Some places do not need any introduction to the world. GOA is one of those places. Travelling to Goa can never be cliché in one’s entire life. In my belief, Goa may be the smallest state in India but the largest at heart. From the evergreen nature of GOA to the selfless smile in your cab pilot’s face everything, everyone is welcoming you. I should tell you that this article is not a tour guide, this blog is the best-tried manifestation of our marvellous experience of travelling to this spectacular place. I may wonder if you aren’t planning for your next trip to GOA at the end of this blog.
We were planning for GOA since we met but could not arrange ample time and opportunity to explore the place. Explore may be the wrong word to use here because we could not get the chance to wander the whole state but wherever we went, we cherished the place, the ambiance. I shall tell our story in 3 parts.
We reached Madgaon station from Kolkata by Amaravathi Express(18047) on the afternoon of 26.12.2019 just after Christmas. Madgaon is a medium-sized station, Colava is the nearest sea beach. But that for a later time now we had to run for Vagator Beach, North Goa. Actually, we were going to Ozran, the Small Vagator beach to attend the annual SUNBURN FESTIVAL 2019, the largest EDM festival in Asia. But this blog is not about Sunburn.
Madgaon to Ozran
We booked a cab from Goa Miles. GoaMiles is an initiative of the Goa Tourism department, it’s like Ola & Uber in Goa, just better. We hopped on the cab and started our journey towards Vista Mare, Ozran which was our hotel at Ozran. From Madgaon Rail station to our hotel, a total of about 55km distance through NH 66.
The road goes across cities and villages of Goa and one could cherish the beautiful views of GOA on this road trip. We were discussing that we should have looked for hoodless Jeeps. Because in that way one could enjoy more of the road views which in Goa is so refreshing, especially when it’s December. The first thing we noticed on this trip that the buttery smooth Highway whether it was in a village or town or just a recluse place. And the Afternoon views of the Zuari River and Mandovi river were just eyes soothing. Countless churches, temples, and small Goan villages are waiting to welcome you with their natural charm.
We felt so peaceful, our brains were humming,
“Pick it up, pick it all up / And start again / You’ve got a second chance
You could go home / Escape it all / It’s just irrelevant
It’s just medicine
It’s just medicine….
You could still be / What you want to / What you said you were
When I met you / When you met me …”
– Medicine by Daughter
This road trip was around 2hours but didn’t know where the time flew.
Ozran/little Vagator :
We had arrived at Vista Mare, Ozran around 7 o’clock in the evening. Though many hotels and houses on Airbnb are in Ozran, pre-booking was done by us in July 2019 thinking of the heavy rush of New Year. The reception checked us in with a warm smile and asked regarding the delay as our train was late by 2(two) hours. It’s time to get freshen up and go out for dinner and explore. Because if we wasted time in a hotel room, that’d be our loss.
Ozran at night:
Ozran is a small locality and part of Vagator, that’s why it is called the little Vagator also. But we preferred Ozran more. Ozran is less crowded than other popular North Goa Beaches and that is the reason it is so personal and tranquil. But that doesn’t mean Ozran doesn’t know how to party. From the trees to the lanes, from hotels to every house were in the festive mood and lighten their places. Not only Ozran, but the whole Goa state is also full of greenery. There are clubs like Antares, Loco Loco, Titlie which were playing beats in rhythm and sending colourful light beams to the sky using searchlights. There are options to have dinners at both roadside momo & Maggi shops and restaurants of various cuisine. We had our dinner at Fusion, a continental restaurant with great pizzas. Again Fusion amazed us with its ambience like it was an eatery in the lap of nature. Conclusion, Ozran is surreal at the night. No one here to interrupt. Our hotel also decorated itself with lights and made a tiny model of Bethlehem, so beautiful.
Ozran sea beach /day time:
The next day we started in the morning and had Maggi as breakfast from a local eating place. Then the shop owner showed us the road to the seabeach. We followed and
What a picturesque sea beach with its own charisma. Every beach of Goa is unique in their way whether it is demographically or geographically. Ozran is a rocky sea beach, the sea is slamming over the rocks and breaks in pieces, literally. The lather of water is everywhere of the rock.
The sea is surrounded by spread rocks, not like hills but flat rocks and then there is a sandy beach where you can lay down on the beach chairs under umbrellas provided by various beach shacks and enjoy the view in between bathing sessions. Some of the shacks charge for the chairs additionally and the rest provide them free for tourists. One suggestion, Ozran beach is situated at a lower height from the town and steep steps are there to reach the sea beach, so be careful.
One exclusive attraction of Ozran beach is “The Shiva Face” on the sea beach. It is a sculpture of Hindu GOD Lord Mahadev’s face on a rock on the sea beach. This is made by Italian sculptor Jungle Caroli who is also a great devotee. It is like the sea itself bathes Lord Shiva again and again, a real pleasure for eyes.
It’s my opinion that, if you are in GOA you must have lunch in beach shacks. Have dinner anywhere but for lunch and afternoon snacks, Shack is the destination. Almost every sea beach in Goa has lots of shacks, Ozran is also not an exception. But the shacks do not interrupt the tourist’s tranquillity.
We didn’t find any bad shack, every one of them was good in their way, Some have great delicacies, some have great hospitality. But no one is rude there. We have visited two sacks at Ozran for lunch as afternoons were booked for Sunburn 2019 festival. “Nehal Beach Shack & Restaurant” and “Fishtail Bar & Restaurant” are two sacks that satisfied the appetites of our stomach and mind.
Nehal Beach Shack & Restaurant is a simple shack with the most humble management I’ve ever seen. The dine-in is on the top of a hillock and the view was awesome. This joint has a widespread of armchairs on the sea beach and it didn’t charge extra to take rest on them. They had simple Goan cuisines which were fresh and delicious.
“Fishtail Bar & Restaurant” is said to be the best beach shack in Ozran and literally this shack is worthy of that praise. The seafood sizzler they offered here was just grand in taste. Fishtail has both under roof and umbrella seating. For authentic seafood, this shack is recommended in Ozran.
Soon I shall write detailed reviews of the eateries in Ozran.
Sunburn Festival 2019:
We went to the little Vagator for the Sunburn festival and we fell in love with Ozran. Sunburn Festival is one of the largest music festivals and the biggest EDM( Electronic Dance Music) festival in Asia. Many of the top DJs and Music Producers performed in this festival. DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Armin Van Burren, Nucleya, Alan Walker, DVLM, KSHMR, Don Diablo, and many more have played in this festival. In 2019 we had the very talented Flume, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Maceo Plex and Lost Frequencies among the various headliners. Indian renowned artists like Ritviz, DJ Shaan, Anish Sood also performed. So we were eagerly waiting for the time to come. This year it was on the 27th,28th, and 29th of December. Every day the festival started at 3 pm and went on up to 10 pm. Our experience with the festival was more than expected.
Journey Begins for Palolem:
So we spent four nights and three days at little Vagator. We spent an excellent time at Vista Mare and we were very lucky to get this inn. It’s a decent hotel with all amenities at the center of Ozran, nearer to both Sea beach and Festival ground. Now it’s time to move. Our next stoppage is Palolem, my old love. So stay connected for the next blog, that will be posted shortly. Comment below if you like this travel blog.
“Been trying so hard not to let it show
But you got me feeling like
I’m steppin’ on buildings, cars and boats
I swear I could touch the sky
Oh oh oh
I’m ten feet tall
Oh oh oh
I’m ten feet tall”
Read the part-2 of this travelogue here: NEW YEAR AND PALOLEM
Check our other blogs here .