Gokarna is our favourite place so far during our exploration of India. Our intuitions however, commanded us to head further north to Goa. Packing our backpacks is a routine chore by now and we could get everything squeezed in one hour of what would usually have taken us half a day back home.
We chose a taxi ride instead of the cheaper alternative by bus for we were not confident to find our booked hotel by ourselves. Driving out of Gokarna was emotional. We felt the warmth and positivity slowly oozing out from us the further we went away from it. Something inside us longed to make a U-turn and just stay there until our visas expire. Fortunately, our driver, a fellow Muslim named Kareem, was chatty and he doubled up as a tourist guide telling us information about landscapes and buildings along the way.
The journey to Goa was dotted with magnificent sceneries of hills, valleys, small waterfalls, huge rivers meeting the Arabian Sea lecturing our souls on the water cycle and how our journey through life would end, eventually returning back to God. When we reached the border of Goa however, I was taken aback. Alcohol shops can be found every 5 minutes throughout the journey on the road.
The people here in general had plenty of arrogance painted on their faces but this could be due to the fact that most of the rich Indians prefer to spend their holidays here while the middle-class and poor opt for the much subdued Gokarna. Red-tanned Caucasians were everywhere and Indians were driving and riding more luxurious wheels compared to the other places we have seen here in India.
Calangute Beach and Baga Beach is very popular among both locals and tourists.
Food and lodging were highly inflated as well and for the first few days we only ate out once a day and cooked instant meals in our hotel room. But once we began to explore on a motorbike, we discovered that the cheaper hotels and shops hidden at the back of main roads and alleys were where the bargains and warm people were.
Since the food pricing is highly inflated in Goa, we decided to improvise. Lontong with Aloo Masala instant mix!
We were planning to take our advanced diving course here but it was a matter of bad timing as all water sports activities were banned temporarily until the Goa government pass on a new law about having a permit to deal in such business. Well, that really pissed the travel agencies. The diving operators think they would take at least a month or two to finalise the law so we had to cancel our diving plans and our Advanced Open Water diving license.
Other than exploring Goa on a bike and seeing their beaches in what I would say is WAY overrated compared to Gokarna, we were just following through motion to get the days going by before our next destination to Pune, where we have signed up for a Paragliding P1 course to get our Student Pilot license.
One of the places we somehow chanced upon while roaming with our bike. Welcome to the scenic Fort Aguada.