I was so excited to visit Goa, India, after hearing so much about it over the years as being the top vacation destination for young Indians wanting to let their hair down and escape the normal everyday constrictions of life in India; the place of taboo summer romances known to Indians as having a “holiday in Goa”. (There’s even a romantic comedy movie titled Outsourced which captures this saying). It’s also where many European hippies of the 60’s and 70’s retreated to and never returned.
A lot of the crew headed to the Park Hyatt Hotel to lay by its pools and hang out at the connecting beach. While lounging around a 5 star hotel is not my idea of being immersed in local culture, I couldn’t find much of anything else to do. There was Old Goa which is an area with a lot of old churches and buildings – but that didn’t really interest me. There was a wildlife sanctuary but that didn’t seem “Goa” enough for me. So the only thing left was to explore the many beaches – why not hit up the luxury hotel with the rest of the crew and one of Goa’s beaches at the same time?
The hotel was a half an hour cab ride away – much further than I expected – but at least this provided a chance to take in more of the area. And, sorry mom and dad, but today I got off all alone! …but as working on cruise ships go, you’re never too far from another crew member (like it or not!) and as I headed towards the drivers ready to be strong and argue a decent fare, the keyboard player in my band appears beside me and it turns out I didn’t get to be a brave solo woman traveler after all. Dang!
After going with a driver who agreed on a price but then once inside told us we would have to pay double to have air conditioning, we yelled at him and demanded he stop the car. We got out and found another driver who agreed to include air conditioning in our original fare.
We got to and from the Hyatt safely and had a nice, albeit quick, day. We explored the grounds, ate on the beach at a seafood shack along with a few stray dogs, and got a small taste of vacationing luxuriously in Goa. The keyboard player is from the Ukraine, and informed me that Goa is a huge tourist destination for Russians. He proved himself correct when we found our menu to be in both English and Russian – who would have thought?!
Me posing in a silk, breezy dress I bought yesterday in Mangalore. Perfect for a day spent at a luxury resort!
The pools at the Park Hyatt. The beach/ocean is in the far background.
The seafood shack on the beach. Not as elegant as the picture claims…
…as proven in this picture! The dude with curly hair and hip sunglasses was our waiter.
We dined with this gentleman but surprisingly enough he refused to eat the tuna from my hand. I guess he just wanted company.