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Race Against Time: North Goa In 12 Hours

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Travel is a very personal thing. Some people like to take it slow; exploring places on foot and savouring moments while relishing local delicacies. But some others, like us, prefer to zip from one location to the other, strapped for time, taking in only the best sights and trying to be efficient with time. I did a quick runabout of North Goa while I was there on a beautiful red Vespa VX, and this is what I’d recommend if you have just about 12 hours in the beach county.

Churches Galore

At around 8am, I started from the Panjim bus stand and made my way to Old Goa to check out some churches. The Church of Bom Jesus and The Se Cathedral are both massive, but the the relics contained within that interested me more than the architecture. Priestly robes that wouldn’t be out of place in a Versace collection from the 90s and huge paintings and pillars that have winged angels carved into them; all under one roof.

Another must-visit is the Museum of Christian Art, where you can find some more Christian relics and artefacts. It’s great to see some very intricate metalwork and carvings from a completely different age.

Anjuna Love

If you’re not a fan of crowded beaches, you can simply skip Baga and Calangute and head straight to Anjuna, which is a rocky beach. I had lunch at the Purple Martini Cafe, which is on the cliff above the beach, with a striking blue-white color scheme and many friendly puppies. There’s some amazing 360 degree view of the sea from up there, too.

Where: Sunset Point, Anjuna Beach, Anjuna, Goa

Price: INR 1,000 for two {approx.}

Contact: +91 9823772890

Timings: 9am – midnight

Next Stop: Vagator

Not far from Anjuna, Vagator is a beautiful, curved beach with a few rocky outcrops. Chapora fort, near Vagator, is a great viewpoint. Only the outer walls of this fort are still standing and there is a short trek up a steep slope that leads to the fort, and another short walk that leads to the edge of the cliff on which the fort has been built. Chapora is like a frying pan in the midday sun, but it does give you an awesome view!

Arambol Beauty

Goa’s beaches are all in a straight line, and one long road leads to them all. The next one I went to, and the best among them all, was Arambol, about 20 kilometers from Vagator. The reason I like Arambol the best is because it houses some nice art peppered around the landscape, along with the lake. It’s a sweet-water lake nestled in a grove of trees, and you can easily find it if you were to walk along the beach for a bit.

Walk a bit more and you will enter a jungle where you can find a large banyan tree, usually surrounded by people practicing yoga and meditating. It’s also the least crowded of all the beaches in Goa.

Back To Panjim

Thoroughly drained, I made my way back to Panjim, where I had one final stop to make; the Gitanjali Art Gallery, where I found some amazing art and photographs from all kinds of artists. You can also have some stellar food at the Panjim Inn right opposite the gallery.

Riding along the riviera around sunset, watching the casino ships and smaller boats bob in the water as the sky changes hues every second is a treat. Santa Cruz is a small neighborhood that has many colourful {blue, yellow and even mint} and well-built houses in small lanes; a treat for lovers of vintage architecture. Though my heart yearned to keep that red Vespa and ride away to the rest of the beaches in the South, I was out of time and made my way to the bus back home.

So I managed to go to six beaches, one fort and an art gallery in Goa in 12 hours, without feeling rushed. A day well spent, I must say.

Where: Gitanjali Art Gallery, E-212, 31st January Road, Fontainhas, Panaji, Goa

Contact: +91 8322423331

Timings: 9am – 1.30pm, 2pm – 8pm

Check out their website here.

Follow Uday on Instagram here and find him on Facebook here.

This story first appeared on Stranger In Suede. Read the entire post here.