When: July 2018
Ok, don’t judge me but I think we are done with Goa; for sometime at least.
Take a look at this – six times to Goa between 2005 to 2018 so roughly once every two years. Now is the time to drop this infatuation with Goa and mature as a traveller ( I think we already have and have moved on). While I think of our next travel destination have a look at how our sixth trip to Goa turned out to be!
It was a family trip with my brother in law joining us with his family. Four adults and four kids and the beaches, food and water sports in Goa treated us well and the kids enjoyed them to the fullest.
Summer vacations are the best time to get together with extended family who are staying in faraway places for obvious reasons (read job). And the happy of the happiest are the kids who just enjoy to the fullest. We decided on Goa because my brother in law hadn’t been to Goa with kids and though we had been to Goa five times with kids we wanted them to enjoy the place with their brothers too.
And it was the best decision for the kids they enjoyed water activities, food and the pool to the fullest.
We booked Soul Vacation Resort and Spa close to Colva beach. It is a boutique hotel with around 34 rooms – most of them pool facing. The spa, bar and restaurant are also overlooking the pool which make the structure quite compact and comfortable. It was off season officially in Goa so we had the hotel almost to ourselves and the pool definitely to the kids. They played games like – Shark, Shark and the adults were busy unwinding and relaxing and chatting while keeping a close watch on the kids as they enjoyed in the pool. Later, we also entered the pool and then what followed were a few challenges and tricks in the water.
Though it was rainy season and the beaches were marked as not safe we did walk on the Colva beach with the kids running towards the wave and jumping on it every time there was a big splash of wave. We also made sand castle and played football with the local guys at the beach. It rained while we were on the beach and we happily got drenched; don’t remember when was the last time that we got wet like children.
Sometimes I think why is growing up such a burden; such a task. We lose all simplicity and the simple joys that life offers us everyday. Still, am thankful for such days when one can enjoy the pleasures of life that we take for granted.
We also helped fisherman pull out their net at the Colva beach and this is the first time we ever saw fish and octopus in the net (mostly we see them on the plate). Though the beach is quite touristy and not so clean but during the off season it is not so bad either and being close to the hotel (just about 5 minutes walk) it is quite convenient to walk with the kids.
There are also shacks on the beach but frankly our kids did not enjoy it and we got back to the hotel mostly for food. Food at Soul Vacation Goa was delicious and fresh – joys of travelling in the off season. We also tried the vada pav for lunch from one of the stalls at the beach and totally loved the local flavour.
There are no water sports in the sea in July because the monsoons are in full swing and the seas are quite rough. There are however water activities in the river Sal till mid July. Jack Cruises at the bank of the river Sal is a good choice for all the water sports in the River Sal. We did the speed boat, jetski, Bumperride (ringo) and the kid’s favourite Banana Ride. I was too scared of the Banana ride, actually I dislike the part that they drop you in water so I gave it a miss and I also fear that there would be a crocodile lurking some where there (too much of Bollywood/Hollywood influence I guess) Kids wanted to do the banana ride again and again and did not want to get out of the water.
While on our way back to the hotel from here we stopped at a shop – Mario’s Cottage that was selling souvenirs from Mario Miranda. This shop is a treasure trove and gives you a look into the Goan way of life through an artist’s perspective. Though most of the stuff is priced slightly on the higher side but still it is worth a visit.
Big Foot Museum
We booked a cab for the day and went Goa touring starting with the Big Foot museum which shows you the rural life of Goa. It is a very interesting place for all but kids enjoy it more than anyone else with life size statues and the audio that goes with it; all the aspects are self explanatory so you don’t need a guide or to read anything. Just go with the audio and you can understand everything. There is a longest laterite sculpture of Mirabai which is 14m by 5m long and was made in just 30 days.
Old Goa Churches
Old Goa churches take you in a different time zone and are a must visit for their grandeur and style of architecture. Kids were amazed when they were shown the remains of St. Francis, they couldn’t believe their eyes. I am still wondering what each of them would have thought about it?
Goa also has some very famous temples and we visited the Mangueshi Temple and Shanta Durga temple. In fact, it is like coming a full circle; in 2015 when we were in Goa we visited all the major temples in Goa and it was after this visit that I started with this blog.
Goa is like our travel home literally speaking, now even our kids know the places by name and can tell you a thing or two. This place grows on you and every time you visit the comfort factor makes you feel so happy and secure that you want to come back for more. Wish there were more places in India with this kind of vibe; may be there are and we will continue our journey to look for such places and write about them here.
Tips for travellers:
- No cut sleeves allowed inside the old Goa Churches.
- Dresses above knees, shorts not allowed inside the temple.
- During off season most of the shacks on the popular beaches are shut but not to worry there are many food options.
- Sunscreen, hats and goggles are a must in Goa.