Well, after loads of parasailing fun on Day 3 @ Goa and more breathtaking moments on the same Day 3 @ Goa, we were ready to bid adieu to Old Goa. On our way back, we had planned to take a walk through the streets of Panaji, visit the Our Lady Of The Immaculate Conception Church, and see some typical Goan houses!
Being New Year eve, the streets were all lit up, and the road leading to the church, in particular, was beautiful
One of the first churches built in Goa, it was the landmark for sailors to offer thanks for a safe anchoring. It was initially built in 1541 and later re-built in 1619.
The bell we see and hear today at this church was brought from the belfry tower of the St Augustine Complex of Old Goa in 1871. Apparently, it is the second largest bell in the world!
The church is truly beautiful at night.
After sitting around on the benches built on the pavement in the centre of the road, for about 10 mins, we set off for a walk to see Goan houses. While most of them resembles the houses back home in Kerala — with their red soil roof tiles and open verandahs and pretty houses with coconut trees in the yards — we did get to see some very typical Goan homes too…
After we had enough of Goan houses, we set off for another drive down the road connecting the Mandovi Bridge to the Miramar Beach. Pretty pretty buildings, clean clean pavements and a smooth smooth road!
On the way back, we stopped to see some really beautiful cruise ships floating on the Mandovi.
Well, that was a New Year eve well spent and enjoyed: but it wasn’t over yet. We had one more thing to celebrate — the brother’s birthday. Well, he has a birthday that the whole world celebrates along with us and him on 31 December
We planned to dine at Martin’s Corner, a restaurant located in Betal Bhim, off Colva — and made famous by the media, and by the stars that include the Bachchans, Sachin Tendulkar, Lucky Ali, Bipasha and John… The husband had seen the place reviewed on TV and had to HAD to go there I called up to reserve seats, and was told there’d be no entry for Pumbaa. There! That was the end of my appreciation for the place. Stupid, stupid Martin. What Goan is he, if he can’t accept a friendly Lab inside? Bah!!
Anyways, we went, bought food, bought a cake too — and went back to one place where Pumbaa HAD entry: the apartment
…and sat around for another hour or so chit-chatting and reliving Goa and the lights and sights around, and went off to sleep. We were due to start our return journey the next morning.
We packed, gave away the cash and the keys to the apartment owner, and set off to Bangalore.
Bangalore to Goa is about 580km (about 9 hours), and we hoped to be home in about 11 hours, considering Pumbaa breaks
The way back to Bangalore was simply amazing!! Awesome views and awesome roads!
With roads like this, Pumbaa being a non-fussy darling and us going at super fast speed, we were sure we’d actually be able to make it n 9 hours!
But well, 2011 had other plans for us! By about 6p.m., we were short of fuel in the car. We were on the lookout for petrol bunks, but there were few! And of the very few there were, NONE accepted credit cards! We were shocked! We went on for quite a while and finally HAD to stop and fill petrol, in spite of not accepting cards! We filled about 5litres, and after dropping Pumbaa, me and the husband there, my dad and bro went to find an ATM centre. They found none for a long time; and the one that they found had a faulty machine. It was pathetic!
On the way from Kerala to Goa, there were ATMs and petrol stations that accepted cards ALL THE WAY till we left Kerala. Here, none. Not a single ATM for miles and miles. We were actually stranded on the highway for about an hour and half: till they finally found one, took cash and came back to fill the rest of the petrol and pay for it
We reached back home at about 1 a.m.!!!
Anyways, excluding the drives both ways, we had an awesome trip Such a fab time, that we’ve decided Goa is THE place we’ll settle in I’m so not done with Goa: it’s one place i’d love to go back to, again and again. And, again!