Wandering Weekends

Monsoons are a great time to explore Goa. Every where you see, the green catches the eye and the wind plays with your hair.

Weekend by ourselves

São Jacinto

It is a quiet island located in the Murmagao bay. Mining ships still lie abandoned by the port.

There is a bridge which connects it to the mainland.

On the Bridge

People dot the sidewalks – either fishing, chilling with friends or clicking away on their cameras.

The Church on the island rests besides the waters of the river.

There is also an abandoned lighthouse on this island somewhere but we didn’t get to visit it as we had heard that the roads to it are not quite good.

Japanese Gardens, Vasco

The garden is more like a park and it is on a hill that overlooks the sea. That makes it ideal for sunsets.

There are steps which lead down on to the beach below. The beach, normally dubbed as Japanese beach, is also called as Grandmother’s Hole.

Weird name but a story goes that many years ago, when the Portuguese ruled Goa, an old woman used to wait on this beach for her sons and grandsons to return from the sea.

But the beach is pristine.

There is also a small Durgamata Shiv temple on the beach.

Heart Lake, Vasco

No use trusting GPS on this one’s location. We had to ask around quite a many locals till we reached this spot.

We ditched the bike at the base of the trail and walked all the way up to the view point of the lake.

Up the Hill

It was perfect. The sun was setting down at that exact same time and it made that moment kinda….. romantic.

You have to click the lake at a particular angle to get the exact heart shape, but well, here goes my not-so-perfect-but-wonderful shot.


Weekend with friends

Assolna

Assolna is the place to go if you want fish for lunch.

There are a string of restaurants here – Starlight, Seaman’s, Joe’s River Cove. All of these overlook the river, so you can grab a seat right by the banisters.

We hit Starlight, it’s very comfortable for a lunch that will span hours and no one will look at you pointedly indicating non verbally that you have to vacate your table.

After our lunch, we stopped by the Assolna Bridge to click some pictures.


Betul Lighthouse

Betul in itself is a very cheerful village and full of so many many coconut trees!!

The lighthouse is located on top of the hill next to the Holy Cross Church.

It is quite a hike from the church but the view makes up for everything else.

They say you can see the entire Betul and Quepem from up here. I don’t know if that’s true but I definitely liked all that I saw.

Also, the spiral staircase up the lighthouse was quite fun!!

You can also visit the dilapidated Betul Fort and the Betul Beach, if it doesn’t rain too much.

There is so much more to explore and I hope I get more weekends such as these where we can just hop on a bike and take off for an entire day!!

Pondicherry

There is a bit of French aura in India and it is called Pondicherry.

We had been planning for an all girls trip for a long time and turns out Pondicherry was the place we were meant to visit.

The last time I traveled on a flight was when I was like 6 so this was literally my first time on a flight.

Boarding Passes

Lucky to have window seats both times

Loved this expansive view of night lights

We reached Chennai, safe and sound into the hands of our master planner Niee and spent the night catching up, digging into jar truffles and raiding Niee’s wardrobe.

Next morning we took a bus to Pondi. The East Coast Road which links Chennai to Pondicherry is so beautiful 😍

If u can, have a road trip along this road. It takes like 3 n half hours to reach Pondicherry and if you have the time you can aaram se stop along this amazing road and take in the beautiful landscapes

After we had refreshed ourselves, we set out for brunch in White town.

At Cafe des Arts

The Brunch Spread

White town holds the French essence of Pondicherry. It is spaced out with colonial style buildings with vibrant colors.

The architecture of the churches is incredible.

Basilica of Sacred heart of Jesus

Eglis de Notre Dame des Agnes

Architecture inside

We also visited the Aurobindo Ashram.

Other places to visit in white town are

Immaculate conception cathedral

Sri Manakula Vinayagar temple

Botanical Gardens

Pondicherry Museum

Park Monument

Next we went to the Paradise beach. The water is soo bluee… It’s a refreshing feeling to just look at it.

Take a boat ride from Chunnambar Boat house to Paradise beach and enjoy these clear waters.

Shadow art 😁

In the evening, we did a bit of bar hopping

We checked out Icecubes and Crosskeys.

If you want a more relaxed night life experience, visit the Le Club garden restaurant or any open rooftop restaurant and don’t miss out on ordering the wine.

One of the best things to do in Pondi is to watch the sunrise. And what better place than the Promenade Beach.

Grab a coffee from Le Cafe and sit on the rocks to watch the sun rise up.

Later stroll along the Promenade and see the many statues here.

Mahatma Gandhi statue

French war memorial

Joan of Arc statue

Dupliex statue

Kargil war memorial

Old lighthouse

We also visited Coromandal Cafe.

Most of the cafes here are like eateries equipped with boutiques and books. It’s a break to recharge your batteries.

Stop along on Serenity beach on the way to Auroville

We visited Matrimandir to see the Golden Globe. It’s a meditating center and visitors are allowed to see it only from a view point.

Its a 2 km walk to the viewing point. Enjoy the relaxed walk or if you want rent a cycle along.

Auroville is an experimental town where people from all the world are allowed to live in harmony irrespective of religion and race.

A beautiful thought!! 😊

See the Auro beach too

We visited Bakers street to complete the French cuisine cravings and also to take some for home.

Evening we returned back our bikes and came back to Chennai. But we didn’t leave Chennai without tasting the spicy Chettinaad chicken 😋

Street graffiti

Giant Wheel Ride

Diary Entry from 10 November 2014

Crazy Crazy Crazy fair ride… oh my God! My heart is still thumping. My first ever fair ride – let me tell you how it was. 

I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to try out that big hulky rotating mechanism. But then because these guys thought let’s do it for fun, so I thought why not? Let’s try and see. 

I tell you from far it looks really innocent like baskets full of cheering people are just moving at a lazy speed… Even when I decided to climb into it, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad after all. 

The first round.. the first slow round.. was ok.. Height.. some wind whistling in the ears… Nuvem road and the church sprawled in front of my eyes… 

Then as the wheel picked up speed… My God I swear I thought my heart would fail with every dip it took. I dare not to look around incase the heights made me more dizzy. 

If Flygirl wasn’t in that basket with me, God knows what I would have done… died on the spot with an heart attack maybe.. 

I saw Shub’s basket below us – Shub was completely flat on her seat, almost as if passed out. I shut my eyes and tried to take some calming breaths. Maybe if I didn’t clench my heart so tight, it wouldn’t get throttled with panic. 

So in the middle of it all, I let go. If you don’t think about it, it doesn’t scare too much. Then suddenly the wind came rustling back in and I couldn’t stop screaming.. 

Finally, the beast slowed down and my heart calmed down… solwed down… calmed down… slowed down… down… over. 

My first giant wheel ride done. 

When I came out my legs were a little wobbly and tummy was little queasy.. Other than the giddiness, crazy fair ride successfully accomplished👍

I don’t know if I’m going to ever try this again once more but this one ride was an experience!