I thank myself for choosing to stay in the less frequented Varca. This holiday was meant to be a break for me. I wonder if that would be possible had I stayed in the bustling areas of North Goa. My trip to North Goa, zipping through Panaji, Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora and Fort Aguada on the motorcycle was fun, but made me feel really happy that I chose the beautiful Varca beach to stay at. The beaches at Vagator and Anjuna are nothing to write home about. In fact, I'd recommend that one gives them a miss. The flea market at Anjuna is great if you want to pick up some junk jewellery and some sea shells, but nothing that you cant get in Bangalore or Pune. There arent too many good places to eat close to Anjuna either.
We did find a good place close to Vagator, called Willy's. Now Willy's is quite impressive as you will see from their special menu, notwithstanding the fact that they take almost 50 minutes to serve their food. I'd definitely recommend this place if you're passing by Vagator.
With some food inside of us, the next thing we needed to do was ride to Fort Aguada. This meant driving through Calangute and Candolim, both beautiful localities; quite similar to Koregaon Park in Pune. I must say that this to us was the only attractive locality in North Goa, with Taj Holiday Village and Kingfisher Villa in the vicinity. Add to that some nice eateries, tailors, pubs and Ayurveda centers and you have a bustling, fun, neighbourhood. If we do stay in North Goa, during another visit, I'd perhaps want to stay in these parts.
Having seen the "Dil Chahta Hai" (Chapora) fort in absolute ruins, we didn't have very high expectations of the Aguada fort. The fort however surprised us with its fine, strong architecture and amazing views. I must say that while everyone advised us against taking a bike to North Goa, I found that doing exactly that was perhaps the best idea. It helped us see fine views of the countryside and frankly I don't feel tired at all. The very fact that I can sit up to write this blog entry is perhaps testimony that it isn't such an arduous journey after all. As always, another of my recommendations -- travel across goa on a motorcycle/ scooter.
Tomorrow, I am off on another food expedition. My destination -- Sahakari Farms in Ponda. Another of Outlook Traveler's helpful hints, Sahakari Farms is reported to an excellent food destination serving some typical Goan food after an enlightening tour of the spice plantation. I'm hoping when I pick up my laptop tomorrow, the food at the farm remains something to write home about.