Goa, India

October 2018

We flew from Kathmandu to Goa via New Delhi.  In Delhi, we had to transfer from one terminal to another, and that was a bit of an adventure.  We got out of the terminal where we arrived, and looked for the bus transfer.  There was a small desk manned by a couple of guys who would ask for your connecting flight boarding pass and give you a ticket for boarding the transfer bus.  The bus looked like a regular bus to me, we crammed ourselves in, with our luggages in tow. It was packed like sardines and it was a mystery to me how the bus conductor is able to move from front of the bus to the back with all the luggages and passengers crammed into the every space there is.  I gave the ‘ticket’ provided at the airport and it turned out, luggages are not free, only the passengers are.  Good thing we had small Indian rupee bills to pay 25R per lugggage.

By the time we arrived Goa, it was already dark.  We stayed at a resort called Alila Diwa in Majorda, South Goa, as we prefer to be in a quieter part of the state.  We loved the place as soon as we stepped in and we were handed wet towelettes for freshening up and welcome drinks.  It was a long travel day for us so we basically just had dinner at the resort’s restaurant and crashed into bed.

As soon as we started our day the following morning, we were already wishing we could be there longer.  This resort is amazing. The grounds are very well maintained, everything is so clean and everyone is so friendly.  The infinity pool looks out to rice fields (though empty at the time we were there) and coconut trees.  The breakfast spread is insanely varied and sumptuous, with cheeses and cold cuts, omelette counter,bacon, potatoes, soups, porridge, baked beans, fresh fruits, fresh juices (and lassi), cereals,  pancakes and waffles, all sorts of bread and pastries and of course an entire section of Indian food that looks like dinner to me.  We would be so full from breakfast that we normally wouldn’t even eat lunch anymore.  After breakfast, we would either go to the beach or do some sightseeing in old Goa and the old Portuguese quarters.

 

 

Later in the afternoon we would go for a dip in the pool, hanging out by the edge of the pool and looking out into the tropical greenery and wildlife in front of us.

 

 

I also had an ayurvedic massage plus body scrub and body wrap. That was glorious! The massage was heavenly, using warm ayurvedic oil and the masseuse’s attention to detail was just impressive.  The treatment room has its own steam room,  it’s own outdoor patio with a tall rain shower, and the patio full of tropical plants.  After the massage, still bathed in ayurvedic oil, I was led to the steam room.  After a few minutes in the steam room, I was brought to the outdoor shower to rinse before going back to the massage bed (now clean with new linens and towels) for the coconut and lemongrass body scrub.   Back again to the outdoor shower to rinse (with new sets of towels prepared) to prepare for the body wrap.  The wrap was a thick mixture of sandalwood, aloe vera, milk and honey.  The attendant meticulously covered my entirety with the mixture, before wrapping me with thick heavy towels.  She then gave me another head massage which felt so good every inch of me was so relaxed.  The mixture had a mild, not overwhelming, scent of sandalwood and it was so good.

 

 

It takes about an hour by cab from South Goa to North Goa.  Just for curiosity sake, one day we hired a cab for a day and wanted to see what North Goa is like.  We asked our cab to drop us off at Candolim Beach, which we heard is one of the more crowded, more touristy beaches in the north.  It is indeed very different from Majorda. There’s beach shacks right next to each other as far as your eye can see.  We hung out for a little bit in one of the shacks, until we decided it was time to go back to our little routine back in the south.

 

The dinners on the beach are something I will definitely miss.  Majorda beach is about 8 minutes walk from our hotel or about a 4 minute buggy ride on private shuttle provided by the hotel. The shuttle continuously runs between the hotel and beach from 7am to 7pm daily. The beach is pretty quiet and not crowded, with a shack that serves seafood and Indian food.  The friendly staff would bring you their fresh catch for the day and you get to pick which fish or prawns you want and how you want them cooked.  The sunsets are gorgeous, and we can smell the fish grilling or curry cooking while watching the sun sink into the horizon as it gives bright colors into the clouds.

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Coming back to the hotel from our dinner on the beach, we would find our bath tub filled with bath foam and rose petals! What a wonderful treat! I wanted more days of morning walks on the beach, late afternoon dips in the pool, sunset dinners on the beach, and rose petal baths, but alas, we had to catch our train on to our next adventure. Kerala awaits.

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