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The Goan Love Story

The more the messier, the less the cozier. That’s way travel mantra. 

There’s something so peaceful about traveling solo. So like every other Goa trip with friends, when my trip also got canceled I decided to go on my own. And south 𝘎𝘰𝘢 was my obvious choice.

Palolem :

I stayed at palolem backpackers - it was right on the beach. The huts were pretty basic but couldn’t have expected more with the price I was paying.
The calm blue waves of the Arabian Sea were so inviting that I couldn’t resist a swim. Eyeing the various colorful beach shacks from the sea, I let it soak in that I was finally there. Then my eyes fell onto this absolutely gorgeous Labrador running alongside this foreigner who appeared to be his master. They ran towards the sea and splashed into the oncoming wave together. I watched them play in the water for a while until the sun got too high and I decided to move along.
I hired a scooter and went for a ride to the Galgibag beach. The beach is a protected site for turtle nesting. It is very clean and has only a few shacks underneath the canopy of tall coconut trees. Interestingly, the river Talpona embarks upon its final journey to meet the Arabian sea offering a spectacular sight.

After a sumptuous lunch at one of the beach shacks ( Red Snapper cooked in spicy Goan style with rice! Yumm.) I headed back to Palolem and enjoyed a beautiful sunset by the beach whilst sipping some coconut fenny and listening to some live musical performances.

Cola (And Cabo de Rama Fort and Kakolem beach) :

Next morning I packed my bag and headed to Cola beach. Once off the highway, the ride was pretty bumpy and difficult as there is no proper road. But I made it in one piece to Cola. And i must say it was worth every bit of the difficulty. The first view of the beach from the top is breathtaking. As I hiked down I saw such heavenly resorts forming an arc in front of the beach. There was a small stream which has its origin some 7-8km uphill and flows down to meet the sea. On either side of the stream were handsome cottages offering views of the sea and the stream. The moment I landed there I knew I wanted to stay there for a few days. It was that amazing.
The first resort I checked with (the one that looked the best!) asked me for 15000 INR per night. And boy! That was way out of my backpacking budget. I didn't lose hope and checked with the others. And as luck might have it I found this property called Casa Diya, the very last one on the beach, right in front of the water with sea facing cozy little cottages strategically built on the rocks for just 1300 INR per night. I was mind blown. This is exactly what I wanted.

Cola beach is one of its kind. Its rocky nature makes it a formidable place to swim but a beautiful place to enjoy the magic of mother Earth. The beach itself is not more than 1-2km long, is curved and has two areas. The first one, where I hiked down from has 4 hotels and the other area is a little separated from the first and has a huge resort.

After lunch, I found my nook by the beach and drowned myself in a good amount of sunscreen and read a book on my kindle. And might I add the chef/caretaker/manager of Casa Diya makes the best food in all of Goa!! In the evening, I went to my room and realized I'd a neighbor. It was the guy with the dog, the one I'd seen at Palolem.
"Hi! I'm Mike.", he said.
"Hey! Alia. Nice to meet you." I said, thinking to myself how cute he was.
"You too. You have been here long?" he asked.
"Arrived this morning. From Palolem. What about you?" I replied. Well, I already knew. But protocols.
"Oh wow. Me too. So are you from India?" he asked.
"Yeah, from the eastern coast. You?" I asked back.
"I'm a quarter Indian," he said. I gave him a puzzled look. He explained that his mom was part Irish and part Indian and his dad was British. Now, the 'quarter' made sense so i nodded.
"So hey listen, you wanna have some coffee? I'll just take a quick shower and be back." He asked. I nodded in response and like the idiot I'm I blurted out, " But what happened to your dog?" Now he gave me a puzzled look probably wondering what kind of a psycho stalker I was, and then he grinned at me and said "I bet that is going to be one interesting explanation. See you in 20!". I contemplated diving into the forbidden sea.

After that, we enjoyed the most picturesque sunset whilst sipping hot cups of coffee and chatting about our travel stories, life back home, and basically everything on earth. Also, I had to give the most embarrassing explanation about how I knew about the dog.
After an early dinner comprising of Goan style Maggie (it was superb!), we went for a walk by the beach. It was probably one of the most romantic and cliched things in the history of mankind, walking by the beach under the moonlight and a starry sky while listening to the calm waves. We were walking pretty close and our fingers kept touching until I finally grasped his hands. We walked hand in hand for some time, until we reached this place where there was no artificial light or sound. Mike turned me around and pulled me close, tucking my chin out he asked, "May I?". And rest as they say is history.

That evening was simply magical. And so were the next few days that followed. It was as if I were living a fairytale. We explored the Cabo de Rama fort and Kakolem beach the next day. And the day after that we camped on the Cola Beach ( Mike had a tent! ) and had such a lazy day with a lot of snuggling, fun, and laughter. That night we lit a bonfire and chilled with some other folks by the beach. Mike and I shared a wonderful connection and were very comfortable with each other. I wished that those days would have never ended but then all good things come to an end. We exchanged number and promised to stay in touch. And we have. We plan to travel somewhere together in the near future and have the time of our lives, again.


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