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25th Oct 2016, 7 O’clock in the evening: Suddenly got a lucrative offer from GoIbibo on selected hotels while surfing internet. Confirmed with my soul mate for a trip during Diwali holiday; and by 7.30 PM we were done with hotel & bus booking to travel to one of the most favourite destination of our country ...GOA!! Night driving is not my cup of tea. So this time had to let go of our white knight. We had very short time for this trip (29th Oct to 1st Nov), so driving during the daytime will be too hectic for such a short trip. 28th Oct: We completed our respective work early to be with our friends when as they were taking delivery of their first car.!! We rushed to home for packing around 6 O’clock in the evening. We just had 40 minutes to pack and catch the bus to Goa. First time since morning we had time to breath....Goa here we come!! 29th Oct: Our overnight journey to Goa was uneventful and we reached Panjim, capital of Goa by 9 in the morning.. We rented an activa from Amigos Tours & Travels, near Panjim bus stop & reached hotel around which was near Candolim beach but away from the crowd of the Candolim. 10.30 AM Our stay: Mouth watering food joints just a km away from the hotel were pulling us for breakfast. So after a lovely breakfast at “Teama”, we headed towards the famous Baga beach. Baga beach was clean, our slow leisurely romantic walk along with sea shore turned even more exciting when we spotted a starfish, a jellyfish and few shells. They were washed ashore by the waves. Baga Beach, North Goa: Our next destination was Anjuna beach. Shiva valley & Curlies are the two hot spots to chill. We decided to try Shiva Valley. Our obvious choice was the 1st floor of the shack which gave us a magnificent view of Anjuna beach.For lunch we ordered Red snapper butter garlic fry which comes with fries & fresh salad & of course Kings Beer which is obvious in Goa!! The food was great, so as the ambiance. Perfect place if you are in Goa. Now it was time to spend a relaxing afternoon on the beach, with the setting sun at the horizon it created a magical effect. We couldn’t keep track of the time.. Proving to be a responsible citizen of India I did not ride back after the booze, my dear wifey took over. On our way back we walked into a German bakery this time for a cup of coffee. Ordered butter croissant, sandwich & hot coffee. It was really awesome to have good cup of coffee and nice bites at the evening. We call it for a day after having dinner nearby. 30th Oct: We had breakfast near the hotel while heading to Arambol. On the way towards Arambol:- Half way down the road Police stopped us, dint find any reason still asked us to give Rs 100(As a diwali hapta) & promised us that nobody will catch us in the next 3 days! He provided us a challan with validity!! [emoji3]. I did not oppose quietly paid and left. Hassle with the police was the last thing I wanted in a trip.. Anyway we reached Arambol & check “laughing Buddha” shack to find out that, sun-bed charge is extra @ 500 Rs/day!! We searched for another place as we were in no mood to pay extra for the bed as it comes for free if you have lunch in any shack. So, we landed at “21 Coconuts”. They don’t charge extra for bed as long as you have lunch at this place. Hence we decided to chill in this place. Ordered some delicious sea-foods like calamari, mackerel along with beer & drinks! We loved the place so much that ended up spending almost entire day by chilling & watching the lively beach!! View from 21 coconuts:- Calamri, beer, drinks.. Pomfret:- It was around 3 PM, while we decided to head towards Chapora fort to watch lovely sunset. As it was crowdy, we trek down to a relatively quiet place. It was so beautiful:- We came back to hotel after a lovely day!! 31st Oct: We woke up early and headed towards South Goa, Palolem beach, which is around 80 KM through the NH 66. Towards Palolem: We started around 7 O’clock & checked in Palolem around 10 O’clock. The famous place “Dropadi” was yet to start their day. It was bright sunny & relatively hot day, so the walk along the beach was not at all soothing hence we were badly looking for a place to sit & enjoy. We had a few drinks at “Ciarans”. @ Ciarans This place was not at all pocket friendly, so we only had a beer & mocktail before moving to “Ro-Coco Pelton” which offers free sun-bed. But weather was bit hot so we chose to sit inside after spending some time in water. “Ro-Coco Pelton” is a nice cozy place which has nice varieties of food & drinks menu, managed by local youths. Though service is bit slow, but who cares. People go there to relax, slower the service means more time to chill !!. View from Ro-Coco Pelton Colourful Goa: Around 1 O’clock we checked into “Dropadi” to have lunch. It was a crowded place as it’s very near to the entrance of Palolem beach; unlike “Ro-Coco Pelton”, “Ciarans” & other shacks for which you need to take a walk. Anyway, this time we had seafood chop suey, chicken chop suey and beer. Seafood chop suey & Kings Beer: Food was costly compared to north goa.. It was really nice to have some great food with Goan beer Kings and enjoying the sandy stretch of palolem beach!! But still I would say “Dropadi” is overhyped place & very expensive. So this is not a must visit place, for us atleast!! We relaxed there before we began our journey back, so the picturesque sight of the Goan sunset at the famous Palolem beach has to wait till our next visit. Our journey back was driving through impossibly green countryside. It was a pleasure being the photographer. Magnificent Road: Just a little before sunset we reached our hotel. We preferred a quiet beach next to the hotel, to enjoy the serene of twilight & before the darkness took over. There was no one out there. Soft rhythmic sound of the waves, last rays of the setting sun adorning the horizon and the twinkling diamonds were decorating the dull sky over us. Nothing can be better than this at the end of the day especially after a long drive. We lay down on the soft sand to watch the star gazed sky over us. It was so peaceful, quiet, serene…. We could see the Candolim beach a km away busy with night life entertainment. So people don’t come to this area. If you are in mood to enjoy serene beach then come to this place. After spending a blissful hour there, that night we had Goan special King fish curry & rice paired with Kings Beer for dinner at a shack near candolim beach while enjoying the evening breeze of Arabian Sea. Last Day, 1st Oct: Woke up early to enjoy the uninterrupted stretch of golden sand beaches. Clean water, fresh air, chirping sounds of birds..what a nice ambience it was. Early morning walk along with seashore of Goa is one of the unforgettable moments of my life. Today we had a plan to visit a church and Aguada fort before we took our bus from Panjim . However the weather was warm and we changed our plan. We went back to 21 coconuts at Arambol to take the last bite of Goan delicacy. Sea-foods, beers & mock tails we had them all.[emoji3] That's me:- 21 Coconuts:- Around 4 O’clock we headed back towards Kadamaba Bus stop. After few formalities to return the activa, it was time to bid farewell to Goa. But when you leave Goa you leave with a lust to get back here again.. and surely we will come back soon!! “Unplanned trip is the best kind of trip”. We did not plan our trip but that added to our pleasure the blissful surprises hanging around the beach, cruising through the state on two wheels .. delightful food..chilled beer and The mighty Arabian sea!! About the places we visited: 1. Sea pearl hotel, candoilm: It’s basically a home stay not a hotel. Owner Dominic & Lettie both are good people as a host. Main advantage of this place is location. It’s less than a km away from the overcrowded candolim beach road. Though you will get all the food joints, some necessary items , shopping places, tattoo counter & what not!! Apart from the strategic location, next attraction should be the serene beach next to the hotel. This beach is a km away from the main candolim beach and entire crowd goes to the main candolim beach, so you get a calm & quiet beach though very connected to the market. The owner maintains a good garden surrounding the property which looks really nice. Downside we found is they don’t even provide bed tea, forget about foods. Only option is the menu card of nearby food joint they kept at room. If you call them the food joint fellow will come for delivery. Another disadvantage is , as the approach road is very small, you can’t keep your own car(if you drive down to Goa) at hotel area rather you have to keep near market (Designated Parking area is there & had seen many private car parked at night which came from other states). 2. Anjuna Beach & Shiva valley: The water of Anjuna Beach was not good when we visited. You can do some watersports at this beach like Baga. Rate was 700/- for parasailing. You need to take a small walk around some garments & accessories shops to reach Shiva valley shack. This place is one of the most happening shacks of North Goa. If you sit on the 1st floor, you can have nice sea foods & drinks overlooking Anjuna beach. Foods were bit pricey but the place is really wonderful. You have another option “Curlies” which is next to “Shiva valley”. Both the place offers you sun-bed. 3. 21 Coconuts, Arambol beach: Awesome place if you love sea foods. The staffs were friendly. We had Mackerel, Pomfret, red snapper, calalmari & what not! All tastes good. They serve all the sea foods with fries & salad or Rice. just let them know your choice. Though salad was good but the French Fries was so so. Good thing is, once the French Fries was not good, we asked them to replace it, they politely told sorry & replaced the same immediately. Do ask them that which fish is the fresh one. They will guide you, if you are not sure about the preparation in which it tastes best just let them take over. This is a shack, so don’t expect a fine dine or something. All things are pretty basic, you have to deal with it, simple. They don’t charge extra for the bed, as long as you are having foods/drinks with them. 4. German Bakery, Candolim: it’s a very nice & cozy place on the ford aguada road before novotel if you are coming from arambol. Very homely atmosphere, so we relaxed there as if we were at home. Coffee & croissant also tastes good. Few tips: 1. Hire a two wheeler than a car in Goa, you can park easily. Just head to Kadamaba bus stand after you get down at Panjim which is very nearby & walking distance. We got the active @ Rs 250/Day as we reached just before diwali, which may be changed according to the season 2. Always double check the vehicle before you commit. If you don’t find it comfortable, shift to another one. Still don’t like it? You have other vendors also., trust me. 3. Always ask for all the documents (RC, insurance, pollution etc.) Also ask for the helmet, if possible ask helmet for pillion as well. Mostly you will not get helmet for the pillion, but just give a try. Though we dint get it 4. Baga beach offers you more options for sports activity though you can do the same at anjuna as well at cheaper rate. We enquired about parasailing which they quoted at Rs 800 in baga found in anjuna @ Rs 700(without negotiation) 5. Google maps worked brilliantly for us. Hope you will also not face any kind of problem. 6. Dont try to cover South Goa in a single day if you are staying at North Goa. It will be too hectic. Rather I would suggest staying at south goa for a day to watch sunset & next day sunrise then come back to north or panjim accordingly. 7. Dont Ever Drink & Drive!! Cheers!! Pralay All rights reserved for the content & images of the post.