2020 was a very hectic year for me and my husband. Almost all the weekends were blocked for pending work to be completed which we cannot handle during weekdays. We desperately needed a break, but busy schedules even during the year-end did not allow us to make any big travel plans. But we were determined to take a break even though a small one.
What we require during our vacation:
- White sand beaches
- Lazing around during the day time
- Party hopping during night
You must have guessed by now where we are heading towards…none other than “Goa”, and so begin Goa trip packing…Sunscreen, Glares, Beachwear…
All checked, and we started our journey on 20th Dec 2020, early morning. We started at 4:00 am in the morning to avoid traffic on the road and reach Goa by 12:00 pm. Whether you are in it for the journey or the destination, traveling the Pune to Goa distance promises the best of both worlds. We took the following Route: Pune – Satara – Kolhapur – Amboli – Ashwem via NH48
We took a halt at Sai International hotel for breakfast, we reached there by 7:30 am The place is bang on NH48 (Pune – Goa) around 40km after Karad. The food choices are unlimited, but all snacks are made after order. Everything you get is fresh and hot. It also has very neat and clean toilets for men and women. After having scrumptious breakfast, we started our journey by 8:00 am. We wanted to go Bhalekar’s at Sawantwadi for Lunch, but Google Map was saying we would be reaching our resort by 12:30 pm, we weren’t so hungry so decided to skip Bhalekar’s and reach the resort.
We solely depending on Google Map for our route to our resort, we ditched main roads and took the road through Goan villages and let me tell you they were equally mesmerizing as Amboli Ghat. We zipped through paddy fields and colorful villages fringed with palm trees past whitewashed Portuguese churches.
As Google map predicted we reached La Cabana Beach resort by 12.15 pm. Located on Goa’s widest stretch of Ashvem beach, this impressive property is nestled on 3 acres, offering Sparkling ocean view and pristine white sand beach. True to its name La Cabana- is a collection of luxurious tents, villas and wooden houses close to the sea… the resort was intimate, secluded, and most importantly, beautiful setting right on the beach.
To our surprise we found Punjabi song shooting going on and it was fun to watch foreigners twisting their waists on Punjabi song.
We were a bit tired and hungry, the first thing we did was to get freshen up and hit the resort shack for lunch. We ordered Prawns Goan curry, rice, and seafood platter and off course beer to set the Goa mood. Food was lip-smacking and sea view was eye-pleasing. After a good lunch, we went to our tent and took a good nap of 2 hrs and the next thing we know we were lazying on Ashwem beach watching mesmerizing sunset.
The long, pristine stretch of sand that is Ashwem beach is tucked away from the crowds and is an ideal place for tourists who want a quiet vacation soaking up the sun, sand, and surf. The seas around Ashwem beach are perfect for swimming in. Ashwem Beach is known for its beauty and solitude and is not a hub of activity like other, more frequented beaches like Calangute and Baga. Although there are no water sports and other adventure activities available here, if you’re looking for a peaceful day at the beach, surrounded by scenic beauty then Ashwem is the place for you.
Since it was Friday evening we decided to go to Baga, the moment we reached there the scene was completely opposite to Ashwem beach, Baga beach shacks were full of crowds and loud party songs, by the time we reached there it was 9 pm, we partied there till 2 pm and return to our hotel.
Day 2: We woke up to a lazy morning and after a heavy breakfast we went to the beach and enjoyed the Arabian sea to the fullest. Sea waves refreshed us and all our tiredness from last night’s party was gone. For lunch, we tried Bora Bora restaurant at Morjim beach. The Ambiance and atmosphere were relaxing and soothing with trance music. The food menu was mostly Russian with very few Indian dishes. We ordered Butter chicken and rice. It was less spicy, tangy but delicious. Since we reached peak afternoon time, we couldn’t survive the heat and moved out of the place soon.
After last night party we wanted a quiet place to hang around for our last evening in Goa. And we selected La Plage for our evening. This French restaurant on the beach is an unforgettable experience. The range of dishes crafted by experienced French chefs offers a memorable gastronomic journey. The setting is truly wonderful, an eclectic art collection fills the space alongside unusual light fittings and a deep well full of catfish. Truly romantic experience with candlelit dinner and all.
Day 3: we had to checkout by 12:00 pm, for our Lunch stop we visited Bhalekar’s at Sawantwadi. If you are a foodie and crave for authentic Malvani/ Konkani food, this is the place. Bhalekar does not have any ambiance at all, it’s a shack but the food is first-class. It’s right on the Amboli road so it can be a good pitstop for awesome food fuels before hitting the Amboli Ghat. Highly recommended for foodies and their friends and family.
We decided to do a break journey, so we took our halt at Kolhapur for the night. We stayed at the Hotel Chaitali, a very decent budget hotel. For the craze of Pandhra and Tambda rassa we decided to try Hotel Dehati. This is one of the best joints to have Kolhapuri thali. Their tambda and phandara rassa are just lip-smacking. A must-try place for mutton lovers. Although the waiting time is a bit annoying
Day 4 We ended day 3 early as we had to start early the next morning, and before leaving for Pune we had to Visit the Famous Mahalakshmi Temple in Kolhapur. At 6:30 am the temple was crowded with people and we had to be in line for a good 30 mins. But nonetheless, we had a peaceful darshan of the divinity. Looking at Diety felt so peaceful and blessed. I felt as if I am all charged up for the Year 2021.
Post darshan we had our breakfast and started our return journey to Pune by 8:00 am. As it was a weekday, we didn’t find much traffic on the road and we reached Pune by 11.30 pm thus ending our much-needed vacation.