Thursday, March 27, 2008

Goan Goals Gone

Well, Friday was a bit of a wash (ha ha), but we were hoping for an improved Saturday. We started off by deciding to take a walk after breakfast since it was nice out. We started out down the beach and enjoyed exploring some of the sites along the way. It really is a lovely beach, even for us spoiled Californians.

We did notice that the skies were darkening as we walked on though. Anna and I decided to turn around at one point while Bryan wanted to walk on a bit further. We soon realized that we had turned around just in time, for as we got back to the hotel it started to rain. Pour. Pelt. We got wet. But nowhere near as wet as Bryan did. It eased up a little bit and we retreated to the hotel room to dry off and get ready for our outing! Yes, It was Saturday and time for Ingo's Saturday Night Bazaar. I suspect that any tour book on Goa will say something about it...

"... firmly established on the tourist agenda that Saturday night means Ingo’s. ..."

"...Ingo's saturday night bazaar has come a long way to be a jewel in the crown ... The best tourist market of Goa."

"Every Saturday after the sun goes down People make there way to the Mother of all Indian night Markets"

This is going to be so cool! I had been saving up my shopping all week for this! So we called the driver who we had used on Thursday and headed North.

This is what a lot of the sites of Goa looked like for me...

On the way there I did want to stop by a place I had found listed in the Rough Guide to Goa book, Sangolda. Sangolda is a shop housed in an 200 year old Palacio and it contained the most beautiful furniture, housewares and artifacts that I have seen in India, all priced accordingly. Wow. But check this out:

This is a quilt that they had hanging in one of the corridors.

Pretty cool huh?

Well, look closer...

That isn't fabric. It is stitchery. Embroidery. Are we impressed? I sure was.

Okay, back to the plan. Ingo's here we come. We fought our way through the Saturday night traffic. It isn't nearly as bad as Bangalore, but being that it was Holi, the crowds (highly colored ones at times) were out in force and it felt like a big party scene. Which Goa has a bit of a reputation for. But, back to Ingo's we finally get through and.... it is empty. closed. not there.

So... we tried another market. Ditto. We were never really able to get clear as to whether it was the fact that it was Holi, or the night before Easter, or just the continuing rain, but there were no markets open.


So, our driver felt sort of bad and took us to see Baga Beach.

Glad we weren't staying here!

So, the tally so far. We left the hotel at about 3:45pm, it is now about 6:30 and we have seen one shop and a very crowded beach. Perhaps we should just try to find a nice restaurant to have dinner at. Well, our driver pipes up that he knows a nice restaurant and so we start to head South. It really is a long trek, but we enjoy the scenery buzzing by outside the window and 1 1/2 hours later we get to the road the restaurant is on and .... it is blocked. We can't get through.

At this point I am starting to think that someone has it out for us. But our driver turns the car around and after a momentary pause, during which he is seen to be drumming his fingers on his lips and muttering "hmmmm", he says he knows of another place. He drives us, drops us off and we proceed to enjoy one of the best meals I have eaten on any vacation. Goan cuisine, with fresh fish (this restaurant has their own boat) is absolutely divine.

Believe it or not, it was all worth it.

Easter Sunday was spent enjoying a last bit of Goan fresh air before we returned to Bangalore.

Now we are "home", although it is a bit strange because now that we are back I realize that it doesn't quite feel like home yet, but regardless the cats were very happy to see us!

Someday I hope to return to Goa again, although I think we will not go during Easter week next time!


Anjali said...

Oh... too bad you went there at the wrong time. You can make it up next time!

Which was this restaurant you went to?

Maya said...

So is the Bangalorean version of a Busman's holiday to go someplace where you get trapped in your car for long, fruitless drives?

Glad you found a great dinner in the end! And the beach does look gorgeous...

Jean said...

Thank goodness a yummy meal can make up for so much!

Bikerdude said...

Heh looks like you had a a little less fun than you intended to. Try going in November or January when the crowds abate and the weather's still good.

And seriously, what's with that silly night bazar? They beat themselves silly about it and then up and close on you on the one weekend that you're in Goa! Happened to me too when I was there last. Fortunately I'm not a big shopper, or terribly inclined to be stuck in a traffic jam on a Baga lane, so I was happy relaxing in a beach shack by the sea!

Helen Bratko said...

Wow, so interesting. Glad you had an awesome meal. Nothing like fresh fish, eh?

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