The distance from Manipal(Udupi) to Goa is exactly 360 kms by train or 4 hours and for a period between 2001 to 2005, I went with my friends at least 30 times to party including a bike trip which was completed in 36 hours where there was a bash at Club Cubana. Goa never ceases to amaze me and I always associate a word with it-MAGIC. This is a blog about my pseudo girlfriend and the romance that I shared with her on my travels. Ride along. With the Manohar Parrikar government putting an end to nocturnal pursuits in a daze-lets celebrate the raves. The best time to visit Goa is from November to February with the weather being at it’s best to enjoy the pristine beaches from North Goa to South Goa. If you’re going by train then rather than getting down at Madgaon-Panaji-Baga try Thivim-Mapusa which is a lot closer and convenient and after accommodation, the priority should be a two wheeler unless its a large group because there are more than 50 beaches in Goa.

Raves, Konkan Railways
Konkan Railways

“Trance-Send” Boundaries
Goa gained independence in 1961 and since the ’80’s there has been a steady stream of hippies which started by first discovering and then propagating an alternative lifestyle which brings me to raves. Raves are electronic dance parties which include but are not limited to neon or strobe lights, psychedelic music, paintings, alcohol, drugs and one night stands if the “stars” are right and you let go of your inhibitions. The stereotype “the white man has to show the way” gains credence because there are beaches exclusively devoted to the foreign tourist, the majority of whom are Russians, Japanese and Israelis with signage on some beaches in Hebrew.  Indians are not far behind with the advent and reincarnation of Bhole Nath giving rise to a spiritual connotation to the highs & the wherefores. I despise the Bombay alter ego but I admit here that the glamour quotient is increased at least 10 times when the chicks descend from BB(Bombay & Bangalore) on new year’s eve with prices shooting through the roof. Weed is the gateway drug but can only be called an appetizer when it comes to experiencing a high that lasts for a good 6-8 hours. My initial adventures were limited to alcohol and club hopping in Mambos, Tito’s, Club Cubana, SinQ…but when we experienced raves, we were sucked in like drones to a mother ship. Raves happen along the Anjuna, Vagator and Arambol( you’d be lost among the Caucasians) beaches under the open skies and there are a plethora of options such as Curlies(the beach shack where you need to chill with a King’s beer), Dolce Vita, Paradiso, Hill Top, Nine Bar, Shiva Valley, Anjuna Temple etc. The music influence has increased manifold over the years both in terms of commercial aspects and obviously the mass appeal. The internet would give you a lot if you search for Goa Gil, Skazi, Infected Mushrooms. Trust me, if you want to experiment then LSD and Ecstasy are the perfect accompaniment under the tree. One of my friends Ashim Kohli was lucky enough to score, pun intended, but had to leave mid way through the night,literally, because while doing it, his condom tore! Over the years a lot has changed and if you’re in the mood for fine dining then you have to try these joints provided budgets are not the constraint. Thalassa at Vagator is owned by a Greek lady who serves up quintessential Continental fare, Sarah Todd’s(Master Chef finalist from Australia) has her own restaurant Antares which again caters to an eclectic  fare. Try Jai Ganesh Juice Center in Chapora if you’re in the mood for shakes and you wont be disappointed. My suggestion is this-If you’re with your family then experience Baga & Calangute but if you’re in groups of 4-5 then attempt Vagator…

Ps- I’m the one your mother warned about

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