Because the best way to tour Goa is on two wheels!
What an amazing place to unwind for a relaxing week out of office. Between sunsets that melt into the horizon to exotic nightlife, Goa is the ultimate place to leave your worries behind. And what better way to explore India than with the trivago guy himself? Since there is much to explore in Goa, Abhinav and I made the decision to rent out a scooter and discover a new part of Goa every day of the trip. Luckily scooters were available right at the hotel, making it easy for us to set out on adventures from day one.
Our hotel was one of the highlights of this trip. Tucked away in lush greenery, Granpa’s Inn Hotel Bougainvillea was like a nature lover’s paradise that we were happy to call our home for the week (footage from the hotel here). I’m still reminiscing our morning ritual of sipping freshly brewed cups of masala chai under the warm sun and thicket of trees.
First on the agenda for the week was a cooking course at Mukti’s Kitchen in Anjuna, where we learned how to make chicken biryani, Bombay aloo and local Goan fish curry from scratch. It took two hours to prepare everything but the result was to die for. So so flavorful and delicious! Indian cooking is not always easy but this course really simplified things and the teacher distributed notebooks for us to jot down tips on throughout the class. I’m excited to dig these out soon and try my hand at it back at home. I got to put my negotiating skills to the test at the Anjuna Flea Market. The weekly market offered tons of crafty merchandise- handcrafted trinkets, colorful bangles, saris sold by Gujarati tribal women, woodwork, tapestries from Rajasthan, and fragrant spices. Abhi taught me some important tricks to negotiating here. Namely, NOT to show interest and to never close a deal for less than 50% off. Coming from a place where prices are fixed, this was quite the challenge. I found it difficult, for instance, going back and forth with the merchant on a fair price. How should I know what the fair price is!?!? Luckily he was there to help and I ended up leaving with a bag full of heavily discounted knick-knacks and souvenirs. Some footage from the market is in on our travelogue section here.
The next day we set out for Mandrem for a private yoga session at Himalaya Yoga Valley 9 a.m. sharp! I’ve done yoga in college and enjoyed it so much and thought I’d give it a try in India. Abhi also had experience doing yoga in his childhood, so I was happy that we could practice a shared hobby together. The environment of the yoga center there was something different than anything from back home and it really shaped the whole experience for me. We were led to a screened hut on the top of a quiet hill and began going through the postures of Suryanamaskara. With each breath in, I began to feel very at peace with myself and my surroundings. I remember listening to the birds’ chirp in the surrounding forest and feeling filled with peace during moments of silence. We left the shalla blissed out without a worry in the world. This was topped off with an hour-long Ayurvedic massage and facial. Before heading back to Anjuna, we spent a few hours chilling at Mandrem and neighboring Arambol beach to watch the sunset.
On one of our last days, we made the hour-long journey north to Panaji, Goa’s capital. We really enjoyed seeing Goa by bike and didn’t mind the far drive (on a moped at that). It gave us the chance to see the back roads and find overlooked places such as Aguada Fort. I especially loved coming across roadside temples. Panaji was lovely and I wish we had more time there but time only permitted a quick visit to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, lunch, and a stroll on Miramar Beach, where we chased small beach crabs and laughed at how ridiculous this must’ve looked.
Visiting Morjim was a sporadic plan, since it’s not very lively and was over 12 kilometers away from our hotel. But it was recommended for its secluded beaches and burger restaurant The Burger Factory. I’m so glad we ended up going because we both loved it. The restaurant had to be one of the coolest I’d ever been to, just 100 meters away from the ocean with tall palm trees overhead.
Thanks for reading and safe travels!