I find myself penning this post rather unexpectedly. I’m staying at a 500-year-old Portuguese house, restored by a charming Goan family, in a sleepy little village called Aldona, in the hinterlands of Goa. This will be my home till the end of September. I’ve spent the last few days strolling along pristine backwaters, little hamlets stuck in time, lush green rice paddies, and streets adorned with abandoned Portuguese houses and old churches. Wake me up when September ends.
Last week, when I flew into Goa on an invite from Goa Tourism, I was slightly apprehensive. I’ve always associated Goa with the beaches and crowds, and I do everything I can to avoid the latter. But Goa Tourism promised to help me find Goa’s best kept secrets, and I couldn’t resist.
I landed in Goa on a cloudy afternoon and drove past the misty coastline, into the lush green terrain of North Goa. Deep in the interiors, I wound my way into a typical Goan village called Pomburpa, where Roy’s Stone House was my introduction to life in Goa. Roy had played music with the hippies in the 60s, and Fatima had spent part of her life in Mozambique (Portuguese Africa); fascinating would be an understatement to describe their stories. In the evening, we strolled through the village, exchanging
gossip small talk with the neighbors, watching the ‘bread man’ deliver fresh bread to every house on his bicycle!
Exploring Goa on my two-wheeler, I chanced upon Aldona, a village straight out of a postcard, and immediately fell in love with its laid back life. I’ve later discovered that this is also where Amitav Ghosh spends a few months every year, penning his beautiful words, and now I know where he finds his inspiration. I’m hoping to find some for myself.
This will be my first tryst with slow travel, and I hope to unearth Goa’s best kept secrets. Come with me?