Saturday, August 13, 2011

Monsoon - Day 2 - Anjuna, Calangute, Vagator, Baga

9AM, Anjuna to Calangute, on Navnath's motor-bike taxi. 

The effect of the monsoons is visible. A portion of the beach has been ploughed away overnight.  No worries, the sea will soon bring the sand right back.

The high tides leave behind plenty of branches, twigs, sometimes footwear and dead fish. And sometimes, if you are not careful, the sea carries your footwear away. It's probably advisable to just let it go, unless it is washed back on the sand again.

Fishermen use 'line fishing' to try and catch small fish. It's too dangerous to go out, unless they are on a large fishing boat far away, from the shore.

The sea was remarkably scary this morning. 

I was reminded of the poem 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes.  "And still of a winter's night they say, when the wind is in the trees. And the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon cloudy seas."  It is best to stay away from the water. The angry sea deserves respect. 

The high tide made walking difficult, since the sand was soft and moist in most areas, good exercise for the city legs, though. 

Back in Calangute, the tour groups had started doing their ugly thing. 

Time to seek refuge in my old friend Robert's home. 

Tucked away between Hotel A-Canoa and the sea, across the road from GTDC, invisible to the world, is Epicure Restaurant.  It's like the Goa of old, unchanged since 1983 when I first visited Epicure. Robert's parents used to run the place. May their souls rest in peace. 

Robert's dad used to serve the customary, generous portions of Feni, while Robert's mom used to cook super Fish fry and Fish curry. Robert was a young lad then. He now runs a shack in Baga during the season, while his home-restaurant is open all year round. He cooks a mean Bar-b-q some evenings. 

His two dogs welcome you, and his cat shows up soon enough, grateful for some morsels of food. 

The rain suddenly came pelting down, in Goan monsoon fashion. I was glad to be able to enjoy watching the rain from the shelter of Robert's home. 

An excellent opportunity to watch the rain and relish Robert's market-fresh prawn fry and fish curry.

I could see and hear the sea through the bushes. Fortunately, the crowds were hidden, which was a relief. Sitting in Epicure, you can hardly believe that you are barely 50 metres away from chaotic Calangute beach and GTDC area.   

The curry came along with a bonus fish fry. 

A call to Navnath, after which I wondered where to go next, finally deciding on Vagator. It's been many years since I last went to to Vagator. 

The sand is dark on Vagator Beach, the usual crowds stay towards the entrance, but tend to thin out as you walk further north. Lots of rocks to clamber up on. 

However, it was hard to get across the rocks to the other side because of the high tide. 

Good idea to to climb up the mountain, towards Chapora Fort. A cross, as serene as can be, casting a figurative protective net on us all.

Amazing views from up there, looking down at the beach, the rocks, the pools of water, the sea, and the clouds hiding the sun. 

The noisy sea and the grey monsoon clouds looked amazingly menacing, with the sea water occasionally splashing into the pool by the rocks below.  

I was unable to climb all the way to the Fort. The thick, monsoon-fed vegetation had covered all traces of the paths. So I decided to climb down after a few moments of solitude, admiring the views all around. 

Back on the dark sand beach. The usual crowd of tourists on the far right.

A phone call and 15 minutes later, Navnath appeared once again, ready to give me a ride back to Anjuna, and then to Baga later in the evening. 

The rest of the evening was reserved for the reunion of the Old Boys' Association of my School, St Joseph's Boys' High School, Bangalore. Several Old Boys and their families had come over to Goa, joined by those resident in Goa. 

The venue was Green Field, Baga (drive along the Baga - Calangute Road, turn east at the Coffee Day near Ronil, and you will find Green Fields about 100 metres down the street on your left). 

As the name suggests, the lovely restaurant is located along green paddy fields, a truly tranquil setting. 

The live band was wonderful, living up to Goan standards. A good time was had by all, after which it was time to head back to Villa Anjuna.  

You guessed right, it had been yet another busy day. 

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1 comment:

  1. Hi can you please email me navnath your botor bike taxi driver no. by email


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