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A Goan monsoon sequel

One year ago, we escaped from the craziness of Mumbai to the rains of south Goa – my second visit, and second monsoon there. The trip was a pastiche of our interests, from architecture and long walks to distilleries and bakeries, with a few (mis)adventures and changes of plans (for the better) thrown in.   

Beaches look very different in this season. My favourites were a private beach in Varca and the small beach at Cavelossim, where I largely loitered taking photos of creatures and people. 

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I spied bright blue things amid the shells, which I later discovered were called blue buttons, with the scientific name Porpita porpita. I've never encountered them before, though admittedly I've been to relatively few beaches in my three decades of existence. There were so many in some places that a whole part of the beach appeared blue. I didn't get too close – instinct told me otherwise – but found this discovery quite fascinating.

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One of the highlights was the Paul John whisky distillery and visitor centre, housed in a cheerful yellow bungalow with beautiful decor and details. I don't enjoy whisky, but I did enjoy the tour and learning about the processes and flavours that make this brand unique.

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After a walking breakfast of Jila Bakery's divine custard-filled eclairs, we entered Loutolim. Long walks were not only interesting but often inevitable, given our lack of reliable transportation (we returned our rented scooty after a day, finding the roads too slippery). There was no dearth of bright, colourful houses with windows and lamps swathed in sheets of protective plastic.

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We visited two heritage homes that are open to tourists Casa Araujo Alvares, a 250-year old mansion named after the eponymous colonial-era lawyer, where we saw interesting urns (below) and hanging beds; and then on to Figueiredo's. 

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The town also provided glimpses of sculptures, a museum, a cemetery (below), the famous Salvador de Mundo church and the ancestral home of artist Mario de Miranda.

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Figueiredo House lies in a flower-lined street facing lush paddy fields. It was built in 1590, and houses beautiful china, silver, furniture, chandeliers, textiles and much more. We missed the usual tour but appreciated the dedication of the guide who showed us around, and the carefully maintained artefacts.

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It seemed only fitting that our hotel in Varca should be pastel pink with white trimmings and statues of nymphs (?), mermaids, cherubs and fish. The rain and lack of affordable transport kept us in our hotel on the last day, which we turned into a lazy, relaxed, extended goodbye.

I wonder what Goa is like in other seasons.

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Comments

  1. Loved reading this travel entry! Your hotel is so pretty. I've been to Goa in the monsoon just once, rest have all been in the winters when it's marvellous. South Goa seems like the perfect choice for Goa in the monsoons.

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    1. It was very pretty and so different :) great food and activities too (even though they cancelled the salsa class I signed up for). We spent the last day just wandering, taking photos in the hotel and eating nice things.

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  2. Such beautiful pictures! I have never been to Goa because I always imagine it to be some sort of crowded yuppie tourist den. Perhaps being there during the monsoon helps?

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    1. Thank you! Monsoon is definitely a less popular season but also depends on which part of Goa you're in. I believe south Goa is usually quite relaxed and uncrowded compared to the beaches of the north.

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