(Goa – Karwar)
We left for Goa, the roads from Karwar to Goa were good, We had a good 30Kms to cover before we entered Goa, with good roads we rode swiftly to the state border,stopping in between for the odd photo or two, we stop at a bridge, Praveen checks his chain and it needs lube,so he asks us to carry on while he rode back to the room and lubed the chain, we arrive at the state sales tax check post, the guard at the post promptly stops us, “Documents” he said, we showed him the documents, “Originals” he said, by then we knew he wasn’t interested in our documents, 100 bucks a bike was the best we could do, Praveen arrives at the post, the guard stops him as well, we pay up and leave, Veda however managed to sneak past his bike, and when the guard asked for the documents he said I have them all, so we shell out 300 bucks and ride on.
First stop, Palolem beach, We arrived there after riding through a maze of street shops, we parked our bikes and as we alight them, a guy at the parking lot asks for 15 rs per bike, Veda was visibly irked, “What?” he demanded, there was no way Veda was letting some guy at the beach rip him, We are not parking here was the verdict, the rest of us however were ok with paying, but stuck with Veda, so we decided to chuck the beach, besides it was crowded any way ( yea yea.. the grapes are sour ). We rode on, next we decide to go to Agonda beach, we ride and arrive at the spot we loiter around riding aimlessly on the road, we find a road that lead up hill, thinking we could find a secluded beach, tucked away from the rest, We ride, and ride, and ride, loose sight of Praveen who was leading, the road was bumpy, but was nothing compared to the roads we had been riding on over the days, we followed the road, but to our disappointment it connected us back to the highway, cursing ourselves for the round trip, and having lost Praveen we rode back. No reception on the cell phone, so calling Praveen for a sync up was out of the question, wondering where he would be we ride back and park our bikes near a shady cluster of beach shacks, We step off our bikes and try figuring a way to trace Praveen back, I turn around, and notice the tail of a red 220, could that be Praveen?.
Steve rides to check out, and as chance will have it, It was him, he’d lost track of us too and parked his bike hoping to track us down some how, so we cluster our bikes together and stroll to the beach, and boy what a sight (the water I mean), it was a private beach ( no it was not that private ), ok… ok… get back in here. The water was blueish green and the waves were soft, you could see the yellow sand under the surface of the water, that was all the motivation I needed, I decided I’m gonna jump, “Do you mind if I took a dip?” I asked the guys, “No” they said, I had no clothes to change into, it was just what I were wearing, but who cares, I strip and take a plunge, the water was cool, I stray a decent 30 -40 feet from the shore where the water a little above neck high, then lazily swim, there was an elderly couple swimming about 20 feet from where I was, I dint want to get any closer and invade their privacy, so I stayed out, dint venture out too far, and made sure I was in sight always, both the guys to me and I to them. It must have been like 10-20mins in the water, and Veda could not resist the water, “I cant swim” he said, but had made up his mind that he was going to “face his fear”, he is down to his bare minimum, and into the water in no time, We keep it close, to about chest high this time. Veda seemed to like the water, ” I must learn to swim” he kept saying. I stray a little into the waves and then got back, We idle in the water for some time, and Praveen signals its time to move.
We stepped out sundry ourselves, and slip on the jeans over the wet undies, knowing that the sun ride will dry it up in a jiffy. On the way back we stop at a shop to pick up some drink, asked about nice places to visit, told the guy at the shop that we were on a time budget and so we needed only the must see places, He popped up a local tourist map of Goa, Veda picked that up as well, and we rode on to the next stop.
Carbo de Rama Fort was next on the list, We rode to that place, It has been declared a national monument, but we have managed to use it as anything from a graffiti wall to a canvas to declare how much dirt bag “A” loved brain dead “B”, baring that the the inside of the fort had a house, and lots of surrounding space, a defense and watch tower, that a spectacular view of the beach below, it was a rocky beach, with the water so blue that you could see the see weed and rocks below, and the coconut trees bending over the beach was a feast to the eyes. There were a few other foreign tourists, we waited until they were done taking pictures, When Praveen was about to shoot a picture through one of the posts on the watch tower, an elderly man stepped in, promptly his wife, cautioned him, “No problem, please carry on” said Praveen, “Are those your bikes” asked the lady, “TN, Tamil Nad” she said, we were impressed, that too to hear that from her, “Yes” we said “We are on a road trip, we have been riding from Chennai”, “Oh,Chennai!” she said, “We go there, every year, on our way to Andaman and Nicobar” she said, what she said after that had us awestruck, “Is this your first time here?” Steve asked, no was the reply, they have been coming here for the past 10 years, they stay in Germany for 6 months and spend the winter in India, so 6 there and 6 here.We asked them for places that they’d recommend us to see, most of them we’d already been to, bid adieu and leave for Madagon.
Lunch is here we decided, after fishing for a neat place to eat, we settle in for the one that Praveen spotted, we order grub, the place was A/C which was a relief after all that sun ride, We finish the meal, by then we had decided that we did not have too much time left, so we needed to pick one more spot and that was it, Baga was decided. We begin ride to Baga, through Panaji and to Baga, We park our bikes in a make shift parking lot, a big open area that had been converted to a parking lot to manage the traffic that was bound for Baga, and we could see why!, one more odd thing that we noticed about Goa or at least the places that we visited was that there weren’t too many people on the streets, thats weird we wondered, we step in to Baga at about 4:45 – 5, the beach is flocking with people, we rent a bed on the beach for 50 bucks an hour, we could not spend more time than that there.
Steve and Veda wanted to jet ski, so off they went, our riding gear and stuff was on the bed, and I was lying there, Praveen went out to take pics of Veda and Steve, The beach had pubs, karaoke bars, eat outs, when we went there was a disc that was playing some techno party music, that with the bed and the see breeze was amazing, slowly as night set in, the place started to come to life, lights more people, then I realized.. life out here starts at 6pm and rocks all night long, no wonder there wasn’t anyone around during the day, Praveen was in love with the place, we shoot a couple of pics, and decide to pack up by 6:15, we had about 100kms to ride back to our room at Karwar.
On our ride back we stop at a bridge, Praveen sets up the tripod for a picture of the bikes with the traffic and lights, we then ride out as we reach the outskirts of Goa, there was a check post, there were a couple of cops that were doing their routine “check”, cheap …. …. …. … ( fill in the worst possible abuse you possibly can think of, those cheap … deserve every singe word ) they stop us, the regular crap, “Documents” and you know the drill, but one dumb ass pretends to be the most duty conscious cop the planet and side lines our bikes, We had our docs in tact, and he obviously cant find anything missing, but makes us wait for a solid 45 minutes, and there is another dumb ass, that was drinking on duty, had mixed booze in a thumbs up bottle and was drinking on the road. Praveen, Veda and I get our documents back, but Steve’s docs are still with that guy, I mean if you want the damn money, freakin give us a break and say so, instead these poop heads play us for 45 minutes, then we managed to talk to one guy, and got to the point which said, alrite how much, 800 bucks, he said, and that very duty conscious dumb ass, was the one who accepted the money, literally squeezed it out of us, talk about organized crime, this is as organized as it gets, cursing those guys we finally ride out, we rip out on the highway, sync up near the Karnataka check post and decide to ride as a group, fortunately we weren’t stopped here this time. We rode out to Karwar, the first hotel we spotted was almost closed and had only non-veg, turned it down, rode on, and spotted a hotel in Karwar, finished dinner and crashed.