Here in India, it is believed that every person should go to Goa with their friends in college. Here in India, it is also believed that a plan involving Goa is never ever successful. This is a story of how I, along with 2 more friends, barely managed a trip to Goa in our college final year and how it changed our lives.
It was our college ritual, where everyone goes to Goa with their friends in their Final year. We had witnessed this since first year and this was on the top of our bucket list. We started our planning in December itself (of Final year of course!), asking a lot of random girls who would be interested because Indian parents generally do not allow their kids to go on trips. And this trip had all kinds of reasons for our parents to refuse. It was an all girls trip. It was a trip to Goa. It was around 1500km far away from home.
Somehow we managed 10 people who agreed to go. We booked our train tickets and hotels for a week-long stay in March. People had even started to shop. We went back to college from the winter vacation and then slowly and steadily things started to go wrong.
People started to back out from the plan. We lost our tickets and then realized that someone had got them cancelled and taken a refund which resulted in even more people backing out as nobody wanted to spend more money on booking the tickets, which were costlier due to approaching dates and the dates being during the holiday season. Finally, only 3 of us were left. With no hope and heavy hearts, we tried to convince our parents to let us 3 go and magically they agreed. So finally we were GOING TO GOA!
It was a fun-filled ride, starting from the train journey till the very end. The train journey was mostly full of playing card games, listening to songs (a typical Indian train journey), gossiping and sharing stories. You can assume that we had shared enough stories on that one day that even if we were not very close before the trip, we had become the best of friends in those few hours.
We took a Rajdhani from Delhi to Goa, which started in the noon of 20th March 2016, and we reached Goa on the afternoon of 21st March. We took an auto/cab from the station to our hotel, which was situated at a walking distance from the Candolim beach. The name of our hotel was Casablanca. As we had made the bookings for 10 people, we had plenty of extra rooms. So we checked into 2 balcony rooms, side by side, where one room could serve as our “getting ready area” and the other room could be used for sleeping.
We hired two scooties, changed into new clothes and went out to explore the world. We travelled all the way to Arambol beach on that day. We reached there and straightaway went to sit in a shack because we were told that this is what people usually do in Goa, hang around in shacks. We had some food there. And then we went out for a stroll on the beach. It was a very calm beach, with not a lot of rush. You could see a lot of foreigners
there with stalls. We just walked around for sometime, got our feet in the sand and the sea and watched that beautiful sunset. It was the first of many more sunsets to come. The breeze felt amazing. There were some beautifully decorated restaurants there. We came back to the stalls. One guy was playing the bongo drum there and a lot of people had gathered around. We just sat and listened to him play for sometime. Then we made our way back to the hotel.
We went to club LPK (Love Passion Karma) later that night. It was a beautiful place situated beside a lake (or some water body). We had some food and beer there and then we left to meet some friends at the Calangute beach. There was a different kind of thrill being out on the road that late at night. And the entire experience of being on a beach so late, looking at the moon reflecting on the sea, with light breeze in the air, it just takes you over.
22nd March: The next day we went to Vagator beach in the noon. It was also a little far away from our hotel. That beach was a little rocky as compared to the other beaches we saw. But it was fun to climb on those rocks. After spending sometime on the beach and clicking some pictures, we just went to a shack nearby to have some snacks. Then we went about exploring the local shops near that beach. We located a Tattoo shop and thought of getting a temporary tattoo because permanent tattoo was way out of our scope at that time. We chose some butterfly design and one by one sat down to get that tattoo done.
It was almost sunset time and we were really eager to see the sunset from the top of Chapora fort. So we drove our scooties at full speed after the tattoo and ran atop the Chapora fort hill and barely managed on time. We sat down at the edge of the fort, our feet dangling from a great height. In front of us was the vast sea and the sun slowly drowning in that sea. It was a beautiful sight and the fact that we were there at the exact time made it all the more special. There is a thing when you share some amazing moments with some people, you create a special bond with them. I think something really clicked within us at that time.
After that we went to the famous Curley’s on Anjuna beach to be a part of the rave party, though none of us was a rave person back then. There is no special entry fee for girls anywhere so it was very easy for us to get inside the party. There we realized that everyone was very much high on drugs and were lost in a trance. We tried our best to copy people and dance funnily but after sometime we realized it was not our cup of tea and we made our way back to the Candolim. There we stopped at 10 Downing Street for dinner. We had never heard of that place before but just saw lasagna as the special item that night and so decided to try that. That was one amazing lasagna BTW. We could hear a lot of Bollywood music coming from a room sort of inside that restaurant and we went in to explore, and that’s when we got to know there was a pub there and it was Bollywood night. We danced our hearts away after that, like literally!
23rd March: The next day was booked for water sports. So we went to Baga beach in the afternoon and got ourselves a good deal for the water sports. There was Banana ride, Jet ski, Parasailing, Ringo ride to name a few. We were really scared at first, but when we got into the feel, they were actually very much fun! For Parasailing, we were taken deep into the sea on a mini ship. After that, at the time of returning, the guy asked if anyone wants to jump into the water. Me and my friend agreed. So we got to stay in the middle of the Arabian Sea for about 5 minutes, with a mini ship standing above our heads, but boy was it fun!! It made me feel like a daredevil, swimming in the middle of the sea and all.
At night we went to Club Cabana with some more college friends. We had a few drinks and just hanged around with them.
24th March: The next day, our hotel shifted us to suit rooms, 2 suit rooms actually. And so we took double the usual amount of time to get ready because we just couldn’t get over the beautiful room and it was so much effort to get out of there. When we finally managed to get our asses off the bed and got ready, we went to see a church, Basilica of Bom Jesus. It is probably the most famous church in Goa, with a great history associated with it. After that, we decided to go for a cruise. Not casino, just a normal cruise. So they just took around in a ship for about 1 hour, where we just cruised on the Arabian Sea. The cruise people had some fun events planned, like a group of dancers performed different folk dances of Goa. Then there was DJ as well.
After the cruise, we returned to Candolim and then again went to 10 Downing street for dinner as they had a Karaoke night. We participated in Karaoke there. We even got that recorded. It was my first Karaoke ever.
Later that night, we asked around if there is any place suitable to watch the sunrise and our hotel receptionist told us that there is one fort, Aguada Fort, which is not very far from Candolim. He even promised to wake us up in the morning.
25th March: The receptionist tried his best to wake us up, but we just convinced ourselves that sleep was more important. So we went to see the Aguada Fort in the middle of the day and it was not a very good decision as it was very hot. After exploring the fort, we thought that as it was our last day in Goa, we should spend the rest of the day leisurely. We rented beds on Candolim beach, drinking lemon sodas and just watching the sea. That beach was madly crowded on that day, I must tell you. We tried shopping in the evening for our friends and families.
At night, we went to Tito’s Lane for partying in one of the best night clubs of Goa. We even met few nice gentlemen, whom we helped in getting couple entry into the club (because apparently stags are not allowed anywhere!). Then again, we danced the night away. Then we went to the Baga beach for sometime, like for a goodbye of sorts and then came back to the hotel and packed our bags as we had to leave early in the morning.
26th March: We caught our flight to Delhi, with a good 8 hours layover in Bangalore, continuing the stories that could not be completed in the entire 5 days trip.
Well that was the end of it. There were many things that this trip taught me, like March is not the best time to visit Goa because it’s very hot. We had become very tan by the end of the trip and the Sunscreens only help to some level. I also learnt that Goa is not all about booze and drugs. You can have fun and you can party without any of these things. And I really mean it. I have partied a lot after this trip and all I am left with the other day is hangover and a blackout, where I am trying to join the dots about what really happened on the previous night. I am really grateful that my Goa trip is still crystal clear in my head and that is how I am able to write so much about it even after 1.5 years. And trust me, I remember a lot more, I just removed a lot of boring details.
And the most important thing, an all Girls trip is the best!
Fun fact: After around 1.25 years of this trip, all three of us got together and decided to get tattooed. And thus on May 21, 2017 we got our first permanent tattoo together as a symbol to the bond that was created on this trip. I have been on many trips with a lot of friends, but I cannot even begin to express how different and special this trip was for me, for all of us. And this is why we decided to ink it on ourselves that the friendship that got strengthened so much on this trip, the friendship that we are continuously maintaining despite staying in different cities, will stay 🙂