Arrival in Panaji, checkin at Anjuna, night at Baga

Panaji Travel Blog

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At the Dona Paula jetty.
The 13 hour or so long bus journey from Bangalore finished at Panaji bus stand somewhere around 8:30 in am. Me and Pravin asked around on where to get bikes, and took one of the local buses to get to Miramar beach. Across the road we found some guy who was renting mopeds. After some amount of bargaining, waiting for the right guy to arrive, and some document copying we got ourselves a moped for 2 days @ about 150/day... not a bad deal considering it was tourist season almost. Besides that week the Internation Film festival was going on... we asked around later and all the shows were completely booked. So lost interest in that basically.

Anyway, we hung around on Miramar for a while before we got the Honda Activa, and asked for directions to Anjuna. Then got some fuel in and thought we might want to locate the 'Ananaz' lodge that someone had told us about. Found the lodge, but decided that we might wanna stay on Anjuna instead of in Panaji. So we headed off to Dona Paula first, since we had time till the other pack from Pune made it to Anjuna (they were gonna come from Margaon on bikes). Had some omelettes for breakfast here and checked out the pier before driving on back towards the highway.

Drove north on the highway and turned into the road that goes through Calangute, Baga, and further north to Anjuna. After some guesswork and some missed turns we got to Anjuna. Then with some more wrong turns and some slipping and sliding through narrow sandy lanes we reached our usual haunt - the bunch of lodges around 'Shore Bar' on Anjuna beach. Made a deal with the lodge guy for a sufficient number of rooms for the whole gang (about 12 total), dumped our stuff in our room and straightaway parked our asses on the beach. It was a crisp clear day and the beach was just plain peace of mind.

The gang arrived at leisure, in time for a late lunch followed by a long dip in the cool waters. Evening plans varied and 3 of us guys decided to do the drinking/clubbing routine while the rest would just head off for dinner. Club Cabana would have been ideal, but on asking they refused entry without dates. So we headed off to Baga instead, to check out the scene there at Toto's and Mambo's.. but all the same, no fun without dates really. So we ended up on Baga beach at one of the well known shack restaurants 'Zanzibar'. After some appetizers and a drink we were just loafing around, strolling on the moonlit beach. I headed off to find some more booze and look around the market, and check out if any restaurant particularly interested me. I did get some more booze and we enjoyed the drinks just lying on the beach. When it was time to eat, we just went to one of the cheaper shacks a few meters away on the beach itself. Post dinner and more drinks, it was getting cold and time to head back for some well deserved rest. Drove back fast through the chilly wind, but I wasn't ready to hit the bed yet so I walked back to Anjuna beach. I strolled around for quite a while, and sat next to a bonfire that one of the shacks had going on for a while.  I stuck around till everything closed. The beach was almost deserted, the moon was shining right upon the waters, and 3 black puppies were playing near my feet. I could have stayed on forever.. but I felt satisfied enough at around 2 am and headed back to the room, thinking about what the next day might bring.

-- Ashish Bhambhani
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At the Dona Paula jetty.
At the Dona Paula jetty.
photo by: anlis