Locals of India: A Mini-Series Part 1
Whenever we are on a trip there are innumerable incidents that keep happening. When we write about our travels the minute happenings usually get left out, the people experiences are something we don't talk about more often. In retrospect, however, these minute happenings play an important role in how the overall experience came out to be. So here's presenting a mini-series where we'll bring you anecdotes of the various lovely people we met across the length and breadth of India who, in their own small way contributed towards making our trip so memorable.
Part 1: Folks in Goa and Divar Island
The 'susegad' vibe exuberating from the locals here is infectious. We head to Goa at least once a year, and when we are there, we make sure to meet as many locals as possible and hear some local stories, try some exotic Goan yumminess and join them in relaxing as much as we can!
Neves from Divar Island
Whom we thought of as a strict host, in the beginning, made a great friend by the time we left his generous abode, Moradia Dos Quadros. His hospitality was such that we even increased our stay by a day. Divar Island is an out and out Goan gem and so aloof from the crazy crowd that is witnessed in Goa otherwise. The place has an old-school charm with houses and churches built in the Portuguese style. Neves was super helpful when it came to explaining getting around the petite town, must-do activities, and must-eat places. He has hand-drawn a map and hands it out to guests to further help them. Our evenings were usually spent listening to Neves' stories of how he built up the house, which is a masterpiece in itself, and about the old times. We enjoyed the fully-stocked pantry which was available to guests with an honesty policy. Neves has kept a register in his pantry and whenever we take stuff like say noodles, or biscuits, or nuggets, etc. we just have to mention it in the register under our names. The amount is calculated and added to our bill at the end of our stay, no questions asked. He blindly trusts his visitors and this was such a beautiful gesture. We are looking forward to another stay there, pretty soon.
Sanjay from Palolem
We stayed at Sanjay's BnB, Alba Rooms, one monsoon season. His beautiful home was just a minute's walk away from the Palolem beach. Everything was closed, except for just 2-3 restaurants as it's a low season. We had various plans chalked out one of which was touring the beautiful coastline right up to the last beach of Goa. But he advised against it. The seas were pretty rough and the sand wet, he suggested all the beaches are going to look exactly like that. Instead, he suggested something that wasn't even in our itinerary nor on any blogs. A trip to the Netravali Wildlife sanctuary, which lies on the Goa-Karnataka border. That ride was one of the best bike rides of our life! Driving through fogged roads, cutting through dense forest on both sides, it was scary and at the same time super thrilling. In the end, we were blessed with the crazy views of the mighty Netravali Waterfall. Oh, what a sight! We extended our stay there too and asked Sanjay to direct us to more such local gems. One of which I remember to be this quaint breakfast joint that served us yummy bread-omelette and didn't even charge us, just because we were Sanjay's guests.
Uncle Edwin from Saligao
A lovely host welcoming people with an open heart into his beautiful home, Casa Fredwin, in Saligao. This place is at walking distance from the famous Mai De Deus Church in Saligao and the most budget-friendly accommodation you'll come across in Goa, trust us. Uncle Eric is super jolly, he will mingle with you, join in and sing songs, and make you feel as you are his own. When we had visited, we were a family of 16 and uncle helped us arrange everything right from sightseeing to food and was always there as a friend if we needed anything.
The family at Mae's Kitchen in Calangute
This is actually a house and the family has put out small tables outside where they serve meals, mostly lunch thalis and mainly to local villagers. When we heard about it, we had to go try the place as we love authentic food experiences. And oh, it was a mighty tasty lunch. I still remember the huge, yummy tiger prawns and that hearty seafood meal I had on my birthday afternoon. So so satiated. I went inside the house to thank the house lady, chatted up with their daughter and thanked the host for starting something like this and serving us so beautifully. They were such humble people.
Stay with us as we share more such anecdotes in this 8-part mini-series. You can follow us on our Instagram @bzeetravellovers for more travel content :)