staying up the whole night. The train journey was fun all the way. We all stood at the door and Atul behaved like a school kid by howling into each and every tunnel that our train passed.
The railway canteen guys dished out yummy items and we tasted most of them. Apart from getting stuck into a tunnel for around half an hour, the journey was fun all the way. We had originally planned to get down at Margao but some last moment decisions made us get down at Thevim at around 2:30 p.m. Our original plan to stay at Margao was cancelled because we decided to try out some shacks near the Calangute beach. The Calangute beach is the "Queen of beaches"
As Calungute is nearer from Thevim, we alighted here. Thevim is close to Mapusa. Hey guys… now for those who have never been to
Finally, we were on the Goan soil. It felt so great. The air was so different. Away from all the noise and commotion we were in a place which has a charm of its own. Be here to believe it. After striking a deal with the local taxi driver for 350 bucks, we found ourselves at the Calangute beach. I and Kandu had been to
Soon, with the help of this taxi driver, we tried out a few places for our stay but they all turned to be on the expensive side. All our search attempts turned out to be futile. Finally, my knowledge of local language Konkani managed to get us 2 good rooms for just Rs. 3000/- for 5 days. Spacious rooms with 5 beds. More than what we could ask for.
(L-R): Kandu, ME, Anna, Ali, Nirav, Atul and Rehan.
After having a quick wash, we left for the Calangute beach. It was just a stone’s throw distance from our Conria Guest House. We took a long walk in the evening, had a light snack of tongue tickling Prawn Xacuti (a local dish) and some Prawn Chilly. Hmm… The taste still lingers in my mouth.
It was 27th Feb, the second last day of the Goa Carnival. After watching the sunset, when we came to the street, the Carnival parade was over. But a live stage performance in the Calangute open ground was flocked by localites and foreigners alike. A lady on the stage sang non-stop for an hour and still managed to make people sway to her songs.
Our first day in
The food arrived and started disappearing quickly from my plate. But, Anna’s eyes told us some different story. Later, we found out that the noodles served to them were bland and minus salt too. Here, Rehan was showing his kind heartedness by giving me slices of his fried fish. Soon, Kandu also followed suit. With the amount of food in my plate increasing, my voracity also increased. 5 mins later, I found everyone ready to go. But I had my hands and my plate full too. Halfheartedly, even I got up to leave but not before finishing off everything from my plate.
Anna was not charged for his noodles. And after tasting those horrible noodles, he vowed never to eat from that hotel ever again. Warning- So, guys if you ever visit Calangute market, stay away from the Sarvesh Café.
Once out of the Sarvesh Café, Anna headed straight to the Supermarket and bought a 1.5 litre bottle of Frooti. Yep, he did drink the whole bottle. Finally, after a discussion of the places to visit the next day, we dispersed to our rooms. I, Kandu and Gala in one room and the animals in the other. There was a cunning logic of Kandu behind this which I will reveal in my next post.
The day was over, the night had begun, and we had retired to beds with a beautiful dream to begin. The remaining part of the story will be unfolded soon. Keep watching this space for more action…