It was raining fun and blowing gaiety in Goa. Yes, we were on a true escapade to freedom. After the Baga beach experience, we were more than excited and happy to see almost all the beaches around. So after Baga we decided to visit Vagator Beach. Very near the Anjuna Beach, this beach is a little quieter, calmer, sober than other beaches around. My parents were very worried when they heard that I was in Vagator Beach. Apparently this beach is very notorious for the rave parties. Anyway I wasn’t going to get involved in anything of that kind so it wasn’t worrisome. Yet they were really worried and anxious. After a good deal of consoling and convincing them that we wouldn’t indulge in anything like that, we planned how to reach Vagator beach. There were facilities to rent a scooter. This came from anything like Rs.250 a day. If it was a bike we wanted then it would be around Rs. 500. We decided to go for the scooter and did not go for the taxi as we wanted to feel a little independent and free. There is nothing like going around in Goa by a two wheeler. My parents weren’t very appreciative about it but I just had to convince them that I wouldn’t be a careless driver.

As we approached the beach, I realized why my parents were apprehensive. This was a beach where you could find youngsters in plenty. Everywhere around there was some kind of the party or the other being hosted? The relatively calmer Arambol lay south of this noisy beach.

“Do you want to go to a trance party?”  one person near us enquired. Looking like a tout, this man every bit looked like he was ready to sell entire Vagator to us. We refused and proceeded to wards the beach. It was a Wednesday and there was a lot of activity in the beach.

“Oh this is the Wednesday market.” Said Anoop. The last time I had come here with my family and my mothered literally bought the entire place!

Sure enough, it was the Wednesday market which made a lot of noise. This flea market is not as popular as the ones in Anjuna or Arpora but was quiet active and busies enough. We didn’t buy anything and just walked around. We had some fruit juice and sat on the sand lolling in the sun.

As we walked further ahead, we saw some cottages on rent. These were for Rs. 400 for one person and we could rent out the bamboo huts on stilts too. Sounded exciting and we rented the cottage and enjoyed the pleasures of staying in a cottage on the beach. The feeling was thrilling and the experience was exotic.

Lying 9 kms from the distinct of Mapusa, Vagator offered to the tourist the exquisiteness of a tour and the serenity of a paradise. It had the lively nature of a bumbling bee and the active attitude of a caring mother.

“Isn’t this more like a pop beach? “asked Abhishek. All of us nodding in agreement just looked around the scenic beauty and the way the place was sheltered amongst all the trees and bushes around.

“Look at those rocks!” said Naveen. Naveen was very fond of rocks and other such natural structures. as we looked towards where he pointed, we were taken in by the scene that greeted us. The lovely palm trees surrounding the black rocks made it easier for me to capture things on the camera. It was like a perfect picture for me.

We first went to the fresh water spring in this beach. This was already covered by many tourists and it surprised me to realize how people have started giving preference to travel. The fresh water spring was located at the base of the foothill. In the northern part of the beach, I saw that there were many tourists here thronging the place.

“Let’s see the other one.” Said Anoop. Yes, sure enough even we were eager to see the other fresh water spring. The other one was at Ozrant. It was called Zor by the locals.

“I just love this white sand here.” Said Abhishek. That was exactly what I was planning to take back. The purity of the sand here. The white sands here like a paradise lost. With the palm trees towering over the beach and swaying in the wind, my camera captured the green waters of the sea in full flow. When looked through the frame, the entire scene was looking like a picture postcard. I loved the scene and I was falling in love with the surroundings. The lovely blue sky smiled at us as we enjoyed the scenic beauty of the beautiful beach.

Having had our full share of going around we went into the beach waters after keeping all our belongings in the cottage we had hired. As the waves seemed to come lashing at us, we were just violently pushed by the merciless but graceful waves. As each wave neared we got excited and were playing pranks on each other by throwing the water on each other’s faces. The sand below us seemed to disappear and we seemed to go into the earth with each passing wave. We wrote our names on the sand and waited for the waters of the waves to erase them. With a lot of childish frenzy Anoop started making a perfect sand castle. Engineers that we are, we were also focusing on being perfect about our construction! The sun set and the scene with us sitting on the beach waters with the background of the orange ball of energy going down was just perfect to get on frame. Each of us stood as if we were holding the setting sun and we really were behaving like little kids full of laughter and excitement.

From here we went back to the cottage and cleaned ourselves. We had plans of visiting the Chapora Fort next day. The next morning, we could hear the sound of the beach waters lashing against the shore and we woke up to find a beautiful sun rising . As the orange ball rose up in the horizon, there was a light drizzle which added to the feel. We took out our bikes and went riding on the beach shore. After a good one hour’s fun, we packed and left for the Chapora Fort.

“What is the Chapora Fort ?” Anoop asked. Naveen, our eternal encyclopedia, ranted on “ This fort is beside the River Chapora and there was another fort that has been existent even before the Portuguese came to Goa. This fort was the main camp for even the Mughals Emperor Akbar.”

“What are you saying! And by the way how do you know so much?” All of us laughing at the sheer knowledge that Naveen had proceeded in a hired car towards the fort. Naveen went on “ After that in 1717 this fort was built.” Soon we reached the fort and we saw how the high slopes held the majestic fort in sight. The height was obviously an advantage for defense in earlier days maybe. We entered the main gate. The simplicity of the gate was a deceit to detract the enemies. The actual attack was above due to the steep slope up. There were bastions with turrets that were cylindrical in shape. They could hold a cannon and were knowingly scattered carelessly all over the fort.

There were ruins of a preexistent church. “Yes there was one church in memory of St.Anthony here.” Said Naveen. All of us groaned at this knowledge. We saw some goats chewing into bushes in the place where there was a church earlier.

“Look at the lovely way an access has been created from the fort.” Anoop said. As we were looking at it, Naveen said that the Maharaja of Sawantwadi was in charge of the fort for some time.

All of us pummeled him with our bags and he chuckled and ducked .  “And when Goa’s main activity shifted towards Pernem then this fort lost its importance.” He continued in muffled tones from beneath the pile of bags!

We just loved the visit to the fort and actually secretly loved the commentary that Naveen was giving us. With the beach and the coconut palms and the lush green tree expanse on the golden sands, we were really relaxed and felt why normal daily life couldn’t continue in such surroundings. The sight from the fort was breath taking and we were really reluctant to come back from the fort.

With the pristine surroundings slowly becoming a thing of the past and with the mystical touch to our experience an absolute experience, we just tried to drag ourselves out of Vagator beach as we really had to get back to routine. Goa, with its lovely beaches and forts and Vagator with its beautiful ambience had really grown into us and we had a common feeling that we should keep coming back here.

Parting thought : Live Goa, love Vagator.