Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Going Goa


Zach at Souza Lobos in Calangute
So we – Mummy, Dada, Zach, Kevin and I -- are back after a week in Goa. We stayed at what I think of as a wonderful secret – a villa at Riviera Hermitage in Arpora.  I found it on a website called ownersdirect.co.uk, and it was as good as it looked on the site. Completely air-conditioned, with three big bedrooms, two loos, a kitchenette and washing machine. A lovely pool 10 steps from the front door. Housekeeping every second or third day, and an Englishwoman who “pops in” to check that all is well. Because it was off-season, we got it for just Rs 25,000 for 6 nights (http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/india/in323.htm). Two years ago, we stayed a week at the Riviera Palms in an AC one-bedroom flat for Rs 4,500, with kitchenette and washing machine, but the pool was under maintenance the whole time we were there. This is definitely a better deal.
One of the scooters I hired to get around
The only problem is that since Arpora is quite a way from Calangute and Baga, you need transport to and from what I call the Calangute-Candolim strip. Now, Vardhan very kindly drove us to Goa in Flani’s Innova, and Kevin came in on Thursday to drive us back on Saturday. So in between, we were rather stuck – till I discovered the scooter rental just at the resort gate. After that, only Dada was stuck because he has a morbid fear of two-wheelers. Zach and the mother and I went all over the place, and Zach and I are rather sunburned after a long trip of about 50km to Dona Paula and back. (Goa scooter rentals cost Rs 150 to Rs 200 a day, helmets are compulsory on the highways, petrol is sold in Bisleri bottles for about Rs 75 a litre by the roadside.)
At the Sahakari Spice Farm
Apart from a trip to the Sahakari Spice Plantation in Ponda (where we had to corner the mother and ask her to let the guide pretend he knew more than her – he didn’t), and a wonderful evening at Sucheta’s home (I’ve known Sucheta far longer than I’ve known Vardhan and Shalome – how old does that make me feel?), most of our forays into heat-shimmered Goa were to do with food. We bought risoij (little crumb-fried turnovers filled with a delicate prawn-in-white-sauce mixture – highly recommended) at La Confiserie next to the Café Coffee Day in Candolim, ate at Souza Lobos at Calangute (baked crab, Goa sausage chilli fry, crumb-fried mussels and batter-fried calamari, among other things), Longuinhos at Margao (beef roulade, pork chops, prawn xacuti), Infantaria at Baga (grilled king fish with a butter-garlic topping!) and brought home kismoor (a dry prawn and coconut chutney) from Sea Pebble at Dona Paula, where Zach also went on a jet ski ride (with life vest, I am glad to report).
On my dining wish list for next time: Lila Café and Cavala in Baga, Travel Bar in Calangute, Durigos in Benaulim, George and Ernesto’s in Panjim… and any more Shalome will hit me with when she reads this list!
And please, all of you who pray, please keep Kevin especially in your prayers for the next few days – he is participating with his company, Sound and About, in PALM, the acoustics exhibition at Goregaon, and has been preparing a long time. 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS IN GOA? ALWAYS LOOKING FOR MORE...

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great holiday! Will pray for God to bless the work of Kevin's hands at the exhibition...all the best to him & his team.

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  2. Dear Rosie

    As always, enjoyed your latest update. Sounds like a yum trip. Yes, will keep all crossable parts crossed, and pray that Kevin's participation in the exhibition goes swimmingly.
    Love
    Menon

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  3. Dearest Chris, Annie,
    Many thanks for your prayers. The first day seems to have gone well, and Kevin even made it to Mummy and Dada's farewell dinner with Mohan and Neisha at Royal China (used to be Caravan at Sterling). Incidentally, both you Mumbai-girls-at-heart, it's raining here!
    Prima

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  4. Glad the exhibition is going (or has gone off) well. Didn't know anyone went to Caravan still, even under a different name! Enjoy the rain for me...hopefully, there'll be plenty more when we come for our summer hols :)

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