Continued from here
While I snuggled in a bit more, Anand went to pick up our friends from the bus station who were joining us. I stepped out to realise the room itself was in a nice area with ducks, ducklings, pretty plants and a small lawn. Once they got here and relaxed a bit, we all head out to breakfast at the beach. One of the best parts of having breakfast at the shacks is to scrunch one’s toes in the cool sand while waiting for your meal, entertained by a view of the water, a sprinkling of tourists and a couple of boats idling on the water.
We obliged a boat guy who promised us a view of birds and the mangroves next to the beach.
We piled onto a boat and he rowed us by showing the usual suspects: Kingfishers, cormorants, kites and storks. There were a few catchment(?) areas in the water where they bred fish. He also put up a show to make it worth our while where he threw out some meat into the water and the kites swooped down to pick them up displaying their accuracy and plumage. After the relaxed ride, we headed back to our rooms, cleaned up for lunch and then decided to move on to the fort called Cabo-de-Rama. Just as we entered, however, Anand realised he wasn’t sure where he last left his camera and seeing his worried face we decided to head back to the room to check!
To his visible relief, we did find the camera safely in the room, but one of our friends decided she needed a nap and chose to stay back at the room. It was also quite hot for the climb in the fort, so the rest of us decided to give it a shot the next day and instead headed off in the same direction to the Agonda beach. Being the off-season it was completely bereft of tourists and only had a couple of locals and a group of guys playing volleyball.
Being the off-season it was completely bereft of tourists and only had a couple of locals and a group of guys playing volleyball. I walked on the edge of the water, Anand played for a while with the group and our friend sat by the water. After a nice evening spent there and we headed back to the hotel to get dinner. Restaurants were less in number compared to the in-season time, but we walked into a nice looking place called ‘Spicy Bella’ seated ourselves and got told that most of what we wanted to order was not available. Just out of sheer laziness we still hung around, made our order and waited. Only to have it delayed significantly and then an item just forgotten. We were too lazy or sleepy to argue and had our meal and that was that.
The next morning we walked into one of the smaller but warm looking places called Café Rumba. We instantly took a liking to it. The food was served at typical Goan relaxed manner but we thoroughly enjoyed our breakfast and our time there.We decided to then head off to the half-explored Cabo-de-Rama fort we had missed the previous evening.
It was a functional church just inside but what I especially liked was the small structure behind it that was in ruins and had the banyan creepers and roots all over the place inside and around it. We also managed to startle a poor snake that was resting on the ground covered with dried leaves.
Once our friends were done with the photo session by Anand, we walked on up to the fort’s ramparts to walk around it. There are a couple of locations besides cliff drops that provide a view of the ocean and a welcome breeze in the otherwise hot place. We went looking for a flea market at Margoa and only found a general vegetable market at the city centre that also had some area with clothes (pretty ones nevertheless). We had our lunch at a nice place called Pepper Café with huge portions and then headed off in search of our elusive flea market and instead landed up at the Anjuna beach where finally we saw 3-4 stalls while the others had closed down for the end of the season.
We spend a beautiful evening there watching the hypnotic crashing and merging of waves till the sunset after which we reluctantly made our way back.
We incidentally had one of the best meals of the trip in a roadside Dhaba where we stopped for a break. He served us roti, dal and egg burji all of which we managed to wipe out as soon as it arrived. We headed back to our hotel and after a good night’s sleep and drove back to Bangalore the next day with memories of yet another trip safely tucked in our minds.
Up next : China- Chengdu : Of poets, parks and paintings