Beach

Wanderings in South Goa.

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You are really spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in Goa. Besides the beach shacks, where you can sit on the sands and gaze out at the sea, sipping on a drink, while waiting an hour or two for your meal to arrive, there are many restaurants inland which also serve excellent food at very reasonable rates. There is a fusion of East and West, Portugese and Indian, meat and vegetables, which makes Goan cuisine unique. Coconut is used liberally, along with other Indian spices in the cooking. ‘Fish curry rice’ is the most common food and available virtually in every restaurant. The different types of seafood on offer in Goa includes pomfret, kingfish, ladyfish, mackerel, tuna, shark, crab, prawn, lobster, squid and mussels. Chicken, pork, mutton and beef dishes are also on offer at all the restaurants, cooked in the popular Goan flavours such as vindaloo, balchao, recheado, xhacuti and caldin.
We had already planned that we would include at least one meal out at a shack or restaurant in our daily sight-seeing itinerary. One precaution we always took was to carry our own drinking water if we did not want to order a drink, or pay for a bottle of branded mineral water.

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Self-Drive trip across Thailand (7 days, 2000 kms) : Part 6 – Chiang Mai

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We also spend some time in a fantastic session called ‘Chat with Monks’. This particular wat, which is also a training facility for the young monks, offers tourists an opportunity to interact informally with the monks. There is a common area where the tourist group is met by one of the waiting monks. You can sit with him and discuss anything related to Monks/ Buddhism/ Thailand or any other topic of interest. Well, to answer the ‘why’ of it – such interactions enable the monks to practise spoken English as also widening their knowledge base and the tourists, of course gather valuable insight.

A good & handy source of drinking water is the vending machines placed at common areas. Though bottled water is available across Thailand costing B15 – B30 or more depending on when and where you buy them; these vending machines (working on coin system) offer you potable water @ B1 (one bhat) for a litre.

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Pune to South Goa Road Trip

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At 12.30 pm we crossed over into Karnataka, and paid another toll. Immediately we could sense that we were in a different state. The traffic was much less in Karnataka as compared to the heavy traffic right upto Kolhapur in Maharashtra. The scenery was better, with undulating hills in the distance. There were flowering bushes in the road divider which made the drive more pleasant, and lay-byes with public utilities at regular intervals along the highway.

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Summer Vacation – A trip to Bakkhali, the Delta of Ganges & my childhood place

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After a full 3 hours in the sea and breakfast, we went to visit Henry’s island (2 km) – a must visit place. During 1980s, the West Bengal Fisheries Department took the initiative of turning Henry’s Island into a tourist spot. More than 50 ponds were dug under pisciculture project, occupying over 25 bigha on 100-hectare of land. Fresh fish and shrimps straight out the ponds are a must try for the visitors. Trees such as gora, kankru, palm, naturally growing sundari and hetal have been planted.

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Self-Drive trip across Thailand (7 days, 2000 kms) : Part 5 – Bang Saen to Kampaeng Phet

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We had plans of visiting heritage sites and local night market, but lassitude takes over as soon as we arrive. After strolling around the neighbourhood, spying on local shops and outlets, we are back to the guest house.
There are number of cosy sit-outs within the house. In the evening, guests have gathered here to relax and chat-up. Soon I connect up with Bill, an Austrian from Vienna and Shoo, a Thai traveller. Yes, they tell, they are also travelling across Thailand. While exchanging notes I discover that both of them (though travelling separately) are very special Ghumakkars. Bill (actually Bills, a couple) has arrived here Cycling all the way from AUSTRIA! Well, the story goes like this. They are avid cyclists. They have covered large parts of the globe cycling. Bill roughly cycles for an year in one go! By end of the year long loop, he is back in Vienna to earn his livelihood. After earning for about 6-8 months, he is again out for the next trip. He tells us that he does not own a car and has a very small house in Vienna. He works just to make enough money for the next trip. Same is the story of his partner. She is from the same place and they share the same passion. They are 6 months into the current trip and plan to cycle north to China and then through Kazakhstan and Eastern Europe to Vienna. Their belongings, typical for cyclists, comprise of two rucksacks (strapped to either side of the carrier) and a sleeping bag cum tenting equipment.

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सिल्वन लेक और कैनेडा डे

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जुलाई 1 को कैनेडा डे मनाया जाता है और यह सार्वजनिक अवकाश होता है. मैं इस दिन सिल्वन लेक जाने का प्रोग्राम बना लेता हूँ. विशाल भी मेरे साथ था. सिल्वन लेक फोर्ट सस्केच्वन से 200 किमी है. सुबह जल्दी चल कर नाश्ते के लिए टिम होरटन पहुँच जाते हैं. टिम होरटन कैनेडा में बहुत मश्हुर है. यह कैनेडीअन का है, इस लिए अमेरिकन रेस्तराँ से ज्यादा लोकप्रिय है. फोटो में SUV ( गाड़ी ) ड्राइव थरु पर जा रही है. आप जो दो बॉक्स देख् रहें हैं, उसमें माइक और स्पीकर लगा हुआ है. चालक अपना ऑर्डर माइक पर बता देगा, जैसे ही वह खिड़की पर पहुँचेगा, उसका ऑर्डर त्यार होगा. पैसे चुका कर वह गाड़ी ड्राइव करते हुए अपना ब्रेकफास्ट एन्जॉय करेगा. पर मैं आप को काउंटर पर ले कर चलता हूँ.

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Summer Vacation – a wonderful run through NH-2 from the Ghats of Varanasi to Home – Part II

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I went to check whether they washed the car or not, as promised yesterday. The outer body of the car looks like we just finished, sorry ‘Won’ the cross-country rally…several layers of dust all around the body and required a considerable amount of time and efforts to bring it back to its’ original colour. The security guard was of immense help and cleaned the car within next half an hour.

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Memorable trip to Virginia Beach

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Roads were descent rather better compared to Myrtle Beach. At some point I was sleepy but pretended to him as if I am wide awake and hooked to every detail. Clear skies, scenic beauty, greenery on every side delighted me . Finally we arrived in our destination , a moment of exhilaration for me. Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront. It is also home to several state parks, several long-protected beach areas, three military bases, a number of large corporations, two universities, Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, and numerous historic sites.

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Mumbai Tour Part -3 / मुंबई की सैर भाग -3 (बाबुलनाथ मंदिर, एंटीलिया और ताज महल होटल)

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पिछली पोस्ट में मैंने आपको मुंबई के फ़िल्मी सितारों के घर, मुक्तेश्वर महादेव मंदिर, जुहू स्थित इस्कॉन मंदिर,  तथा सिद्धिविनायक मंदिर के बारे में…

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Southern Sojourn to God’s Own Country

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I wish to take you once more on a virtual trip through the mazes of the exuding beauty of the enchanting Kerala.

The peaceful green city of Trivandrum gradually unfolded itself with its narrow roads and neat colourful private houses half hidden amidst the coconut palms.From the airport, we took a pre-paid taxi to our hotel Uday Samudra (popularly known as UDS) at Kovalam – 16 kms from Trivandrum. We were given a sea-facing spacious room with a pool in front.

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Gokarna – much more than OM beach

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Gokarna is about 453 km from Bangalore and 165 KM from Hubli. We started by train at 7:45 PM and reached Hubli early morning at 3:45 (though arrival time was 4:30 AM – Trains do reach early in India also). Anyway Taxi (booked in advance) came as per the time given to him and we started at 5:00 AM from Hubli and had a breakfast at Kamath on the way and reach Om Beach resort at 8:45 AM. Normal check –in time was 12:00 however staff made the rooms ready by 10:30 and we checked in to relax.

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Gokarna – Story of Ravana

Gokarna – Story of Ravana

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Gokarna also has an mythological significance which attracts pilgrims. There are a lot of stories about Gokarna, but the most famous one is the story of Ravana and the Atmalinga.
Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka, received the atmalinga from Shiva after he had performed a penance at Mount Kailash reciting self-written Shivatandavastotram. Shiva instructed Ravana that the sacred atmalinga should not be placed on the ground as it would establish itself where placed on earth. On his way back to Lanka, Ravana stops for his evening prayers at Gokarna.

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