Flashback – Kartik’s in Sunny Palolem so far and the adventure begins now. To read his other articles on what to explore in Goa, Click here.
When the sun comes out, you are the best judge to decide, whether you douse yourself in oil and layback on a beach bed, or to explore where the curve of the beach takes you to! I loved the hills in the background, and decided to walk along!
I walked along the curve of the beach, and increased my pace by walking along the wetter part of the beach. It’s a good base for your crocs to make you walk a tad faster.
Never Far away from the constant chatter of the boatmen and their plans to get a load of people to see Dolphins.
Given the heat building up, we mid way decided to walk inside the forest in the shade of the trees. The Blue and Green looked lovely.
It’s tough to not notice the colorful cottages along the beach stretch. While you catch a beer with the folks who run the shacks, they will tell you that it costs them about 100,000 INR to set up 4 shacks. Since Goa has a rule of no permanent structures on the beach, these shacks are built every year in October, and are pulled out and stored in a nearby warehouse in April-before the monsoons. So the shacks that have a median price of 300-1000 normally, peaks upto 2500-4000 closer to the Christmas/New Year season.
When you sleep over, and wake up the next morning, you would realize that mornings make for some nice peaceful walks to explore Palolem, in all the colour and splendour of the Goan boats, when the rest of the beach is yet to wake up!
The Goan shack owners obviously care for their higher revenue segment customers from the west, so they adequately instruct early birds, to not disturb ‘the sleepy people’.
While you wander early in the morning, there are no cafes open to serve breakfast. Once I’ve had my bath, I usually start feeling ravenously hungry, and I realize I have very few options. The best option is to get into town on your 2 wheeler, and get some Misaal Paav’s for breakfast!
Sometimes, when a café is open, you’d have to just set your gaze on the Salt and Pepper bottles on the table, or the sea that’s out of focus in the background, since your Omlette or Tea is being prepared in the Sussegaad Goan way. But one of the special mentions I’d have is for ‘Ma-Rita’ café, whose French Toast and Potato Cheese Soup are brilliant!
When in Palolem, get your hand on a canoe, and check on Kayaking into the sunset. You would be the center of attraction for all the people on the beach trying to zoom into the golden waters.
Do ear marked a couple of islands to visit the next morning early! That little island in the silhouette, by the way is the Canacona or Butterfly island, accessible by foot only during low tides or accessible by a boat. What that means is when the high tides come, your land becomes an island with no way to get to the mainland, until you swim your way against the tide!
If you feel, the sunset is better enjoyed by taking a dip in the waters, do remember to keep an eye out for the life guards who are posted all over Palolem beach.
While the sun’s golden rays make the water having a Midas touch, it doesn’t quite leave the beach huts! The beach huts too are illuminated. If you’ve checked into a resort a mile away from the beach, try to check out and book yourself a beach hut on the beach! That’s when sunsets are best served!
If you are staying on the beach, you’d soon realize that watching the waves weave patterns on the wet sands can be quite an interesting thing to bet on!
An Overcast sunset just reinforces the Portuguese image.
Never too late to send folks back home a digital postcard on where you are in Goa, if you happen stare at this.
There’s a little Jesus statue there, and there is a legend that you ask this Jesus statue around moon rise, about Goa’s infamous moon light rave parties, the statues hand will show the direction of the party. This legend was made up by me a few minutes back to wake you up to the fact that such parties don’t exist anymore, due to the crackdown by media and Goa Tourism authorities.
Moving aside to the other side of the fort, as we climb the steps, this brings us to the dining area.
The dining area is what people come here for, to take a panoramic shot with the sea in the background. It’s one of the most stunning places to be enjoying a meal!
The view across your tables of the Goan Mainland and Kerim Beach!
A closer zoomed in view of Kerim Beach from Tiracol Fort.
Kartik Kannan, continues taking you on his Goa trail, and the next destination in the series as we go further north, is the magnificent fort-hotel by the Arabian Sea- Tiracol Fort.
Once you have boarded at the Tiracol Side of the land, you need to find a way to get to Tiracol fort. There are 2 places that the boat can leave you, depending on whether it’s a public boat or a private boat. The private boat leaves you in a slippery part of the land, from which the fort is about 400 metres by walk, and it costs anywhere between 200-300 for 3 people in a boat. The public ferry is free if you’ve come vehicle-less. My suggestion is to bring your 2 wheeler on the ferry, and drive your way back to the fort. This is the best option to commute, else you can take a private taxi/auto and pay 200 Rs for a round trip. 2 kilometres and 10 minutes later a wonderful fort opens up.
The Orange all over welcomes you, and the slender chairs in black against the Orange walls, subtly lets you know the classiness of the place.
As you walk out of the entrance, you see the kitchen on your right and…
….The rooms on your left. The rooms are curiously named after every day of the week. You can book your rooms if you like the place, through Stayzilla.com.
The Fort has this area for a foyer where guests can meet up. It looks very Portuguese in its architecture.
The ferry is once in 20 minutes, and plies between Keri and Tiracol, and takes passengers for free, and charges for the vehicles that they bring along! Yes, People bring their cars and 2 wheelers in the ferry to get over to the other side!
The old world charm of going in a slow ferry, has to be experienced in Goa. You get similar ferries in the crossing between Ribandar and Divar Island, in Central Goa too.
If you happen to cross over at Sunset, there’s a lovely orange that’s going to merge with the blue of your ferry to make you fall in love with nature’s colors!
You have an upper deck on the ferry too, if you want to photograph sunsets with peace!
Once you cross over to the other side, there’s a small café where you come across a football enthusiast, who runs the shack! A place to catch a quick beer, while waiting for your return ferry!
While waiting, it suddenly dawns that the opposite side looks more scenic!
But, if you have the sun setting on your side of the island, you’d be happy to not notice the 20 minute long wait till the same ferry comes back!
The ocean seems like an endless canvass over which you can paint your fantasies!
If you’d like to see how your food is prepared and engaged in some conversations with the locals, nothing like walking over to the shack’s kitchen, in between a couple of siestas! You may actually end up going there to find out why the beer ordered 20 minutes back has not yet come J. Goa is generally pretty relaxed and chilled, and the waiters are in no hurry to maximize revenue on your table by giving you a fixed time to eat. You can basically finish breakfast by lunch time! No problem!
Going for a dip, every now and then helps you appreciate the chillness of the water in the searing humid Goan heat. The locals inform me that this beach occasionally has a few skinny dippers, when there are not too many people around. As in every other beach in Goa, Top less sun bathing is visible in Kerim too, but it’s been a few years since Keri’s had the nude hippies romp about, ever since the exodus happened from Anjuna to beaches more north.
When its Sussegad time, you just only do Sussegaad!
One of the other things, one can do in quaint Keri is to drive through the forests overlooking the lakes that empty out into the Arabian sea, to catch the Free Ferry across to Tiracol
Kartik explores the northernmost stretch of Goa’s beaches, and brings to you the pleasure and joy of finding Keri, the last Goan beach, before Maharashtra tourism welcomes you!
For all the beaches that I have explored in Goa, I have never come across a flat beach, that is protected by mountains on the left, and has the tallest trees chaperoning the curvy art forms of the waves all day. If you happen to see this sublime sight of the colours of twilight punctuated by art forms in wood above the soil, you’ve made it to Keri.
Keri can be reached down a mountain trek from the sweet water lake beach. If you happen to get lost in the path to take, keep your eyes on dogs that make the daily trek between the beaches in search of food. In exchange for a couple of biscuits, you could have yourself ‘chauffer navigated’ up the mountain. We invested our faith in the dog, and it helped when we reached the other end of paradise.
You could also chose the scenic 12 km ride from Arambol to Kerim, over undulating slopes as the roads curve into the forest, while the trees block radiowaves from mobile towers. You first encounter the Keri Ferry, and as your curve to the left you’d reach the Keri beach, overlooking the Ajooba temple. If you do manage to shake of the scare of a lonely night drive, you would do the bike ride well past midnight on a full moon night, and nothing can quite beat this experience.
If you recently watched the Bollywood flick ‘Go Goa Gone’, this beach features in a couple of places in the movie.
Keep a lookout for the trek to Kerim in the next part.