Goa has been my ‘holiday’ spot for a while now. My parents have a house in Candolim, and we have spent so much time in the beautiful beachy state.
Goa is much more than just beaches to me however. It’s great food, beautiful buildings, warm people and a general feeling of bliss that envelopes you the minute you set foot there. It was easy to see why I considered it for my second solo trip.
Among other things, South Goa had memories I was in no hurry to relive, which is what made me consider visiting the North. I had heard much about beautiful North Goa, and a hostel had come highly recommended, so I booked a bunk in a mixed dorm, booked my bus tickets and set off.
When I got off the bus at Canacona, the familiarity of Goa embraced me like a long lost friend. I wondered if I had chosen too safe a place for what I had hoped would be an intrepid adventure. But the closer I got to Summer, the more sea breeze filled my lungs and I began to care very little about how safe it was!
Check in was at 2pm so I freshened up and headed straight for the beach. Palolem beach can in no way be called quiet, but it does have a charm that seems to have faded from many beaches down south. I spent my morning at the beach, undisturbed by hawkers or masseuses , soaking in the sun and sea.
My dorm was lovely. A ten minute walk from the beach and air-conditioned with an open air common room that looked over the road to the beach. I had decided to eat a very simple bread and butter dinner, but I was convinced by a fellow hosteler to try one of the many restaurants nearby.
He was not wrong. The Chiken Tikka Masala and roti was far better fare than my insipid bread and butter, and he kept me entertained with stories about his travels.
The next morning I couldn’t shake the teacher timings off, but it wasn’t too bad to be at the beach at 6:30 am. The rising sun was still red in the sky and it was a nice and quiet walk. When I got back, I was treated to Summer’s best feature. Breakfast. Samosas, boiled eggs, bread, jam, butter, tea, coffee and bananas, it was a delectable feast. After filling up, I went back to the beach and this time got into the water and spent another lazy morning just soaking in the sun.
After some time I went back to the hostel where I met my friend from the previous evening. We decided to check out Patnem and Rajbagh beach and after a pleasant walk and some directions from the locals, we found the beaches that were just as beautiful, but much quieter. The day was spent swimming and sharing stories and we decided to see if we could find Colomb beach in time for sunset. After taking some questionable paths, we ended up on a beach, that we realised was Palolem. We had somehow managed to miss Colomb completely! The sunset at Palolem wasn’t bad, and later that evening I had the best veg thali for a mere Rs 100.
I spent most of the rest of my time between Palolem, Patnem and Rajbag. Never really did find Colomb.
The trip was interesting to say the least. I learnt a lot about myself and about traveling. I learnt that I was not as socially awkward as I thought I was. I also learnt that solo traveling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to do everything by yourself. It’s great to have that option, but having company can be just as fun.