The first time I went to the sea was 5 years ago, I was in Israel, in winter, and for a very limited time. For two hours in fact. I was 30 years old. Why I could not reach the sea before? I live by the beautiful place – lake Baikal, and was very satisfied travelling there.
It is like sea. But cold. If I went swimming in Baikal, first I was preparing myself sitting in some small river colder than the lake, then was able to swim.. for 5 minutes :). Maybe because of this coldness I have so many photos of Baikal – what to do else at the seashore if you cannot swim.
My first feeling of sea came a bit later, when I was in Spain in 2012. Then I learnt that I can swim a bit longer, and that water holds me. It was amazing, nude beaches not far from Malaga and very crowded in Barcelona. Burning sand, warm water. Very romantic. My friends were jumping from a rock, and I was only cowardly taking pictures of them.
Then I got involved by India. I have visited India 9 times and didn’t manage to go to the seaside, somehow. Though for most of the Russians India is equal to Goa.
So at last, my 10th time brought me to Goa.
Me and my friend Sanchit arrived to North Goa by train from Delhi, it took about 25 hours.
We got down at Thivim railway station and took a bus to Baga Beach, North Goa – about 20 minutes. It was quite hot, we were tired and hungry, tried to find not expensive place to stay, but Booking.com said “No place for you, guys”. And after having one beer and some disgusting food in a local restaurant (at least they had air-conditioning), we reached this extra-crowded beach. And yeah, there were a lot of Russians there ). I don’t know how we can recognise that other person is Russian, but I saw them everywhere. One girl in the street asked me: “Where to buy fruits?” in Russian and it was so funny, she got that I am Russian from the first sight, so did I.
I reached the beach and I was happy. So many Indian families were resting there. They just were sitting or standing in the water, all dressed, enjoying. So I also went into the water in shorts, pretending I am typical Indian )). We were chilling there till late evening. And very close to this crowd there is a small beach – right around the corner – almost empty and with beautiful rocks.
When crowd was gone – it was amazing – drinking wine, looking at the stars, and – maybe it is not obvious for those who live in warm countries – enjoying just being in shorts and t-shirt 24/7 and feeling warm.
Time gets slow, thoughts just go away, you are not in future or past, just now – warm and relaxed. I got used in India not to be aware what will happen next. All my attempts to plan failed before, so now when something sudden happens I say: “Ok, let it be”. So, at last old friend of Sanchit came to pick us and we went to a restaurant to eat Goan food and drink Goan vodka.
Food was ok and one fish was awesome – bahut swadish tha!
I forgot the name of a restaurant but it was very nice, even with some live music. After restaurant, all drunk and crazy we were riding along the road here and there with music, dancing, some adventures (for me) and finally arrived to some guest house by morning. This hotel was kinda emergency for that night and a bit expensive – 1800 rupees per day (“John’s Highland Comfort Guest House”). The hostress was very doubtful to host us, but I pursuaded her that we are very normal people )). Next day when we were checking out (in fact in 7 hours) she asked to pay one day fee extra – saying “I have a rule, minimum two days” – I am always amazed how people are easy to get more money just for nothing (how to get this skill? :P). But of course we said – “We are very normal people, and don’t want to pay extra”. So again we were on the road with all our stuff, not big at the first sight but getting heavy after some walking in heat.
That place was close to Colva beach, and I liked the country side much – many trees, buffolos are walking everywhere, local people, Russian people :P, flowers.
We had lunch at a nice simple family reastarunt and finally rent a bike in the city Margao. We found on Booking.com, that place – Blue Lagoon Resort. The picture of it was so tempting that we decided to get there at any cost. And we started.
I was experiencing many things the first time in my life – so was this small trip on a bike. Never was on a bike before. It felt amazing!I was checking our route on Google navigator, everybody knows – don’t trust Google much! So this time I chose the wrong way, which leads to Cola beach from the wrong side – the road ends at the edge of one rock, and there is only small path going down.
And on this dirt road we fell from the bike. Sanchit got a big injury on his leg, bike was scratched – such a failure of that day. Right after the fall a taxi was passing by and the driver gave us some bandage and anticeptic cream. After first shock Sanchit was on the bike again, and finally we found the right way from the other side of Cola beach. We arrived when it was dark already – but the place was amazing! (1200 rupees per night for a hut)
Cozy huts very close to the beach, nice restaurant with good food, beuatiful view.
Next day was relaxing, I asked the staff to bring some medicine to treat Sanchit’s wound, but it was not enough. Anyway we were enjoying. I was swimming, went for a walk to take pictures. There were many Europeans there, some families with kids. Sometimes we were just sitting under some roof gossipping about what people were doing around us – such an entertainment ))). I wish I could stay at that place more, and was picturing how it would be nice to bring my kids there, for a couple of weeks. Waves were big (for me, sea-fresher), almost all the time. So when you enter the sea you can easily fall. But when you enter – you can be a fish, a dolphin, or a piece of wood – according to your swimming skills. I was like a poppy, trying not to swallow much water, but first time in my life I managed to lie on the water without any efforts, and it was mindblowing (one more little dream – checked!).
Next day we shifted to Agonda, previously checked some hotels there. We could not go further because from any effort Sanchit’s leg got swallen and it wasn’t good. So we stayed at a very simple place – Agonda Waves (600 rupees per night for a room for two). On the way there Sanchit got some urgent work.
Meanwhile, to occupy myself I was trying to open a green cashew nut. I didn’t find any sharp thing, so I was trying to bite it through to open. And after few seconds I realised that some juice is coming from the nut, and it was not good. I spit it away, washed with water, but could not get rid of this numb feeling in my mouth for few hours. That part of my mouth was burnt. Sanchit said – “Don’t put everything into your mouth” – good advice! :))) So – don’t try to chew green cashew nuts!
Agonda beach is quite big, but also very nice – not many people.
I was enjoying last day in the sea.. Previous day we were looking for the best way to come back to Delhi, flights from Goa were expensive – around 11000 rupees per person. But flights from Mumbai were almost 4 times cheaper, so Sanchit booked those flights and a bus from Margao to Mumbai. I was glad – I would see Mumbai! at least from a window )). So we started next day at 11 am, and had a pretty hard driving for 40 kms to Margao – hard because of heat, Sanchit’s wound, and thoughts how to fix that bike with minimum money. On the way we stopped to drink sugarcane juice – again opening for me! I tried this juice before but with masala and didn’t like it. But in that heat it was so delicious and refreshing! So refreshing that the rest of the way I was thinking only how to get more of this juice )). In Margao, after giving that bike back, the time left to the bus-departure we spent in a beautiful city garden.
We got late for the booked bus, and I learnt again, that it is not a big deal – there were many guys-dealers, managing bookings, tickets – so we got another bus, till some close to Margao city, where we changed for a bus to Mumbai. And I was amazed again – I never travel in a sleeper bus! So many times I feel like I am 5-6 years old girl openning the world. Though travelling in a sleeper bus occured not so exciting as I thought: yes, we were having a bed, but at the end of the bus, and it was very shaking, so I was waking up many times during the trip.
We got down somewhere in Mumbai in early morning to have some food, but we could not find any place to eat because it was too early. And we took autoriksha to the airport. On the way I took some random pictures.
It was a short but very memorable journey.
Pictures: Evgeniya Stanevich, Swaraj Mishra