Some holidays are truly maddening like the one when we decided to drive down to Pune from Goa but ended up flying!
It was one of those weeks when the mind says ‘stop and enjoy’. So staying in South Goa, the world was all sunshine and sea and walking barefoot in the sands. Each day was like a treasure. Goa has been a favourite Indian destination, for as long as one can recall.
So for each day, there was a different plan. While I was not a water sports person, the sunset and the walk on the sands were like little jewels of this holiday. The first day, we went to the Mangeshi Temple. As the little place is better known for its churches, I was surprised to see a famous temple dedicated to Shiva. It is here I realized that the great singer Lata Mangeshkar comes from a Mangeshi family too.
The pitter patter of the rain continued and we moved to the capital Panaji. With the slight drizzle, we walked through the markets, exploring the bakeries, the shops for tees and some snacks. It was customary to visit the church in the centre, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. This is where numerous movies have been shot, so pictures in our camera, we had biscuits and coffee at a local bakery shop.
The feet were tired but the heart wasn’t and we walked around the promenade, listening to the loud music coming from the boats about to sail around the mouth of the Mandawa. This is customary for all tourists—some garish dance and music atop these boats!
And then we decided that we should drive down to Pune. It was a nine to 10 hour journey. And it would be fun to see the places we had not been to—Kolhapur and Belgaum. But as the idea became a strong decision, it was time to head back to the hotel and do some research.
While driving through seemed like a grand idea, there was still work to be done. So we wanted more days in Pune as the idea was to drive around the Western Ghats. And of course see the famed Shaniwar Wada, considering it had shot to grand fame after being featured in Bajirao Mastani. But it was the lush green ghats that called out to our souls. The idea of a foggy day, clouds hanging low and us camping in the mountains, it was going to be another dream holiday. But keeping practical matters in mind, we did drop the idea of a drive. We would waste a full day and it was simply easier to fly down. And we needed to book a pocket-friendly hotel as well.
We were getting good deals for flights from Goa to Pune, but we also had to come back so we also kept a lookout for Pune to Goa flights. And searching for a package deal with flights and hotel bookings, it was a steal. Voila, just a trip to the Basilica of Bom Jesus was a must before flying to the ghats. And a good three days before we flew back from Pune to Goa!