A Goan Monsoon

March 12, 2014 By:

DRIVING HOLIDAY TO GOA IN JULY – AUGUST 2009.

We were driving down to Goa one more time, our fifth holiday in Goa since December 2001. I had booked in Club Mahindra’s Varca Beach resort almost two months ahead. We got the booking easily because it is the end of blue season (slack season) at this time in Goa. Only die-hard Goa lovers go at this time because of the monsoon rains.

We had to reach Varca by 30th July and our check-out was on 2nd August (3 nights). I decided that we would leave a day earlier and spend one night at a destination en route. We had a choice of either a hill resort or a Konkani seaside resort. Finally I narrowed it down to either Sawantwadi or Old Goa/Divar Island.


GREEN GOA IN THE RAINS

DAY ONE: 29-July-2009. PUNE TO OLD GOA.

We left home at 6.45 am, after getting up at the ungodly hour of 4.45 am. It’s always good to leave early on a road trip. It was a smooth drive to Kolhapur on National Highway No.4 (NH4), and we were in the city by 11.15 am, with only one tea stop on the way. We turned right into the city and had to wade through the traffic for a good 45 minutes. We passed the main train station, market, and Mahalaxmi temple till we reached Rankala Lake, from where the Gaganbavda road (SH115) takes off.


The road was not in as bad a condition as the Uttur-Ajra-Amboli road, which we had used in November 2008, and was rough only in some patches. As we approached the hill town of Gaganbavda, we could feel the air becoming cooler, and soon we were moving through the rain laden clouds. We stopped at a wayside restaurant, which was more like a dhaba, and ordered mixed vegetables and chapattis for lunch. The MTDC Resort, ‘Hill Top’, was desolate and empty and the restaurant seemed to be closed.

As we were descending the ghats I could not help but stop to take some snaps from the hillside. This was the classic monsoon scenery, with the slowly ascending fluffy clouds misting up the surroundings, glistening wet roads, and small waterfalls trickling down the rocks. As I was clicking, a band of monkeys joined the party and got shot by my Canon. One of them appeared to be the troupe leader, and he sat glowering at me till I took a special shot at him and turned him into a portrait called ‘King Monkey’.


THE SAHYADRIS


MONSOON CLOUDS RISING FROM THE ARABIAN SEA


DESCENDING TO THE KONKAN


BAND OF BANDARS


KING MONKEY

After passing Vaibhavwadi we were stuck at a railway crossing for 10 minutes. I made use of the opportunity to click a train of the Konkan Railways just as it was passing.


KONKAN RAILWAY

Instead of stopping at Sawantwadi, we decided to carry on to Panjim, as it was only 4.30pm. We reached the Panjim bridge within an hour, but then got stuck in the traffic crossing over the bridge. Our Zen also started giving trouble; stalling while stopping or slowing down. Anyway we carried on. After crossing the bridge we turned left onto the Ribander road towards Old Goa, instead of taking the straight road to Margao. The Ribander road runs besides the Mandovi river.


THE RIVER MANDOVI

Across the Mandovi river near Old Goa is Divar Island. Yesterday I had spoken to one Mr. Jan Bostock who runs a homestay by the name of ‘Divar Island Retreat’. He lets out a room for Rs.3500 for a couple, with all meals included. He sounded quite friendly and even called back to find out our meal preferences, and I was tempted to cross the Mandovi on a ferry and spend the night at his retreat. However it was getting dark and I didn’t know the location of the ferry point so we decided to halt at Old Goa Residency run by Goa Tourism Development Corpn. (GTDC). The off-season rates were quite reasonable and we decided to go with the standard non-a/c room (Rs.600), which also had a nice little balcony to sit out.


A GOAN HOMESTEAD

After checking in and having a cuppa tea I went for an evening walk to have a recce of the surroundings. I picked up some bhajjias and pao which we had as a pre-dinner snack. Yummy!

We had dinner at the in-house restaurant run by a contractor. Geeta had a glass of port wine and I had mild beer (Goans prefer mild beer, said the contractor). For dinner he served us prawns fried and Red Snapper fish masala. Our dinner bill amounted to Rs.365, which we thought was on the high side. Goa is supposed to be a food lover’s paradise, remember.

After studying some maps and pamphlets of Old Goa I fell asleep by 11.30pm.

DAY 2: 30-July-2009. OLD GOA TO VARCA.

For my morning walk I first walked to the Gandhi statue, turned right and walked down to the St. Catherine’s ferry point. A lot of locals were crossing over from Divar Island in the approaching ferry to go to their place of work on the mainland. The ferry was carrying a bus, a bevy of two wheelers, and quite a number of people on foot. I got talking to a friendly school teacher, who was waiting with his two wheeler, to cross over to the island. From his descriptions, Divar Island seems to be an enchanting and peaceful paradise, with hardly any vehicles and a lot of trees and birds. In fact, there is a bird sanctuary (Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary) on a neighbouring island called Chorao island. I decided there and then to go with Geeta on the ferry and visit Divar.

Back in the room Geeta was awake since 7.30am. We got ready and left our room at 8.30am and had a breakfast of idli and sweet pao with coffee at a small cafe in the market nearby. We abandoned the car and walked down to St. Cajetan’s Convent and took some snaps of the church and the Viceroy’s Arch.


ST. CAJETAN’S CHURCH


VICEROY’S ARCH

Then we jumped on to the ferry which seems to be continuously crossing to and fro from the ferry point to the island. The trip is free for people crossing on foot! There was a bus waiting on the island which takes the passengers to Piedade (pronounced Piadaddey), the centre-point of the island, for a mere Rs.5 per head.


FERRY TO DIVAR ISLAND


STREET SCENE – DIVAR ISLAND, GOA

After locating ‘Our Lady of Divar High School’, we started looking for Mr. Jan Bostock’s house. A retired gentleman, who seemed to be the Landlord of a nearby bungalow (the island is full of old style Portugese bungalows), went out of his way to help us find the house. The Bostocks have a very nice homestay bungalow, and the best part is the cute little swimming pool, which was being kept very clean by the attendant. We were greeted by Jan’s mother and the Goan house-maid. Mr and Mrs Bostock had probably gone to the market. There was a chessboard lying around and a lot of books strewn on the bookshelves. The bedroom was small but homely and inviting. It did seem a nice place to spend a week long vacation if one wants to just ‘chill-out’.

BEAUTIFUL BUNGALOW – DIVAR ISLAND, GOA

We had to wait 15 minutes to get a bus back. There are four ferry points on the island so we had to wait for the right bus to take us back. A local helped us board the correct bus and we were back on the ferry in 5 minutes. We checked out of our room at noon, and visited the historical churches of Old Goa. The buildings are indeed majestic, and the atmosphere inside the churches is soothing and has a calming effect on the nerves. We visited the churches of St. Francis of Assisi, Basilica of Bom Jesus, and the Se Cathedral.


CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS


SE CATHEDRAL

We took the Ponda route to reach Margao, instead of going back via Panjim. This road goes into the interiors of Goa and is more hilly and scenic, and has less traffic. We stopped by a wayside vendor who was selling freshly cut cucumbers. He rubbed it with some red chilli powder and salt, and we ate it with the skin. It quenched our thirst and mitigated our hunger pangs for a while, till we reached Margao. We didn’t stop at any of the famous temples, though we passed close to Sri Mahalsa (Mardol), Sri Mangueshi (Priol) and Shantadurga (Kavlem) temples.

We were in Margao at 2pm and stopped for lunch at a newly opened restaurant called “Chilli-n-Spice”. We then filled petrol at the HP pump near the market, and had the stalling problem attended to by a mechanic in a lane nearby. He adjusted the screws on the carburettor and didn’t charge anything. It wasn’t a case of adulterated petrol as I had thought.

We then picked up some cashew nuts from the Margao market. Salted cashews were available for Rs.350/kg and broken cashews for around Rs.200/kg. This must be the best place to buy cashew nuts anywhere in India!

The roads in Margao still confuse me somewhat, with one way streets and circular roads going round and about, and I had some trouble finding the exit to Colva from the market. I could have taken the short-cut directly to Benaulim but wasn’t confident of finding that either. Finally we reached the Club Mahindra Resort at Varca around 4.30pm, and found a place for the car in their parking lot. We were taken to our room in a golf cart.

As soon as we were in the cool confines of our room it was as if we had been transported into a different world. The campus was like a tropical paradise and there are two large swimming pools. We were invited for an introduction and orientation at their ‘Tamara’ restaurant and were served complimentary snacks and coffee. The receptionist told us about the layout and facilities in the resort.


VILLAS AT CLUB MAHINDRA VARCA BEACH RESORT

To go out for a walk on the beach one has to sign the security register. At the beach I was accosted by a hotel salesman who started to question me regarding my holiday details and filling up a form; and I had to rudely shoo him away.


MONSOON BREEZE AT VARCA BEACH, GOA


VARCA BEACH, SOUTH GOA


VARCA BEACH (OPEN TO ALL)


MONSOON BREEZE AT VARCA BEACH

Later in the evening we went for a walk outside the resort towards Varca village. There were at least three restaurants (shacks) within walking distance of ClubM and seemed to be open for business in the off season, with brightly lit decorative lights. We bought bread-butter-cheese from a store and returned to our room for dinner. We had Vinicola’s Port wine, cashews and TTK’s pre-cooked packet of mutter paneer with bread for dinner.

DAY 3: 31-July-2009. VARCA.

I was awake at 6.30am and had to immediately increase the temperature in the room. The temperature can be controlled to the nearest degree from 180C upwards. I raised it to 220C and that seemed quite comfortable. I was ready to jump into the swimming pool at 7.30am.

The pool was very clean though the depth seemed to be only 1 metre throughout, so no jumping or diving was allowed. The length was around 35 metres. There were only about three or four people and one kid in the water at this time in the morning. More people seemed to be interested in taking a walk on the beach. The sky was cloudy but it didn’t seem like it would rain.


CLUB MAHINDRA, VARCA BEACH

Back in the room we had a breakfast of cheese-slice sandwiches, bread-butter and a cup of hot milk. We then left to do some shopping for groceries and to have lunch out at the famous ‘Martin’s Corner’ on Betalbatim beach. We stopped for shopping after Varca Church at a small super-market, and bought MTR’s mushroom-peas masala, veg biryani, and prawns balchow ready-to-eat packets.

We then drove on further north of Colva village, Sernabatim, passed Betalbatim, and Majorda till we reached Utorda beach. The famous ‘Zeebop-on-the-beach’ is supposed to be located here, just beyond Hotel Kenilworth. But all we could find was a beach restaurant by the name of “Island View”. We found Martin’s by 1.30pm and settled down for a cosy lunch. Being an off-season weekday it wasn’t very crowded. It’s not located exactly on the beach, and didn’t even have a sea view, but it had a nice Goan beach shack ambience. The structure was of bamboo and wood panels and plastic sheets were in place to prevent the rain coming in during the monsoons. Plastic chairs were provided for seating and the tables were covered with clean checked table cloths, with a single-stem rose on each table. Most importantly it didn’t have a 5-star air about it, though the prices were on the 3-star side. According to the restaurant manager, Sachin Tendulkar drops in only about once a year, but his parents visit more often as they have a bungalow nearby. There were snaps of other celebrities who had dropped by for a meal on the restaurant’s wall.

The restaurant was started by Mr. Martin in 1989, and was now being run by his three sons, one of whom was sitting on the next table. Late Mr. Martin’s photograph was on the wall next to the bar with a garland around it.

We ordered fish tikka to go with my beer and Geeta’s sweet-lime soda. For the main course we had prawn curry rice and shark masala fry with garlic nan.


MARTIN’S CORNER, BETALBATIM

We had a two hour long siesta on reaching back to our cool room. In the evening we made ourselves some microwave pop-corn and ate it straight from the bag, followed by ‘Real’ apple juice. We then walked to the beach. It hadn’t rained the whole day and the climate was quite warm and humid. Instead of eating at one of the nearby shacks, we decided to have dinner in our kitchenette. After some wine and cashews, we opened the ready-to-eat packets which we had bought earlier and finished both. I increased the thermostat to 23⁰C before going to sleep.

DAY 4: 1-August-2009. VARCA.

I swam 40 lengths this morning to work up an appetite to make the most of our ‘Fun Dining’ experience today. ‘Fun Dining’ is when you pay for breakfast and lunch and/or dinner for that day’s buffet meals and you can hog as much as you want.


GOA SAUSAGE, LIVE

At breakfast I started with omelette bread, idli sambar, and sada dosa, and finished the meal with a bowl of fruit (papaya and pineapple) washed down with fresh watermelon juice. Geeta had paratha with aloo bhaji, croissants, cup cakes, dosa, watermelon juice and pineapple cooler.

After breakfast I went to meet Mr. McLoyd Vaz at ‘Holiday World’. He gave me all the updates of ClubM’s new resorts like Thekkady, Masinagudi, Tungi, and their plan to buy over Blue Country Resort at Panchgani. He also explained the benefits of being a Red member when it comes to booking RCI bonus holidays. Later we walked around the resort premises. We visited the souvenir shop, went to the beach and strolled around taking plenty of snaps.


AT CLUB MAHINDRA’S VARCA BEACH RESORT


CLUB MAHINDRA’S VARCA BEACH RESORT

We went for a late lunch at 2.45pm as our breakfast had still not been digested. For lunch we got Goan fish curry (Caldeen), mutton masala and rice, bhindi rechado, masala buttermilk, curd, dodol and bebinca (Goan sweet dishes), cheese cake and ice-cream. All this rich food made us so lethargic that we slept for 2 hours after lunch!

In the evening we strolled down to the beach and took some sunset snaps. We tried walking south along the beach towards Fatrade beach but couldn’t cross the rivulets of rain water flowing towards the sea.


SUNSET AT VARCA


SUNSET, VARCA BEACH

Later we drove down to Colonia Jose Menino, which was about 7 km south of ClubM. The whole resort seemed dark and deserted with even the shops and restaurants closed for the season.

We had dinner and drinks in our cosy room. We had bought a bottle of Bacardi Breezer (cranberry and lime), but it was over too quickly so we supplemented it with some wine. Bread and butter was enough for dinner as we were still digesting our ‘fun’ lunch!

DAY 5: 2-Aug-2009. VARCA to RATNAGIRI.

Today was check-out day. After a long and luxurious swim (40 lengths) and relaxing in the jacuzzi, I was lazing in the pool for some more time and gazing expectantly at the dark clouds approaching from the sea. We had hardly had any rain in the last few days that we had been here. We finished off the remaining bread and butter for breakfast and started packing up. We checked out of our room at 11am and we were sad to leave after another nice holiday in Goa.

We departed at 11.15am and went via Colva, Margao, Panjim, Mapusa and up to Pernem non-stop. There at the last BPCL petrol pump inside Goa I topped up the fuel tank with 6.5 litres of ordinary petrol, as ‘Speed’ was not available. By 1.15pm we had reached Savantwadi and cruised on up to Kudal where we stopped at Hotel Raaj for lunch. This was the same hotel where we had stayed overnight on our first trip to Goa in 2001. We ordered bangda (mackerel) fry, and prawn curry rice with chapattis and the bill amounted to a modest Rs.117. I complimented the manager on the tasty Malwani fare. He was an old, friendly man and said that he had taken over the management of the restaurant only a month and a half back. There were placards saying ‘no smoking’ and ‘no alcohol’ in the restaurant. It was neat and clean with very clean washrooms.

It was 3pm and we were still 200 km away from Chiplun, our next destination. The road was quite winding and undulating, and it was impossible to keep a constant speed. I averaged around 60 to 70 km/hr, the speedometer indicating a top speed of 110 km/hr on the straight stretches. There were some potholes on the road but mostly they had been filled up with crushed brick so the ride wasn’t too bad. It rained intermittently but not very heavily.

By the time we reached Hathkhamba it was 5pm, so we decided to make a night halt at Ratnagiri. Chiplun was still about 80 km away and it would be dark by the time we reached there. I asked Geeta to look up Outlook Traveller’s “52 Weekend Breaks from Mumbai” and she called ahead while I drove. We decided to halt for the night at Hotel Landmark, which seemed reasonably priced at Rs. 1000 for a non a/c room. Kohinoor Samudra Resort seemed to be luxury resort and there was no point in spending Rs.3000 for a night halt.

Ratnagiri is famous for the king of fruits, the Alphonso Mango, and the route from the highway to the town was lined with hundreds of mango trees. Hotel Landmark was on Thibaw Palace Road and we reached there by 5.30pm. The second floor room was stuffy when we entered and had a damp musty smell. We opened the only window in the room and kept it open till sundown. After a cup of tea I went out walking and exploring.

Thibaw Palace and Thibaw Points are just a 5 minute walk away from the hotel. The palace was closed and had a run-down appearance. It seemed more like an oversize and dilapidated bungalow. The exiled King of Burma is supposed to have spent his last years here during British Raj days, gazing at the passing ships from Thibaw Point. The Point had a beautiful view of Ratnagiri harbour and the town in general. There was an enclosed amusement ground, and a look-out tower, playground and park for kids, and a series of fountains. There were chaat and snack stalls too. It seems that this is the favourite picnic spot and happening place for all of Ratnagiri, and being a Sunday there was quite a crowd of people of all ages enjoying their evening out. I took some snaps from the tower and was out in 15 minutes.


VIEW FROM THIBAW POINT, RATNAGIRI


RATNAGIRI FROM THIBAW POINT


BIRD’S EYE-VIEW OF RATNAGIRI COASTLINE

We went for dinner to Landmark’s a/c restaurant called “Hang-out”. The menu prices were on the high side, and service was slow. We had methi parathas, masala papad and a green salad. Then we walked down to nearby dairy shop in a by-lane, where Geeta had hot milk and I had a bowl of shrikhand.

DAY 6: 3-August-2009. RATNAGIRI – CHIPLUN – KOYNA – PUNE.

We decided to leave as early as possible, but still it was not before 9.30am. For breakfast I had kanda poha and Geeta had sheera. Both the dishes were quite fresh and tasty. We washed it down with our room-made tea.

We arrived in Chiplun by 11am, taking an hour and fifteen minutes from Hathkhamba, going at 70 km/hr. We found the right turn to Karad after some enquiries and were soon climbing the ghats up to Koynanagar. The road was not as bad as I had feared and imagined it would be. It was quite motorable with only a few potholes on the way. We had to take a left turn to go to Koynanagar after reaching up.


A DARGAH ON THE CHIPLUN-KARAD ROUTE


GREEN FIELDS AT KOYNANAGAR

However, the resorts, Koyna Lake View (MTDC) and Gursale Resort, are located on top of a hill called Humbarli and this left turn was just before the ST bus stand. It was a narrow and very steep winding road of about 2 km and I had to do most of it in first gear. But the view from the top, of the lake and the dam, was a heavenly reward!


MTDC RESORT AT KOYNANAGAR


KOYNA LAKE

The rooms at MTDC Koyna Lake View had individual balconies overlooking the lake. But when we asked for lunch we were told that it would take an hour and a half to prepare! So we drove down to Gursale’s which had an equally spectacular view, though from a lesser height. However the rooms (tariff Rs.1200) did not have a balcony. We were welcomed with a cup of tea, and lunch was served in 45 minutes. Vegetarian thali cost Rs.75 each, with two vegetables, rice, dal, chapatti and papad.


GURSALE RESORT AT KOYNANAGAR


FARMERS AT KOYNANAGAR

We reached Patan in half an hour and after about 20 km more the road forked at the toll naka. We took the left turn and joined NH4 at Umbaraj. The right fork would have taken us to Karad. Soon we were speeding towards Pune and reached Kikvi around 5pm. The fuel indicator was touching red and I had to fill the tank with 26 litres. We had dosas and coffee at Kamat’s and were on our way again.

We were in Pune at 6.30pm after driving 1221 km to and from Goa. Main odometer reading was 55,555 at the finishing point!

I hope this was useful for readers.

About Vijay Shivdasani

Vijay Shivdasani has written 8 posts at Ghumakkar.

Resident of Pune. DoB: 20-Oct-1955, Besides Travel and Photography, I am fond of reading, writing, and playing chess. My infectious love for travel has also spread to my wife and daughter, and we start planning for our next trip as soon as we return from one.

21 Responses to “A Goan Monsoon”


  1. Virag Sharma says:

    Thanks for sharing info…
    I hav plan to go Goa via konkan , wasn’t sure wherethere go by Train or drive my Car !!! After reading you article , looks like car is good option.

    • Vijay Shivdasani says:

      Thanks for reading through, Virag. Car is good option if you’re not in a hurry to reach there. Also, having your own vehicle gives you a lot more mobility and freedom in Goa itself. Konkan route is longer than NH4 but more scenic.

  2. Jerry Jaleel says:

    An excellent post on Goa, a part of the old Portuguese colony in India, which turns into a vibrant green landscape after the heavy deluge of monsoon in July-August. No doubt, visiting Goa is a unique experience, with its unlimited supply of seafood and delicious fruits. Thanks to Vijay Shivdasani for bringing this beautiful part of India’s west coast into life through this piece with beautiful photographs.

    With best wishes and hope to see more such articles in 2010.

    Jerry Jaleel
    Edmonton, Canada.

    • Vijay Shivdasani says:

      Thanks for your encouraging words, Jerry. Yes, visiting Goa is like going to a foreign country (Portugal), though the people are our own. Seafood though is limited in the monsoon, as the sea is too rough for the fishermen at this time.

  3. nandanjha says:

    Welcome Aboard Vijay.

    Your account is so engaging that I had to finish it one go though I wanted to savor it in multiple sittings. Been to Goa only once and we were busy doing the touristy thing.

    Quite a few times, we were very close to concretise our goa (driving from Delhi) plans but it never got done, after reading your account, I am almost itching to drive down. Some day for sure.

    • Vijay Shivdasani says:

      Thanks, Nandan, for your encouragement and support.
      Next time you make your Goa plans do let me know; If possible, we can do it together, or you can make Pune your en-route halt and we can meet up.

  4. Anoop Negi says:

    A lovely long post. Detailed and informative and with good pictures at that.

  5. Manish Khamesra says:

    Beautiful pictures of green-goa, Sahyadris and konkan area.

    The post will really help anyone planning a trip to goa in monsoon. Thanks for sharing your experience Vijay.

  6. Vijay Shivdasani says:

    Thanks for reading and appreciating the pictures, Manish.

  7. Sayandeep says:

    Hi Vijay,
    You have given a wonderful account of your trip. and good to know that it didnt rain much in August. the reason being I am planning for my honeymoon in August and would be staying at the Club Mahindra Varca. So if you could help me with the following queries
    1. I would not be having a car. And I have read in various reviews that there is a strong taxi union outside the resort who take customers for a ride. Is it easy to get bikes on hire from outside the resort?
    2. Being monsoon, do all the shacks outside the resort remain closed? If at all any are open, are they within walking distance?
    3. I read somewhere that the swimming pool cannot be used after 7:30 pm. Is that true?
    4. Since it’s a big resort do you suggest any particular area for our room?
    It will be really helpful if you can provide me with these information.

    • Vijay Shivdasani says:

      Hi Sayandeep,
      Thanks for reading, and let me compliment you on your choice for your honeymoon destination. In fact the more it rains the better you’ll enjoy, that is if you’re not planning on too much sight-seeing!
      Let me try to help you with your queries:
      1. It’s easy to hire a taxi outside the resort. Of course, you’ll have to bargain, so it helps if you know the approx distance of travel. I don’t know much about the bike rentals, and I think bikes may not be easily available here as in North Goa.
      2. All the beach shacks are closed in the monsoons, but there were about 4 or 5 open shack restaurants within walking distance towards Varca village.
      3. Yes, you have to adhere to the pool timings.
      4. I think the rooms are laid out according to the room type (Studio, 1BR, 2BR). If you have a choice select a room towards the beach, and away from the reception/restaurant areas. All the rooms are laid out around the swimming pools and garden areas.
      Have a good time!

      • Sayandeep says:

        Thanks Vijay for a quick response. Though I’m a little surprised that you complimented on my choice, as I have seen reviews of that place that say it’s perfect for families and not couples. But still I have decided to go with it as I plan to use my club Mahindra membership at least this time. Though I am not too worried abt the bike bit as I am sure I will be able to get one from some other place up north. But its sad to know that all the beach shacks will be open. I love monsoons and would have loved to sit back and watch the rain fight with the sea with a bottle of beer in hand. Alas. However your inputs will help me immensely. Thanks once again

  8. Giridhar Gururajan says:

    Such spontaneity and feel of Goa…thanks Vijay for helping us relive all those beautiful memories we have of this amazing land. You deserve a special applause for the meticulous use of place and language to describe your adventure….My last trip to Goa was in 2006…I remember staying in Dona Sylvia and having a whale of time…with September showers thrown in and the mesmerising winds that blew into our faces…that was just awesome.

    • Vijay Shivdasani says:

      Hi Giridhar,
      Thanks for reading and appreciating. Yes indeed Goa becomes magically transformed into a tropical paradise during the monsoons. You don’t have to jostle with all the tourists as in the winter, and the climate is so much better than in summer, if you don’t mind getting wet in the rains.

  9. Vrushali says:

    Hello Sir,

    As today I was in no mood to work, planned to read few monsoon trips on net and here I came across yours. We had drive to Mumbai Ratnagiri Goa( Club Mahindra Varca Beach resort) this March. And on reading you post it was just so so refreshing that I am also planning to write a travel blog

    Have a good travel

  10. Bikash Jaiswal says:

    Sir,
    It was really nice reading your monsoon affair with Goa. I am planning to visit Goa During the 1st week of June 2011. Your article has made me more interested. Some of my co-pasengers were of the opinion that June is not the perfect time to visit Goa. B’cauze, the facilities everywhere is not up to the mark as it is a lean season. The rides, water sports,etc. are not to be found anywhere. Venturing into the sea is risky because of the rough weather and so on. But I am very determined to go to Goa with my wife and 11 year old son. Can you advice which part of Goa would be ideal to stay. We do not exactly want a secluded holiday. We need a bit of every thing that Goa has to offer for a family.
    sincere regards
    BIKASH.

  11. very nicely written.with useful hints about driving,road conditions and directions, average speed one can expect on these roads,petrol average, hotels,their charges,which are very important for a person like me to prepare for this kind of a trip who drives his own car single handed like you.but the beauty of you narrative is that it doesn’t become a technical driving manual.the essential ingredients of any trip or travel are to appreciate nature its beauty which is different from where we reside,the beauty of buildings and the cities one goes through,different food and last but not the least its people who may be bit different language wise,or culture wise but non the less same caring helpful human beings not different from use.i think that is the essence of travelling that is to remind use that there is diversity in the unity of man kind and it goes on promoting travel and tourism.and i congratulate you for doing this job so admirably.wishing you more and more happy journies,with best regards,dr.s.r.latkar

  12. Nandan Jha says:

    Thank you Vijay for helping us re-publish this. It is quite a long story, I must say, and since we didn’t publish it in multiple parts initially we can not split it now (since all the google traffic goes to original link).

    I was able to do a Konkan Road Trip during Monsoons a couple of years back, from Mumbai to Tarkarli (just a bit shy of Goa) after stopping for a night at Harihareshwar on the way down and one more place on the way up. It was simply out of the world experience with so much greenery and we took the old goa road and at times were driving next to the Arabian Sea.

    Your log is also full of all the food details :-) and I guess that tells us more about you. Doing 40 lengths, while being on a holiday is awesome. Thanks again for making us go through your experience. Pls write more as your time allows. Wishes.

  13. Hi Nandan, Good to hear from you again. Thanks for re-publishing the post.

    Konkan and Goa are certainly great places to visit, and even more enjoyable in the monsoons. Last August(2013) we had put up at a homestay in Malvan for 4 days, and drove up and down the Sindhudurg coastline, along the new Coastal Road (new MSH4) in the pouring rain. We visited the Vijaydurg fort, Devgad (famous for its mangoes), Kunkeshwar Temple, Tarkarli and Malvan beaches, Vengurla, Redi Ganpati Temple, and Harmal (Arambol beach in Goa). The new MSH4 starts from somewhere near Harihareshwar and goes into Goa across a new bridge near Redi and Terekhol to Harmal. I think you must have used this road before it was called MSH4. There was virtually no traffic on this road when we did our trip and most of it had just been metalled and tarred.

    I shall try to put up a post on this experience as time permits. Regards.

  14. Ashadh Apte says:

    Hello Sir,

    Thank you for the very nicely written and very informative narrative of your trip to Goa in the monsoon season.

    I am planning a trip to Goa in the 1st week of September and I was lucky to have stumbled upon this fantastic blog. I am thinking of going by car with my wife and 2 year daughter. Do let me know if you have any suggestions.

    Regards


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