Beaches in North Goa

Calangute Beach

We stayed at Casa Severina, which is a few minutes walk from the beach. Soon after we checked and settled in, we jumped into our beach wear and hit the beach. Characterized by brown sand and numerous water sports, this beach had a number of shacks that offered snacks and drinks at cheap prices. We were warned that Calangute would normally be highly crowded, but perhaps because April wasn’t really the high-season, we were glad to find the beach almost entirely to us.

After a long romantic walk on the beach we stopped at a beach shack to have a quick bite. We then decided to try riding the water bike, but since we were amateurs, the controls were handled by a guide. The ride didn’t last for more than fifteen minutes and was as fast (and scary) as I had expected it to be. Nevertheless, the thrill of riding over those high waves is something one should not miss in a lifetime. We were told that tourists have spotted dolphins here while on a scooter ride. But we were not so lucky..:(
There were no big ‘restaurants’ per se, in Calangute, that caught our attention but our tummies were quite filled with the fried prawns and pancakes we tried at various beach shacks. At night these shacks were filled with music, dance and drinks, however the parties seemed relatively tame compared to what i have heard about.

On the next day,  we had lunch at Souza Lobo where we tried a few sea-food items - crab fry and an oyster dish along with some rice. I wouldn’t call it the best food I had ever had but it was not bad either- to me, the place didn’t quite live up to its fame.

Baga Beach

We walked our way towards this beach from Calangute. Baga is an extension of Calangute and starts where Calangute ends. We walked all the way to this beach, but it was more crowded than Calangute. There were a few small shops that sold printed dresses, flowery sandals and trinkets. I didn’t find them to be particularly cheap. Nevertheless, I tried my bargaining skills at one of these shops and bought a pair of beach slippers for Rs. 100.
There were more restaurants around this beach- Britto’s being the famous one. We had some eggs and toast there. The service wasnt that great. Maybe because of the low season.

Anjuna Beach

We visited this beach on Day 2. This beach is quiet during the day and is known to come alive only after sunset. I was amazed by the white sands and red laterite rocks found on the beach. We visited the beach during the day and didn’t stay for the late night wild parties Anjuna is famous for. Due to the rocks, people were advised not to swim in the waters.
There was nothing much to do here, so we sat down, relaxed for a while and left in an hour- to visit the Chapora Fort. We visited the place on a Friday, so we missed the flea market that happens every Wednesday.

Fort Chapora

Ever since I watched the scene in the movie 'Dil Chahtha Hai' (DCH), I wanted to visit this place. This fort is situated near the Vagator beach. After visiting Baga and Anjuna, I was in no mood to visit another beach on the same day, so we skipped getting into the vagator beach. Instead we decided to explore this famous fort directly. We drove till the point where the road ended and then began our ascent to the fort on foot - the path was steep and uneven. After a number of stops, mainly to click pictures, we reached the fort site. At the entrance of the fort, there was a cool drinks vendor, who also explained some of the fort's history to us. I was a bit disappointed as the structure was mostly in ruins and was less pretentious than I expected it to be. The massive walls made of red laterite were still intact and some old headstones were scattered hither and thither. However, the ramparts themselves gave a mystical feel to the surrounding and a breathtaking view of the sea. We clicked a few snaps at the 'DCH' point and began our descent down the slippery red soil path.

Sinquerim Beach and Fort Aguada

One could say the beaches in North Goa starts from this beach (if you are starting from the southern tip, that is..:) ), but we had visited this one on the last day of our trip. Surprisingly I found this to be the quietest  beach- of all the ones I visited. The white sands, the palm trees on the side of the beach and the nearby Fort Aguada and its lighthouse made the experience very memorable. We parked our bike at the parking space of the fort's entrance and walked towards the fort. It was built atop a rocky cliff which entended heavily into the coastline. For a structure built in the early 17th century, this fort has passed the test of time with flying colours and is still in very fine condition. The light house was built two centuries later, and was lit with a big oil lamp till electric lamps were installed. We could not enter the light house as it was closed during our visit, so we were left to our imagination on the view from the top of this 4-storeyed tower. On the left side of the fort we enjoyed the panaromic view of the luxurious Vivanta Taj hotel while the right side over looked the beach.

It seems the fort (Aguada meaning water) got its name from a spring inside the fort that provided fresh water for passing ships. That part of the fort is closed to visitors now- I wondered if the spring was still alive now...The fort was in the shape of a square and has a lower fort with angular bastions placed at three corners and an upper fort which has moats and trenches surrounding the three corners. The fourth corner has a gate beyond which are steps descending to a marsh. The walls of the fort were made of solid bricks and there were big window like structures in the walls where two people could fit in- from where one could get a  view of the sea.

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