It's not always that a really close friend of yours asks you to accompany him on the shoot of his new travel show. Well, that's how Goa happened.
I woke up to the song of the birds, to the music of the waves and the smell of fresh humid air.
Goa is known for the luxurious nightlife, party at Titos, beer on Baga, and all those cliche things. But I wanted to explore a different Goa.
As I set on this journey, the first place I had visited was the Shri Dharamnath Jain Shwetambar Mandir located on the Tenjin-Nathua highway. The temple is situated in a peaceful location, with only the locals thronging in huge numbers. The white marble around, in contrast to the colors on the beach, was a striking feature. One would leave this place full of calm and gratitude.
Further north, is Assagao, a tiny village where you can savor the flavors of old and real Goa. The luscious greenery on either side of the car ride was a treat to watch. On reaching Assagao, I picked up a cycle and rode along the narrow pathways. The burgeoning cashew groves, the variety of birds with their distinct chirps, and the breeze of the Arabian Sea were just beautiful. Minutes later, it started raining. Talk about the off-season madness 🙄
We reached The Project Cafe, an old Portuguese villa turned into a hotel cum cafe. The hot Tom Yum soup had the perfect portion of sour that made it a perfect starter. Rice Noodles with Prawns was top notch. The freshness of the prawn is what gave the dish it's extra taste. The meal ended with Bailey's Chocolate Chips alcoholic ice cream.
The cafe not only had amazing food but had a rich 130-year old heritage. Stories of the Portuguese, their culture and the transformation of the villa accompanied by Chamomile tea reminded me of the good old times with my grandmother. I left the place with a heavy heart.
Sunsets and beaches go hand in hand, just like Butter Chicken and Naan. But there is something more magical about sunsets on Anjuna Beach. With that magic, I end my first day in this lovely place.