This was our 4th visit to Goa and you may have understand that we love this place the most. As a couple, we have been to Goa for many number of times and now we share the love for Goa with our two beautiful daughters aged 7 and 9 years. Goa makes us feels like its our second home & we love it! In my opinion, Goa is a place that chooses you and not the other way round.
We like to travel a lot as a family and that too at a time when the chosen destination is in a so called ‘off season’ phase. Generally, people flock to Goa in the winter months of October to February with December and January being the peak months. We decided to rekindle our childhood memories with our daughters and hence, Goa it was in June (read monsoon season).
We wanted this vacation to be different from the usual ones; all four of us decided and agreed to indulge in a lot of fun and some adventure this time in Goa. Here’s a sneak preview of all (well, almost) the crazy things we did in Goa.
1. Scooter Ride from Calangute to Arambol
Trips like these teach us to appreciate the joys and happiness the simple things in life can give us. We decided to do this trip from Calangute to Arambol (around 25 kms one way) on a scooter for me and a bike for my husband, I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear as I had not driven a two wheeler for more than 15 years and here I was getting a chance to enjoy my favourite college ride once again.
My husband suggested I take a trial on the scooter first before asking my daughter to be a pillion rider. And once the machine was tested and the trial run was done, we got on to our bike and scooter and with our darling daughters giving us company we rode the entire stretch singing and enjoying the beautiful stretch in the rains.
2. Eating at the Local Kiosks
Street food is the best way to understand the local cuisine and food culture of a place. We had our fill of vada pavs, buns (a local delicacy at Sai Cafe near Vagator petrol pump) and cutting chai at the small kiosks at various places in Goa. We also tried pulao and dahi vada at the canteen at Shanta Durga temple complex. One thing that really struck me was that the foreigners too have adapted themselves to the Indian palette. You can see them enjoying street food almost everywhere in Goa.
3. Temples in Goa
We had already seen the old Goa churches during our earlier visits to Goa, this time we decided to see the temples in Goa which are an exemplary evidence of the Konkani architecture. So we explored five temples in a day – praying, soaking in the spirit and seeking the divine blessings for ourselves. We managed to visit the Shanta Durga temple, Mangeshi temple, Balaji temple, Mahalaxmi temple and Mahalsa temple. Our car driver shared every bit of information he had on how the temples were shifted overnight from the original place fearing the Portugese would attack the temples and ruin the statues.
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4. Dudhsagar Waterfall
Now if you have seen the movie Chennai Express you would remember the scene where the train was stopped by the goons on the bridge in the middle of a waterfall – that beautiful place is Dudhsagar waterfall, just on the border of Goa and Karnataka. In fact many scenes of Chennai Express were also shot in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary, one has to pass through this sanctuary to reach the waterfall and that can only be done on the vehicles that are permitted to go inside the sanctuary.
Once inside, you have to trek some distance before you reach the waterfall and also brave through a troop of monkeys. Be careful the monkey menace can bother you as the monkeys tend to run away with all the eatables.
Both my daughters and husband were quite thrilled and got in the water immediately, there were huge fishes which were swimming and brushing past them which the kids enjoyed too after the initial hiccup but the craziest thing was that the depth of the water body right under the waterfall is around 100 feet or more. My jaws dropped on hearing this, had I known this before I would have dissuaded my daughters from going inside the water. Although there are life guards at the waterfall and a life-jacket is a must yet just the knowledge that the waters are so deep is scary.
5. Fresh Water Lake Near The Sea
We decided to go to the Arambol beach only for one reason and that was the fresh water lake which is on the beach yet separated from the sea. Once you are at Arambol you have to walk some distance to see the lake which is so close to the sea that its hard to believe that it’s a fresh water lake. You will have to brave through the rocky beach, Russian settlement in the area and at times a high tide too which makes it almost impossible to pass through without getting wet to see that lake but let me tell you the effort is worth it.
Goa never stops to tickle the traveller, keep your ante up for the upcoming season in Goa as you would be able to also enjoy the sea planes, hot air ballooning, hovercrafts and a lot more in a few months from now.