We opted for package tour with our hotel stay, so our hotel had arranged for two day sightseeing South Goa with river cruise and North Goa. We opted for South Goa to start with.
Left hotel around 9 at Indian Stretchable Time after breakfast in a non-AC bus accompanied by one local guide. The itinerary included Dona-Paula (bypass Miramar beach). Old Goa churches-Bom Jesus Basilica and se cathedral along with two temples Mangueshi and shantadurga dedicated to Shiva and shantadurga (goddess of Peace), visit to Ancestral Goa/old Portuguese house and Colva beach. To wrap it up there is river cruise at the end.
Actually, this kind of package are good way of getting around Goa in short-time. It seems they are more appealing to Indian tourists wishing to combine peek at all top sights with the whistle-stop tour. Sometimes they include certain places inland that you wouldn’t otherwise consider visiting.
Anywayz, Colva beach was not even attractive to us though it is an oldest and largest fishing beach. There were international tourists marinating in the sun and overcrowded domestic visitors paddling. Beach front is dismal as stench of drying fish waft from near-by village.
River cruise on Mandavi was one hour trip over crowed with mostly Indian tourists. Professional troupes perform the Dekni Temple Dance, the Fugdi Dance and the Corredinho Dance with live music. You can shake your leg too as it will tempt you to dance to their beats. They do try hard to entertain but no chance to glimpse the Sun as it sets in Arabian Sea. Its pity that this boat company makes sure you can not view the sun-set as there is a big backdrop on west to hide Sun from you. May be they do it on purpose to make sure everyone is seated and not leaning on side of the boat to take picture of golden ball as it goes down.
Other then this they took us to souvenir shop (where they get commission)- i.e., one souvenir at least visitor always carries home from his holidays in Goa are cashew nuts, spices and wine. Cashew trees abound the Goan hillsides. The flowering in January leads to luscious, brilliantly coloured fruit in March, April and early May. It is then plucked, while the apple is used in the process of producing "Feni" (Goan speciality) and the nuts are roasted for consumption. Here locally produced wines and beer are cheaper than anywhere in the country. Big percentage of tourist to Goa are men from other parts of India who come to Goa as an escape from moral confines of life at home.
Disadvantage of this kind of package trips are they don’t give enough time where they should actually give and secondly you cannot have taste of Goa or in other words you don’t have much choice for restaurants as they take tourists to such a remote part where only one restaurant will be there with awful food and you end up eating those as you don’t have alternative. In short, we are the people who want to explore more of the place, know about the culture, food, enjoy the serenity, nature’s landscape and all. So, this kind of packages are not meant for us. And we decided not to opt for the North Goa trip.
Every thing was geared up for the Mumbai meeting,
Our “Rosy” flower, made “Shan” like a bee humming,
Not showing outside, Pam thought it was her prince charming,
Santanu was convinced it was the end of his findings,
Gandhiji was nervously smiling,
Shan’s mother in law thought it was perfectly matching,
Pam’s mother and father in law were unable to hide the exciting,
Sensing wedding bells ringing,
Choton proposed an early ring exchanging,
Everyone in both sides were priding,
Thought it was a great timing,
Then came a series of e-mailing,
Thousands of miles kept two hearts parting,
While Technology brought California & Durg closing,
And the two did each other some measuring,
At Satna there were forgotten few, who were guessing,
When at Durg “The Great Jija” felt something missing,
Why his sali’s plum looks gave way to slim & beauty tantalizing,
8th Nov’02 kept them waiting and waiting,
14th Aug’02 traditional ring ceremony gave some consoling.
On 5th Nov’02, “Jija & Co” left Satna with lot of worrying,
And sight of his father suffering,
Believing everything will be OK till returning,
Only Shiva knew, Kolkata will be far from reaching,
When news at Gaya came like a bolt thundering,
Your father is no more, came a voice grieving.
The “Biye” at Kolkata, started with Agni offerings,
Shudh Mantras, the Brahmin was reciting,
Santanu’s patience got some testing,
The “destined future “made home and parents from Rosy departing,
Hectic jaunts, (Kolkata to Siliguri to Durg and back to Kolkata) made both of them panting,
As Siliguri & Durg were places of “Chaturtha-mangal” and partying,
Finally, to California the two birds were flying,
But Hong Kong made them hopping,
The Album kept us waiting,
We opened to find “Shan & Pam –The perfect Wedding”
By Jija & Co. - Ashim, Maitrayee, Tumpa & Tini