With the start of the holiday season in North America and a long weekend coming from Thursday and Friday would be holidays on the account of Thanksgiving, I decided to have a vacation with my family to the tried and tested Goa for six days. I had already booked my accommodation via Air B n B and the return flights were by Air Asia well in advance. Now, having been to Goa plenty of times would still make it different given the responsibilities that I would have to undertake in terms of my son and wife and not go chasing my highs and girls, yes read separately.
Left on a Tuesday with an early morning flight which was wise in hindsight considering my son wasn’t too cranky which could have been an issue otherwise given the proclivities of the aircrew and going by recent snippets in the national and international arena. Warning: When travelling with an infant/ toddler in tow then make sure that you apologize beforehand to your fellow passengers and make the cabin crew aware of the dilemma that you might face with a baby in hand which is what we did.
Had already booked a rental cab for the entire duration of our stay and the guy was there with it at the airport itself and took the entire amount upfront along with my driving license. The property for lodging was top notch and we straightaway headed to Anjuna beach for a rendezvous at Curlies to absorb the Goa air and take in the tranquillity away from the city vibe. This was followed by a meal at Anand Seafood which was a spicy affair and I would not recommend it for the faint hearted or somebody who is not accustomed to the Indian palate. Also, my humble suggestion is that if you do go for fish then steer away from Pomfret to inadvertently inflate your bill which you could do without.
Goa is an alternative lifestyle propagated by the hippies and the young Indians going there by their hordes and if you are into psychedelic-trance then you have to be at Shiva Valley on a Tuesday to immerse yourself in the experience and leave your blues aside with an iconic rave under the moonlight.
For the adventurous, there are quite a few options for sea water sports which could be tried at the various beaches in Goa, the casinos are also a viable extension if you have an inkling for gambling and like the rush and last but not the least for families such as us, one could also try their hands and feet at go-karting to while away time constructively. Nightlife cannot be complete without a mention of my favourite joint in Goa which has plenty of suitable competition in the offing but if you’re in North Goa then do visit Club Cubana, the nightclub in the sky for those who are into old-school nostalgia and drinks by the pool.
The Black Sheep Bistro in Panjim is a highly recommended joint for what they offer in terms of drinks and eatables which are just rightly priced and you wouldn’t have guilty misgivings about the place known for its cocktails. However, the distance could be an issue since it is in Panjim but the incentives could be the umpteen casinos lining the sea while you get there. Arambol is a beach with a relaxed vibe and its pristine surroundings give it a welcoming feel with a sizable number of Indians also attending.
Some of the creme de la creme hangouts that I would like to suggest would be Cohiba which has three different bars and a dance floor. Not to mention, a live band playing to the galleries. We had a gala time ‘at it’ and had a swish set of people for company. LPK is another club vying for eyeballs and is not too far off the pace. It is a recent addition but you wouldn’t know about it given the throngs that hang out there. Thalassa is a classy Greek restaurant which was under renovation but somewhere I had already been which was a disappointment because I couldn’t show off to my wife but I kind of made up for it with another one of the ilks by the name of House of Lloyds and you have to try the pork chops which are a must-have.
As a penultimate soiree, we went to Antares, another decent restaurant followed by the Arpora Saturday Night Bazaar which went on till 3 am and is a must visit for souvenirs and a feel of mini-India.
Man, I’m done with Goa but I’m glad at the culmination of events and something that I could look back on with my family as a truly blissful experience.