Day 4 - Calangute - Another beautiful Beach !!
Three days already spent in Goa,
Day 1 experiencing the brilliant engineering feat amidst the most picturesque Konkan route ( Click here to view),
Day2 enjoying the north goa beaches Baga (Click here to view), Vagator(Click here to view) and Aguada(Click here to view),
Day 3 a leisurely scooter trip through the capital city - Panaji(Click here to view),
all these resulting in joyful experience.
Interestingly the place where we stayed was not explored at all. Every time a plan was made, it was postponed thinking that we can explore far away places first. But the real gem was quite nearby - The Calangute Beach and we are not left with any other option but to explore this beach town before we set out on the return journey by noon.
Calangute is one of the biggest towns in North Goa. A completely tourist oriented town with a Football ground in its centre signifying the football crazy Goans.
It is a beach destination with one of the most beautiful beaches of Goa. When we were in search of a place to stay at Goa, someone suggested that Calangute will be the apt one due to its proximity to lot of good places around. Hence we had limited our search to Calangute only and based on googling had booked the Sunflower Resort.
The approach road to the Calangute Beach contained lots of way side shops. The hotel sunflower looks to be one among them.
The rooms of this resort are in the first floor. All are neat and well maintained ones, but little bit dark. This property is not a very huge one, but a lodge kind of a thing with basic lodging facilities and very pleasant and helpful staff serving the inmates.
The hotels has a good swimming pool too
A restaurant also is housed inside which seems to be a makeshift one, but very colorful.
The name of this property contains a resort, but I am not quite sure whether it qualifies to be a resort, when we consider the Aquaserene resort(http://subups.blogspot.com/2009/12/aquaserene-as-serene-as-it-can-be-part.html), the Punnamada Backwater resort (http://subups.blogspot.com/2009/09/alleppuzha-day-out-punnamada-resort.html), the Ashtamudi Resort(http://subups.blogspot.com/2010/07/team-day-out-ashtamudi-resort.html) or the Sterling resorts (http://subups.blogspot.com/2009/07/mesmerizing-munnar-dangerously.html) in Kerala.Ofcourse traiff in these resorts are on the higher side. The Rs. 2500 - Rs 4000 Tariff of the Sunflower resort for October to March is not on the low side too. Note that the tariff for December 25 to Jan 2 is pretty much higher than this. The off season tariff is almost half of this.
But Goa has to be enjoyed outdoors and the hotel is needed only for having a good night sleep. If this is the motto, this is a good place. But don't think that this is a beach facing thingy. We have to walk for 10 minutes to reach the beach. Never expect a cool sea breeze or a beautiful view out through your hotel room.
We decided to have an early morning walk to the nearby Calangute beach during Day 4 of our Goan Odyessey. The road leading to the beach contains lots of shops, ranging from crafts, beach wear, jewellery, footwear, hotels, bars etc. But the most unique among them is the one which sells Kashmiri and Tibetan Art, christened Malik Emporium. Most of the items on display there very well jell with a halloween night.
The crafts emporium also presents a beautiful picture especially at night.
Interestingly amidst these array of shops there were some houses too. The Goan houses are strikingly similar to what we find in Kerala. Wonder whether the western side of the western Ghats share a lot of similarity.
The narrow roads open up a little wider as we approach the beach. Right in the middle of the final junction before the beach, stands a proud figure, a statue of Mr. Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa after Goa was returned to India by Portugese in 1963.
Believe me, this statue looks even more elegant at night with the focus lamp litting it up well and the wide open skies in the background.
Exactly behind this statue is the entrance to the hotel Calangute Residency - A goa tourism development corporation venture. What I found is that, this is the only hotel property which has got a sprawling campus and is the real beach facing property.
Had we known this earlier, we would have booked our rooms here as the Tariff (Rs 3000 to Rs 5000) was almost similar to the hotel where we stayed. Online reservation was available too http://bookings.goa-tourism.com//.
From Next time onwards we will book only in GTDC hotels since we love to have a good view from the window side and being a beach destination we would like to have a direct view of the beach enjoying the cool sea breeze right throughout our stay.
Even in other places GTDC hotels are positioned in prime location and any one of them can be booked online, I am not sure about the service quality inside, still it is a safe bet.
Right before the beach there are lots of coffee shops and chaat shops, but this one was standing out because of its unique design.
Wonder how a simple innovation can change the whole game.
After the walk through the heart of Calangute we are near the beach's entrance, which is nothing but a series of steps downwards opening up the wide open beach.
One look at the beach and suddenly we could feel that this one can give Baga Beach, a stiff competition in terms of beauty. The Golden sand and the magananimous space being its USP.
There are lot of beach side eateries too, which provide the tourists with an oppurtunity to dine near the beach side.
Interestingly many new eateries were being constructed, must be in anticipation of the impending new year business. Since this beach had a wide area the beach side eateries were not really eating up on the beach space. In baga some of the eateries were extending to the beach face making it difficult to walk through the beach.
Beach had come to life even at this time of the day. It was only 7 in the morning, but all the rides had begun. The most interesting one was the Banana ride itself. Enjoyed people doing the banana ride from the shore, while the gentle waves were soothingly massaging our feets.
The banana boat was being pulled along by another motor driven boat. All of a sudden the banana boat will be overturned and the riders will fall into the sea, with the lifejacket and the rope tied to the boat helping them to stay afloat near the boat. But the riders sure will get a scare by the fall to the sea.
The colorful banana shaped boat coming back after a ride.
Another good thing about this beach is the 24 x 7 Lifeguard service who has a beautiful dwelling too
The life guards occasionally roams around the beach in there jeeps. How many precious lives would have been saven by these fellows risking there own life.
Of all the beach side restaurant the most premium one seem to the Souza Lobo restaurant.
Last night we had a dinner at this restaurant, which was pretty much crowded, with a live performance of a Goan band playing some interesting music. The food rates are little bit on the higher side when we consider other restaurants of the area, but the ambience sure is pretty good and the sea food surely is mouth watering.
The Goan Odyssey -The story so far...
Part 1. The Konkan Experience - Watch the beautiful pictures of Konkan rail route
Part 2. Baga Beach - A beautiful beach
Part 3. Vagathore Beach and Chapora Fort - A place with diversified ambiance.
Part 4. Anjuna Beach & Fort Aguada
Part 5. Scootering @ Goa: Destination Panjim
Part 6. Calangute
Part 7. The Dolphin Trip