LEAVE // 03.03.2018 | 16:10 PM IST| HYDERABAD, INDIA
ARRIVE // 03.03.2018 | 17:30 PM IST | GOA, INDIA
TRANSPORTATION // AIR ASIA
ACCOMMODATIONS // CASA SEVERINA HOTEL
Where does one start?
Arrived in Goa and my pre-booked cab driver was waiting as expected. After he ran over a dog on the 1-hour journey to the hotel, the trip was off to a great start.
Woke early Sunday, knowing I only had a day to fully see the city and wanting to make the most of the time I had available. Then after debatinig if I should rent a motor bike or not, I decided to catch a cab and start my way to Aguada Fort. Bartering at the street and settling on a price of 400 for a single fare up to the fort and back, we set off. Now keep in mind, I mentioned "single" fare. As this is where events turn slightly sour. The driver pulled over 2/3 of the way to the fort and demanded another 400 + 800 to take me the rest of the way to the fort plus return as thats where he felt a single fare should end (Everything in Goa is priced at 2 people or more. My hotel was for occupancy of two, my cab from airport was for two, and so on. Nothing in Goa was for single, party of one). After a lot of loud "discussion" with the driver I had a choice. Either I paid 1200 to go less than 1/2 mile the remaining way and hopefully guarantee a return ride, only 400 and no return ride, or I was being forced out. I got out. Not realizing that I would have no cell service, no homes or businesses nearby, and no other cabs in the area picking up since by this point everyone either had a cab or ride up to the fort. Leaving me one, regretting I didn't rent a bike, two, now deciding to walk 2 miles back to town or .5 mile up a hill to the fort in hopes to catch a cab back down. The one thing I did not regret though was getting out of the cab. Since I was so close, I decided to go up to the fort and tempt my luck.
The walk up was long, tough, and with full sun in a very humid area, I quickly ran out of water by the time I reached the top. Walking through the fort, sitting for an hour in the shade, then deciding to try for a ride back down, I went back to the parking lot and go cab by cab, asking if they could at least take me to the bottom of the hill. Each, of course, waiting for their booked fares to return declined my request. I was left with no other option, I started to walk.
Buying a water before departing, I started to talk to myself as I walked down the hill. No, not to any voices! Only telling myself how stupid this was and I'll be lucky to make it back to town. You know, only the best type of mental encouragement that one should have in a situation like this. Doubt. The sun was in full at that moment. I had no communication with anyone. I was screwed.
I didn't make it too far before a group of bikes went by and one stopped in middle of the road, blocking traffic, and asked if I needed a ride. Okay, normally this would be "stranger danger" and I should have declined, but I jumped on. I was in fight/flight mode. If anything, I could jump and roll from a bike. At least I was no longer going to be cooked by the sun any longer. Riding along, the guy introduced himself and mentioned he and his friends were visiting on a college break from Bangalore. He definitely sensed my hesitation on answering questions, but was quite curious how I ended up in the business of walking back from Aguada Fort.
Stopping along the way, his friends caught up and each introduced themselves. They were indeed a group of young college students finishing their masters in law and visiting Goa on break. I agreed to go to lunch where they continued to discuss how I found myself walking. I couldn't have been more lucky to have them pick me up vs someone else. I was truly thankful.
Dropping me back at my hotel and parting ways, I wasn't going to let the day be ruined and was planning to head to the beach. Waking up a couple hours later, not realizing I had even dozed off, the day was gone. The only beach within walking wasn't the nicest, but at least I saw sand. Heading out again, this time in the evening for food, walking along the road from hotel to main street, a passing bike came by and I felt a sudden jolt to my side as I found myself being forced into the brick wall next to me. I was just kicked. The guy on the bike looked back, smiling, as his friend, who was driving, sped on. Goa, at this moment, was definitely now in my top amazing places to visit.
I spoke with the hotel that night, asking about a cab to the airport the next day. Unless I wanted to try my luck back at the main street (which went really well earlier) the only other option was to book through an online service. They gave me the same website as I booked for my arrival. Everything was confirmed, pre-paid, I was set to leave Goa as quickly as I could the next day.
The cab was due to pickup at 14:00, which would get me to the airport nearly 2 hours prior to my flight deparature. Plenty of time, if the cab showed up. 2pm passed and no cab. Calling the company, it turns out they outsourced my cab pickup to another company. Telling me I would have to call this other company, Talixo, and figure out the details. The number provided was not even an India number, instead Belgium or something. I called back and again, they could not help me. Kept calling, hung up on. Finally reaching out to a friend in Hyderabad for help. Talking me through it, himself calling the company and getting the run around, I finally calmed down enough (from extreme frustration and anger) to think it all through. I now only had 45 minutes to spare to go 1 1/2 hours to the airport before they would not let me board. I went to the front desk and begged for a ride, agreeing (after they listened to my conversation with the cab company), paying another 1100, one of their service guys pulled a car around. This was going to be close.
With the request of "drive fast", he got me to the airport in 55 minutes, later than they would typically allow for check-in, but I think the ticket agent could see it was not an option to decline me. I was getting on this flight! Now only having 1/2 hour to get through security and to the gate, and knowing AirAsia boards way early, departing early, fortunetly it was now slightly delayed. Instead of leaving at 4:55, I was now looking at 5:30. Enough time to sit, relax, headphones, and forget about this weekend all together. I was going back to Hyderabad.
LEAVE // 03.05.2018 | 17:35 PM IST| GOA, INDIA
ARRIVE // 03.05.2018 | 19:10 PM IST | HYDERABAD, INDIA
TRANSPORTATION // AIR ASIA
ACCOMMODATIONS // AVASA HOTEL
[Now, there are a few things I did not list above. As a single female visiting Goa, there was also the constant whistling, cat calls, following, and the list continues. This is not a town to visit alone, at least in my case. I will not count Goa out from future visits. There is a lot to see there, but next time I will ensure I am accompanied and will not go alone]