Of Fontainhas & Fado Music: Walk Through Local Goa With These Guys
Make It Happen curates travel experiences through walks and trips aimed at capturing the local culture of the place. In Goa, we tried their heritage walk through Fontainhas (Latin Quarters) and were convinced that the kind of stories and interactions they offer are priceless and truly Goan.
What Makes It Awesome
The company has a vast range of experiences both for Goa and other Indian states. Of course, in Goa, the usual Fontainhas, Old Goa and Divar Island are covered but you can also sign up for the less common Kushavati river Heritage Tour to the one that takes you to Mapusa market to pick local ingredients and cook a Goan meal in a guesthouse. The prices of these trips start at INR 700 and can go up to INR 2,500 for longer tours that come with more elaborate meals and entertainment.
Talking about our tryst with Make It Happen, we met Ann, a 50-something school teacher who doubles up as a guide. She met us at the Post Office in Panjim and started with a quick refresher course in Portuguese history. She then walked us past local landmarks in Fontainhas and Sao Tome. What made this walking tour super fun was Ann's anecdotes from her childhood and her friendly banter with the neighbours as she walked us past their traditional houses, that in her words are ‘being well taken care of’. She even pointed out chapels and spots where Remo Fernandes would sing.
Through the course of the walk, she kept pointing us to walkways leading up to Altinho hill, a quaint bakery whose cakes she vouches for (Confeitaria 31st January) and to local architectural elements. While we walked through Panjim Inn mainly to admire their colonial furniture, a visit to a local artist’s (Antonio Xavier Trindade) gallery was peppered with stories from his life in Goa. The final destination was a 150-year-old local house where the owner, Chico Fonseca, also a Latin and Fado music player, entertained us in his living room. Needless to say, he had his guitar and some wine was shared with everyone. Now how does it get more endearing than this? Please tell us.
Saints, carnivals, village homes, siesta, bibinka… The two hours of seeing Goa through Ann's eyes felt like a breeze. On the way back, she was kind enough to direct us to a cheap bar and fish thali restaurant. What more could we have asked for? Apart from asking them to take us on their next sketch crawl, maybe?
They also take people to meet and live with local tribes and indigenous communities across Gujarat, Ladakh and more. They’ve even got special stays planned around big festivals to the Himalyas or around Goa. And for more upcoming trips, their website’s always updated.