Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goa - where east meets with west: Part I - Canacona, Mobor, Margao ...

‘Welcome to Goa’ sign board on Karnataka – Goa boarder, remained me about Prakash Raj’s dialogue in Hindi movie Singam  - "Welcome to Goa Singam".

After crossing the border, we continued our journey through Kanyakumari-Panvel road, except sometimes when bus drifted to village lanes. I can’t say it as village in exact sense, as numbers of homes were very less and far between. More or less it was forest only. Through the glass windows of our bus, I could see the head of lengthy trees kissing the blue sky; small creek was flowing in a zig-zag path but remained within the rhythm of jungle. Some homes in this area proudly announced their names in Konkani language using Marathi script – my first encounter with Konkani.


Finally, we reached Canacona bus stand, only to hear that buses to Morbor were available from Margoa bus stand only. After buying one map, we boarded another bus to Margao - 40km from Canacona. Western side of Goa is full of beaches; in fact you will be confused which one to select and with one to leave. Our first choice was Morbor. I simply looked outside to locate some remains of Portuguese legacy. It didn’t take much time, many old building were standing on both sides bearing Portuguese style doors and windows.

Morbor and its north

From Margao, we got a local bus to Morbor beach. Within the city limits, bus was moving as slowly as possible and stopping almost everywhere. As nothing else to do, I simply watched people getting in and out from our bus. Interestingly, women and girls were wearing dress in western style. We slowly moved away from the city limits, and cruised through village lanes, here the environment more or less looks like any villages in Kerala – but road were better maintained. Slowly one by one almost all people got down and walked towards their respective home; in the end only 5-6 people remained in that bus – we three, conductor, driver and probably one local guy. Finally it was our turn – Morbor beach. We followed the path shown by conductor and reach Morbor – some 400 to 500 metres away from the bus route.

In next two days, we saw many famous beaches in Goa - Calangute, Colva etc; but the memory and tranquillity of Morbor still remains in my mind as sweet as its beautiful, fully grained white sand was. We slowly walked towards Arabian Sea and touched her waters, which instantly washed away our tiredness accumulated over the past 700kms of journey. Through the sugar like sands of Morbor, we walked north, drawing lines and figures on sand using fingers, probably for next one and half to two hours. This is a perfect location for people to come and lost in the serenity of the union of Sea and land – not much people, not much noise, clam waves, cool waters, and golden rays of sun.

I wish I could walk through these calm waters till next morning, but destiny was something else. As sun was rapidly moving towards western oceans, time available to reach the city was coming down. So we finally said ‘ta ta’ to sea and walked towards the road - only to know that we need to walk another two kilometres to reach bus route. As we were fully depending on public transport, our position was not so good. Govan villages are fully connected with city, but the problem is you may not get local buses from faraway places to nearest cities after seven in the evening. The best way to travel in Goa may be renting ‘moped’, ‘bike’ or ‘car’.

We dashed towards bus route, in the middle of a drizzle, and reached there just after seven in the evening - only to know that last bus gone some minutes back. When we were close to the beach one person offered us to drop in Margao, in his taxi, for 500 INR, with all politeness we told him that in case we didn’t get the bus we will call you to which he nodded his head in agreement. Now without any other public transportation available, we tried to call him probably five times; each time the instrument fell silent after ringing its entire life. Well, that was enough we can’t try him anymore and started walking. Fortunately from the next bus stop got one taxi – Toyota Innova.

Driver was good in Hindi, and we soon started talking about Goan language and culture. He informed us about GTDC package of daily sight-seeing trips and dropped us close to GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corp) Margao residency, standing close to public library. Including luxury tax, a ‘non ac’ double room cost us 972/day. For residents, single day sight-seeing tour will cost 100 INR and for non-residents it is 200 INR, with guide, but no food. Please note that the rates are applicable for off-season. Season and Peak-Season rates are high.

There was a restaurant at second floor, bar attached. After having dinner and spending some more time we went for sleeping.


For reading rest of the series

Goa - where east meets with west: Part II - Sateri Mahalasa Narayani Temple, Panaji, Fort Aguada, Sinquerim, Calangute, Santa Monica and Mandovi
Goa - where east meets with west: Part III Colva, Temples, Churches, Dauno Paulo and Vasco

Goa Beaches


On the way to Canacona

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