Traveling in India during monsoons

I have a love-hate relationship with Mumbai’s weather. Every summer I hate it to the core, going into hybernation and refusing to step out of my room. Every monsoon I fall in love with it again, ogling at every green patch I can find, planning trips to the city’s outskirts. Traveling through the Konkan belt during monsoon is bliss and I make it a point to be out there soaking in the weather, even if it’s just for a weekend.

Last weekend I was in Wai, a small town in Maharashtra’s Satara district located on the Krishna river. It’s surrounded by the gorgeous Sahyadris with the clouds floating low, kissing the hills. The site is healing to the eyes and soul with all shades of green vying for your attention. I spent my day walking down to the river, letting my feet soak in its chilled water and inhaling the freshness of my surroundings.

Wai in the Satara district of Maharashtra

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Sourdough in the land of poi

“We must learn to let go as easily as we embrace or we will find our hands are full but our hearts are empty.” – Leo Buscaglia

In a beautiful old Portuguese house by the river in Goa, there stayed a lovely couple who not just opened their house to strangers but also their hearts.

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Non-touristy Things to do in Panjim and Old Goa

“Humen saal mein kam se kam do baar Goa zaroor ana chahiye”, remember Sameer’s dialogue from Dil Chahta Hai? It resonates the feelings of almost every Mumbaiite and I am trying to make it my life’s motto, for now, to visit Goa at least once a year if not twice. This time around, since I was staying at Bay 15 in Dona Paula (there’s another post on it, check it out here), I went exploring Panjim and loved what I saw. Here’re some recommendations if you’re looking at some non-beachy and non-touristy things to do in Goa.

See and Do:

Sit on the steps of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church
This church was built in 1541 as a chapel by the Portuguese and was later converted into a church. The all-white church looks like a giant wedding cake from a distance. Once you’re done lighting candles, sit on the steps and observe the local life and people passing by.

Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception, Panjim

Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception, Panjim

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A Weekend at Bay 15 in Dona Paula, Goa

“The temperature outside is 32 degree Celsius”, the cabin crew announced as my flight landed in Goa. That’s hot, that’s really hot! But then, there’s no wrong weather to head to Goa for a relaxed weekend. So here I was, on my second Goa trip of the year (boy! can I get enough of this place?).


Lovely Private Cabanas, Bay 15 Goa

In around 45 mins – after a lovely drive – I was at Bay 15, a beautiful property on Odxel beach in Dona Paula. Odxel is a small, secluded, partially rocky beach in north Goa. I was thoroughly impressed with the location, view and the rooms. It’s a small property with beach-side cabanas, a small and clean pool and windows that open to the view of the sea.

The Cabanas:
All the cabanas are of the same size and design with both pool and sea view (latter more expensive, of-course). The interiors are modern with framed pictures of Jim Morrison, Audrey Hepburn and Merlyn Munroe hanging from the wall. The air-conditioned room has a refrigerator stacked with beer, cold drinks, juices and chocolates; tea kettle with tea bags, coffee and sugar; chips and snacks; television with Tata Sky connection; a wardrobe; study table and French window with a small balcony where I spent most of my time looking at the sea and enjoying my beer. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Bay 15, Goa

Last weekend I spent a leisurely time in Goa at the lovely Bay 15 (I’ve written a detailed post about the property here).

A considerable amount of time was spent eating; our dinner on Friday night lasted for three and a half hour, which explains a lot. The restaurant has three menus – Goan, pan Indian and Mediterranean. Or, you can opt for a six-course tasting menu.

Bay 15’s al fresco restaurant is spread across the lawn with a spectacular view of Arabian sea and Mormurgao port in the evening. On our first evening, Chef Mir Hafizur Raheman had prepared a degustation menu which started with Watermelon and Feta Bite with Minty Melon Shooter – refreshing but lacking the seasonal sweet taste of watermelon.

Watermelon and Feta Bite with Minty Melon Shooter

Watermelon and Feta Bite with Minty Melon Shooter, Bay 15 Goa

The second course – Crab, Mango and Avocado Salad – impressed us tremendously. Fresh crab paste was sandwiched between layers of chopped avocado and ripe mango which added a nice sweet-sour touch to the dish. The flavours were in complete tandem with each other and the plates were wiped clean. Continue reading