>To me a trip to Goa is a bit like Seinfield. It is about doing nothing.
We normally head to Baga in North Goa in February. A typical day goes like this – wake up, go to Lila’s Cafe and have breakfast, go to the shacks on the beach and stretch out with a beer and a book, head to Brittos, eat, go back to the hotel, sleep, walk down the Baga Calangute road and reluctantly trail Kainaz as she shops, go to Infantaria, eat, go to the hotel, sleep.
Too much activity?
Then South Goa in the monsoons is just what you need.
The monsoons (rains) are fairly heavy in Goa. The tourist season closes. Beach shacks disappear. The sea becomes wild as an untamed stallion. Most street shops vanish. Restaurants operate with a few minimum tables. Budget hotels, where we stay in winter, become damp and dank. And five stars are available at reduced prices.
North Goa is the ‘happening’ part of Goa. In season, its beaches such as Baga and Calangute rock. It is quite addictive with its high adrenalin discs, lively shacks, water sports, glorious food, flee markets
South Goa in contrast is staid and genteel. It has a number of luxurious hotel properties. They match the best in the world. Taj Exotica and Leela are some of the legendary hotels which dot its beaches.
In my book South Goa hotels just don’t add up to Goa. You could be anywhere in the world and experience this luxury. Which is a good argument to use if you can’t afford them in the first place!
Last weekend I dipped into my pension fund and booked us into the Park Hyatt to fulfil a long standing dream of Kainaz. Given the way the markets behave these days this was quite a good use of one’s pension fund.
And this is what I found. A hotel which was right up there with the very best. With a bathroom which was divided into three sections and had a sunken bath. With a staff who had thoughtfully given us a room in a secluded area where I could sit in the balcony and gaze for hours at the sea as I heard it roar. And it was good to have a room in the corner as the hotel was jam packed with guests. Economic slowdown by damned.
The weather was lovely… bursts of rain followed by cool breeze which smoothed our creased city brows. An empty beach where we strolled for miles after we left the odd hotel guests behind. Well, it seemed like miles though K wanted to walk a lot more.
The sea was as rebellious as a flower child from the seventies. Waves came crashing in through the day. And it kicked up quite a ruckus. The sea looked really majestic and proud. We walked on the wet sand but I did see the odd person flapping around in the water under the eyes of the hotel life guards. One sight that stayed in my mind is that of fisher boy plying his trade against the might of nature. Humbling and yet inspiring.
Goa in the rains is as green as the garden of Eden. The roads, the hills, the coast was covered with a rich, fresh green which was the most relaxing sight that I have ever seen. Paradise is a word often used to describe Goa. So why go against the grain?
There is nothing like a good hotel South Goa during the monsoons if you want to pamper yourself and lose yourself for a while.
But I’d take North Goa in February, four times out of five.