We had heard loads about Goa being at its greenest and prettiest in the rains. This year we decided to take the plunge (literally!) and plan a trip there in the first week of July.
Our hunt for quaint, little-known places to stay, tucked away in the quieter parts of the world, led us to Helene and Derrick’s lovely ancestral Portugese home, now converted into a wonderful homestay called The Secret Garden Goa.We stayed in the gorgeous Malabar room overlooking the lush garden, with a lovely stony path leading right up to the pool, which is cosy yet large enough for an invigorating swim.
Breakfasts, cooked and put together so lovingly by Helene herself, were an absolute treat, with pots of aromatic, home brewed coffee, home baked bread and eggs done whatever style you choose.
Helene & Derrick were the most generous hosts and were always there to guide us and recommend anything and everything we could need, from bike rentals to restaurant and shopping options. Being the off season, only a select number of places were open, but some of the ones they recommended and we tried, were brilliant! We particularly fell in love with this seaside gem called Pousada By The Beach, located on the little and less-known (thank goodness!) belt between the beaches of Baga and Calangute.
- Carry at least double the number of outfits (and underclothes) than the days you are there! And please be under no delusion that you will be able to dry them under the fan and wear them the next day! Nothing is EVER dry in the Goa monsoon, anywhere!
- No-slip but good-grip footwear is a must. Go for floaters or Natives. Flip flops are comfy for when you are lounging about at the hotel/garden but not through the monsoon puddles!
- A lot of even the well-known places are shut for the off season, so do your research beforehand.