Coming from Mumbai we took the sleeperbus for 765 Rupees p.p. to Panjim. We got picked up around 10 pm at Bisleri pickup point in Mumbai (the mint green water bottle factory). The first part of this 560 km journey is a curvy road, so be prepared with some motion sickness pills and brace yourself. Maybe it is best to book the lower beds! We arrived at Panjim Bus stand around 10.30 am. From here we traveled the last 15 km with the local bus to Calangute for 25 Rupees p.p. and arrived at 11 am in Calangute.
First stop in Goa was Calangute. This is the largest beach in North Goa and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Goa. We stayed at Ocean Palms Goa which is about a 5 minute walk away from the beach. The hotel has spacious rooms, a nice swimming pool and a pretty good breakfast buffet which both serves Indian and Western food.
** You can find them on booking.com
We spent 2 days at Calangute and one of them was spent at the pool. We absorbed the sun, cooled down in the pool, warmed up again, and all of this times 10. A really relaxing day. The second day we rented a motorbike (300 Rupees) and drove to Old Goa to see The Basilica of BOM Jesus, one of the most holy churches. We drove to Panjim to see the Our Lady church of the Immaculate Conception and made our way to Fort Aguada, an import stop for the Portugese boats to refill their fresh water back in the days.
In the afternoon we drove to some beaches around North Goa, one of these is Vagator Beach. This beach is a little more laid back and quiet compared to Calangute beach which is filled with rows of sunbeds, sales people and lots of English tourists.
For some nice Western food, Over the Flames is a good choice (at the mainstreet). The atmosphere is nice, the staff is friendly and they serve good food. Our favorite when it comes to eating out in Calangute, was Down the Street. This restaurant is situated on the road to the beach and they serve great Indian food. It’s really delicious, they have lots of choice and again the staff is really friendly. Next to that, the portions are quite big while their prices are small.
We took a local bus around 10 am from Calangute to Pandjim central bus stand (12 km.) for 20 Rupees p.p which took around 45 minutes. There we got on the next bus to Margoa, (40 Rupees p.p.) where we changed busses to Agonda (also 40 Rupees p.p). We passed the road to Agonda and the bus finally stopped at Canacoda bus stand. Here we changed busses for the last time (another 20 Rupees p.p.) and finally arrived in Agonda around 2 pm.
We called this place heaven on earth. It is such a big difference with Calangute. The vibe at Fusion is so relaxed, it’s nice and peaceful and the people are really relaxed. We stayed at Fusion and we loved it! It’s one of those places where people arrive, and never want to leave. The bungalows are simple but have all you need. The bed is comfortable, it has a good mosquito net that doesn’t touch you when lying in bed (believe us, nothing more annoying than a mosquito net that does that) and the fan gives you al the refreshment you need at night. The outside shower is cold but that’s fine after those hot Indian days and we just love outside showers. The bungalow has a small balcony with great chairs to just sit down and relax. The owners are helpful, extremely friendly and we felt kind of said when we had to leave their wonderful place. Wish we could have stayed longer.
The restaurant that is placed right in the middle of the bungalows is a nice place to just sit down, enjoy the great wifi, have a drink, enjoy the food, listen to some music and have a talk to all the friendly people hanging around. The food is great, the staff is always smiling and they have some live music every now and then. It’s a great place to meet other people.
Another great feature about this place, is that you are right next to the beach. It’s only a few steps and you will find yourself on one of Goa’s finest beaches. It’s not crowded, there are no annoying people trying to sell you stuff, the dogs are friendly, the sunsets are amazing. Really, there is nothing we did not love about this place! And if you go here, this is the place to do some souvenir shopping.
Michiel turned 35 while we were in Agonda, and that had to be celebrated. We had reservations at Agonda White Sand and had a great night. Marije let them know it was Michiels birthday and they did ‘some’ extra effort for us. They decorated the table with flowers, put up some balloons and had a special surprise.. But we started by ordering food. It’s been a while since we’ve seen steak on the menu so there were no difficulties with deciding on what to eat. When we sat down, and ordered our food, we found out that they arranged a special traditional dance for us. A group of about 8 women danced for us (and the other guests) while the men where making music and did the singing. Great entertainment. In the meanwhile we enjoyed the excellent food, had some drinks, even had dessert and got treated with chocolate pie and birthday singing. We shared the pie with the other guests and the staff and walked back to our bungalow with big smiles on our faces. Great way to celebrate a birthday!