Workcation in South of Goa
June 3, 2022
First of its kind travelogue, I had thought about doing this for a while especially after being inactive on Instagram and other digital media sometime last year, but also to significantly improve my writing, both in terms of quantity and quality. The format would be rather simple, I’ll write as little as I can in these so it’s better to tag them as photologues rather than travelogues.
Early March 2022, I and a friend of mine, planned a workcation to South Goa. We didn’t plan to go to the north side of the town just because we didn’t plan to party or visit any tourist spots. Given this was a workcation, we wanted to spend as much free time we could get on our hands relaxing.
Short layover at Mumbai while flying from Delhi to Goa. Travelled to Linking Road for some ad-hoc work. It was scorching and not pleasant at all, we rushed back to the airport as soon as we were done with the work.
Reached Goa. Dabolim airport is about 2 hours from South Goa (Canacona). We took a cab and on the way, the gentleman who was driving us made us try this local Goan delicacy called “Ros omellete” on a roadside food stall which he said he frequented often.
It had gotten pretty late by the time we reached the Airbnb. But the next morning, we were able to appreciate the location. It’s a beachside property with quite a few huts built within and hence accessing the beach was as tiresome as walking to the other room, can’t complain. It wasn’t exactly cheap but wasn’t exorbitantly expensive either. It was a quaint little place in between a lot of other shacks on the Canacona beach, very quiet with a small cafe which served mostly english breakfast.
The cafe was super quiet most of the time except for when the French family next doors would come there to have a jolly good time with their children. I’m glad I don’t understand French much and for me it acted as a rather cacophonous yet soothing background score for me to read with. I was able to read much more than usual on the trip, perhaps due to the peaceful surroundings. Mostly, I read Walden and it quite fit the setting.
With the beach so accessible, It ended up being a routine for us to go for a run early in the morning and then exploring the surroundings as a cooldown.
I had planned to work from here for a week and although I thought I’d be able to pull it off, getting a good connection was a struggle. Finally, I settled on attending meetings from the room (phone hotspot) and then working from the cafe on the beach with their provided WiFi so eventually it kinda worked out well. But going forward, I think I’ll have proper internet provisions sorted out before heading for a workcation next time.
Once the workday was complete, it was usually time for a swim. We realized it was the routine you had to follow there when we saw other tenants tossing away their headphones and hopping into the ocean once they were done with their meetings.
The next day was a Saturday and we had planned this to be the full-tourist day for us so we headed out for a breakfast early morning to this nice little Israeli place, Nireas which served the most authentic hummus I’ve ever had.
We then headed towards Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. It was quite secluded and rather empty. Safe to say, we didn’t encounter any wildlife in the hot forest and came back after a short hike. We also met a group of college graduates who inundated us with questions about computer science jobs (they had recently secured jobs and were out to celebrate!).
Post the hike, we went to another famous beach. It was very hot as usual and we just quickly did the customary photography and then a session of Kayaking in the backwaters. Kayaking, here, was more about showing off driving skills in a crowded bazaar, there were just too many folks there.
The day ended with a Goan thali from a nearby family-run place called Rama’s Homecooked Fish Thali. More about Mr. Rama at the end, he was an interesting and light-hearted fellow.
The week ahead mostly was me working throughout the day and finding time to head out for lunch and dinner at mostly the same places I’ve already mentioned before. Being a small and a closely knit community, the Canacona area didn’t had much to offer, but we were content with the offerings and making acquaintance with the few restaurant owners there.
Evenings were much more relaxed. Post the swim, for snacks, we frequented the only tea shop in the area which turned out to be a treasure-trove of a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and ofcourse some good snacks, like banana bread, coffee and pav.
Thursday was going just as usual, morning run, work and work until…
…our adventurous Airbnb host invited us on a fishing trip with her family. We tried a bunch of different locations around the rocky knoll and finally had to be perched up against the almost upright rockside like those mountain goats you see on YouTube. This was probably one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in all my travels.
Friday was our last full day here, we had an early morning flight the next day and given how far the airport was, we had to leave in the middle of the night. Finishing work early, we decided to visit another beach, the Turtle Beach (Galgibaga) and as luck would have it, it wasn’t hatching season and we just saw the eggs carefully fortified with wooden fences along the beach.
It was a great trip. Worked, read, came to know new people and tried all the delectable food. Would definitely do this same trip again sometime. I think the true highlight of this trip were the people I came to know about. There was this one guy from New York who was sweeping tables at the chai shop, there was a group of guys working remotely from the Airbnb for over a month and finally, a young lady who ran an NGO and was teaching students over video call from the shack. Then there was our Airbnb host, running the Airbnb, managing her children and in the midst of it all, not forgetting to enjoy life, the next door grocery shop owner who was gracious enough to suggest us local dishes and helping us with other queries, then Uncle Rama from Rama’s homecooked fish thali, that guy was just happy running this 2-table family-run restaurant in his house’s garden. It’s interesting to know what all people are doing out there, it expands your world-view from the narrow confines of the usual 9-5. 10/10 would do this again.