Gigantic waves of aggravation and woebegone life had whipped us hard . It was the right time to revitalize our subfusc souls. We four women decided to head to the smallest state of India that is Goa.
This time I opted for Duronto train to travel till Madgaon from Delhi. We got the train from the Nizamuddin Railway Station. After the 2 days long journey we reached Madgaon at 4:00 in the morning .
As we all had wanted to save money, we opted for the state minibuses rather hiring a cab till Arambol, north Goa. The cab charges around Rs.1900-2500 (Depends on how rich you look). We got in a small crowded bus till Kadamba bus depot. The bus stand is opposite to the Madgaon railway station main exit gate.
Travelling in bus could be tiring
How to reach Arambol from Madgaon Railway Station by state buses. In total we changed 4 buses.From Madgaon Railway Station Bus stand we traveled to Kadamba bus stand we got bus from there to Panaji bus stand to get a bus to Mapusa then from there to Arambol. where we had booked the cottage.
Other Important Information
Money asked by cab driver-Rs.1900
Madgaon to Kadamba- Rs10 / person
Kadamba to Panjim – Rs.40 / person
Panjim to Mapusa- Rs.15 / person
Mapusa to Arambol- Rs.25 / person
The total time consumed in traveling in buses was around 3 hours. I would suggest if you can manage to travel by bus , do travel this way. Trust me you will save a lot. We saved Rs.1500.
We had made our booking for 5 days with the “Arambol Cottages” located in Arambol . This cottage allows you to stay at budget, moreover it is only 0.5km from the beach. Spotting beautiful birds, Gray Langurs are common around the cottage. We landed in the cottage around 9:00 am. We decided to rest a bit, then we hired a car . Hiring a car could be a task if you haven’t booked it afore as people will charge you maniacally. We were blessed to have a helpful, responsible and a friendly cottage owner named Upender. He helped us to get an Alto car for Rs.1000/day, additional charges of petrol was on us.
From left to right- Anita, Ruchi, Upender, Me, Jyotsna
Things to notice, before hiring a vehicle
- Check for scratches,oils,documents in front of the owner.
- Check for tyres as most of the roads are heated, uphill, downhill so grooves matter.
- Check for fuel provided by them. (Do return vehicle with the same amount of fuel)
- Look for a vehicle which has great mileage & less fuel consumption. ( Like I opted for Alto 800).
- Do not forget to bargain. ( I bargained from Rs.1200 to Rs.1000)
Around 1:00 pm we headed to see Fort Aguada, which was 32 km from our place. The roads are curvy , might be fun during day time but drive carefully in the night.
Fort Aguada has a parking lot for vehicles for free. Fort Aguada is located on Sinquerim beach. This fort is divided into two floors one upper part is where lighthouse is located and other dungeon part where Portuguese ships used to rest ( Closed for public). This Portugal fort was strategically built near the mouth of Mandovi river which was meant to look after the Arabian Sea. The meaning of Aguada is Jal/ Water storer because during 17th century ships used to come here to filled there drinking containers with fresh water. Inside the premise of the Fort Aguada , you will find a light house which was used to store around 2,000,000 gallons of water also.
This fort shows one of the best living example of Portugal military architecture. Made of common stone to be found in Goa that is the laterite stone. Authorities have closed the entry inside the lighthouse for public.
Additional Information about the fort aguada
- It is open all day of the week from 9:30am-6:00pm.
- No tickets required for the entrance.
- Photography and Videography allowed for free.
- Carry water along.
Arambol Beach in the night
We came back to the Arambol around 7:30 pm. We all decided to explore local shops and have dinner somewhere. The moment we reached beach it was all dark. If you are fond of peace and least human activities, then do visit this beach. We found one shack there , who was offering candle night dinner on the beach. I had lemonade and veg noodles there. Rest, i did not like the place in the night.
- Do not carry much cash.
- Do carry something to save yourself irrespective of gender.
Next morning, wasn’t a good morning for me as I had bout of dehydration, fever and hence ORS was my wandering partner. Still I pushed myself as for the rest of mates ,it was the first time visit to Goa and all were dependent on me to roam around. So, on second day we decided to explore Harvelam Cave , Arvalem/Harvalem Waterfall, Tiracol Fort and Ferry ride.
I had not wanted my travel mates to experience , explored Goa Rather i had wanted them to see bit unexplored. So, I chose this place. This waterfall is located in quite an aloof place in Sanquelim, in a short distance from Bicholim town. Use Arvalem instead Harvalem to ask the way to this location. This place is easily reachable through car and bike .From Arambol it is 48 km far. This place for sure give a sense of happiness.
This waterfall is surrounded by the great topiary. The height of the waterfall is around 50m. Near this waterfall you will find soul releasing temple named Rudreshwari Temple and also Haravalem caves. We did not get the chance to see the caves properly because renovation work was happening at that time.
- No washroom there or around.
- Do not cross the water from where the red band commence.
- Do not waste a whole day to see this, add in list if on the way.
- No entrance charge.
- No entry before sunrise and after sunset.
The distance between Arvalem caves to the Tiracol fort was great, it was almost 62 km. After driving for an hour , we reached fort Tiracol around 4 pm. The fort has been converted into a beach heritage hotel.
Few areas inside are open for general public till 5 pm. The fort is famous for its view of Tiracol river estuary. Inside this 17th century made fort you will find a church named Holy Trinity/ St.Andrew Church ( not open for general public) and big statue of Lord Jesus named St.Andrew. The whole place offers serenity.Rooftop- Tavern Restaurant Lounge Bar and Verandah – Garden Cafe( Al Fresco ) are there. This top of the cliff situated fort is a must visit because of the splendid view it offers.
View from the top of the Tiracol Fort
Church St. Andrew and Statue of St.Andrew
It is one amongst those fort which is considered as the pride of Goa because this architectural piece aided in freedom of Goa. You will also find a village on the way named village Tirakhol.
- All uphill and downhill drive.
- Locally people call it “Terekhol Quila/Fort”.
- Timing – 9am to7pm.
- Take a ferry to reach here.
We were finding way on the GPS to go back to Arambol and internet left us on the verge of sinking our quad-craft. We landed at a ferry station.
Luckily, we got ferry who had carried us along with our car to drop us the other side of the tiracol river which opens up towards mapusa. Which actually chopped half our way & time to reach Arambol. For the ride you can take ticket from the ticket counter.
Car having ferry ride
- Park & take out your vehicle from the ferry, only if you are sure you can. Otherwise take help.
- Charges for 4 people+car – Rs.10 ( isn’t unbelievable? ).
Again, I was suffering from the high fever but again it was the time to push myself to keep all curious cookies energize. Today was the day for us to go for the water sports. I opted Anjuna Beach for this. Though I did not go for any water sports as I am hydrophobic and also I had fever. While waiting for them , i rested my feet at a shacks under the shade of umbrella placed ashore the sea.
I was shattered to see the condition of sand there at Anjuna. It was all black and plastic was everywhere. I collected many plastic bottles, straws thrown by tourists and localites.
Black oily sand and plastic
I wish i could ban water sports and plastics as its making water and sand polluted.
- Better to park vehicle in the parking area.
- Do not hesitate in asking shacks and hotel for loo.
- Do not forget to bargain for water sports.
- Do not support using plastic and throwing them on beach.
We came back to the cottage to adorn ourselves to go to the club. We had several options in calangute but we chose Mamboz. Before entering to the club we thought of ambling around the beach. As we were women, people asked us several question like
- How much do you charge?
- Are you free?
- Do you wanna see, what my bottom has to offer you?
How shameful but I believe in fisting such bouncing jerks.
Quad pic at Mamboz Club
I did not like the clubs much. First because of the music, second because of the interfering club workers. We were in Mamboz till 2:30am. Afterwards we headed towards our cottage. Caught by the police also as they doubted on us that we are keeping drugs with us. But unfortunately they did not find any.
- Girls entry are free mostly in all clubs.
- Be careful, as people tend to mix stuffs in your drink. ( It actually happens)
- Do not leave eve-teasers at all.
- One person has to be not boozing if you have vehicle to drive or ride.
I personally had great interest in seeing Dudhsagar waterfalls. So, this day was booked to see this waterfall which was around 100 km from Arambol. As I was sick, I asked my cottage owner cum boon companion-Upender, to take us there as he was the only person who we could trust. Moreover, he agreed on taking us there.
I drove till Mapusa, from there Upender took the charge. It took around 2:30 hrs to reach there. Thankfully Upender was aware of every nook and corner which helped us in reaching there in less time. Going to the falls will cost you Rs.550/person ( life jacket, cab charges and entry charge)
Steps to follow on reaching there
- Park your vehicle in the parking.
- Book seats in a cab provided by Goa Tourism ( Ticket available at the nearby counter) .
- Rent Life SAving JAckets.
- Be quick in sitting in the cab to grab seat of your choice.
- Further entering into the Dudhsagar fall region you have to pay Rs.250/person.
- They will give you 1 hr to have fun.
This place i found over crowded, people were drunk there. You need to be careful before stepping in water as stones are slippery and water is quite deep. This waterfall provide a view of beautiful stream falling straight from 1070 ft height. During monsoon the gush of the fall is more mesmerizing says locals. Monkeys are nuisance there. So, do not carry anything to eat and drink as they surely gonna take all away or might attack .
In return, we all had food at one of the nearby restaurant. Then we headed to see Basilica of bom jesus, Church of St. Francis and Dauna PAula.
Though it’s a very famous tourist spot in south goa. We reached there around 7pm. All markets and the view were closed. Still you can spot localite fishing and catching squids, fishes etc. Rest boat lights on the surface of the sea create glitter effect on water. Afterwards we had dinner at chaperem. Then we headed back to the cottage.
The worst day of my trip. As i was so ill that i couldn’t even get up from the bed. Whereas rest of the girls decided to roam around on scooty. I chose to be at cottage to sleep and take great care of mine.
I woke around 4 pm, then I decided to explore Mandrem Beach. I took help of my cottage manager to reach Mandrem. I walked straight to the bus stand. People call Mandrem beach as “Maandrem” .
Though bus dropped me 1.5 km ahead of exact location. A local boy helped me by giving lift to the beach.
I sat there silently , captured few creatures then as the sun was setting down fever was rising.
I kept waiting for my friends in cold but after 1 :30 hours of wait they end up saying they couldn’t find the way. On the way back I spotted local market and restaurants .
Around 8pm, we had dinner at a local junk food halt. Then we headed to the Dabolim Airport by booking a cab for Rs.1500. We had a very nice driver named Angelo, along with us. Who safely dropped us to the airport.
I am still suffering from the bad health condition. Whereas I am utilizing this time in creating list of the places to visit this year. Hence more blogs are on the way.