wow what an amazing adventure today . decided to go on a solid mission on the bike and leave goa [only for the day] and travel north to the next state , maharashtra . i found a beach online that looked stunning , and hoped when i got there it would be . i wasnt dissapointed !
the beach is called a few different names , im gong to call it redi lagoon . but youll find the nearest beach marked is called aravali , or aaravali on google maps . it might also be known as shiroda beach , shiroda being the nearest town . ive also seen it nicknamed paradise beach for obvious reasons .
WIDESCREEN PANORAMIC PICTURE
this is the finest , whitest , softest sand , and the clearest bluest waters out of any beaches in goa , and ive done a good few from querim in the far north of goa , to polem in the in the far south of goa . it beats agonda in terms of white sand blue sea .
i opted to enter from the southern end near the old redi fort . im glad cos it had the most impact . you could also just go in thru the town of shiroda , but it comes out in the middle of the bay i later sort of figured out , whereas if you go in from south end like I did you get whole robinson crusoe thing . youll get more out of it if you head for redi fort rather than shiroda town , it will be worth it !
this is what youll walk out to
to get there , what a mission . your looking at 1.5 hours minimum non stop from anjuna if you used the highway . instead i used the local roads tho thru the villages and with all the little things you see on the way and stops you make for photos youll find it takes a bit longer , maybe 2-2.5 hours . my route took me from anjuna thru siolim , over the chapora river , right at fish market junction [morjim/arambol junction] noting the whopper of a banyan tree on this junction , and thru pernem and the neighbouring villages heading north east direction towards the next bridge . you have to join the nh17 highway for only 2 miles or so over a mountain , then branch off westbound towards the coast again on the local roads . by only using the nh17 for 2 miles meant i didnt need a helmet [tho technically you are running a chance of ‘huge’100r fine if you get caught blatantly rule breaking this section of the national highway lol] . it is possible with a little planning to even avoid this bit and in reality is probably worth it . cops dont bother you at the various checkpoints on local roads re helmets in goa or Maharashtra state , just carry your licence . i carry my IDP with picture [£5.50 from post offices in uk] . you dont need a helmet if you do not join the main national highway nh17 . this is the route i took .
to take my route there was made simple thru sat nav . but you might need to use the main highway to make it easier for you , or take a small portable sat nav like my pocket loox n100 [4.5hrs battery/2.7″ sceeen/igo programme on windows] , or a bigger unit if in a car , a smartphone , or be a bloody good map reader !
ive taken this route as far as chapora bridge and morjim/ashvem junction and nearby arambol turn off lot of times now , but it was all new after that for me . this is the chapora .
some of the villages have such simple life , there is absolutely zero traffic locally . you see more livestock than traffic at times ! once you cross the border you really are on your own . no street signs are in english anymore . no advertising signs or shops are in english . few people spoke any english whatsoever . even askng for a bottle of water made me struggle for 3 or 4 minutes at a shop ! signs which where once NH17 , now become MSH4 [presume maharashtra state highway] etc .
i made a few stops on the way but my main goal today was just to get there really cos i wasnt sure how long it would really take , and on the way back time allowing id stop at a few more things i noticed on route and take some pics . you see all sorts of temples and random ancient stuff on the way
along with some of the biggest banyan trees ive ever seen like at ‘fish market junction’ .
about 20 minutes from the beach tho i did stop for a good 15 minutes to watch the cricket and have a drink .
amongst rice fields and farm lands i stumbled upon a game being played near aronda [i think]. it was quite serious .
there where about 300 people watching around noon . it had a stand with seats to shelter in the sun , a lot of people watched from under trees.
a commentator ran constantly thru a tannoy speaker . even tho it seemed quite serious guys where just in normal clothes not kit , and you see the usual real madrid and big eu football club tops etc . the weirdest thing was they where using a green tennis ball not a cricket ball . so while it looked a big match , it kinda wasnt ?? i was confused ! I saw a nice catch ,
then a few mins later i saw one guy run full pelt to catch the batsman , then throw the ball 80ft back to the wicket keeper who took the second bats man out too . nice fielding ! after a few samosas and some juice i ventured on with everyone watching me not the cricket ! along the way at one point it had a lake marked on the map with the road thru it, i think it was near ajagon . however it had been drained and converted to a massive rice field . some of these rice plantations are simply huge , as far as the eye can see ‘rice rice baby’ .
quite lots of temples and interesting things you pass , some like this
along with the the usual solid stone things .
signs say thanks for visiting but dont tell you where you have been . everything is in hieroglyphics !!
one place north of pernem had an old [looked disused] gvt industrial training facility .
there where a few good pictures of mashed up cars and buses to be had .
one place on route had a street with several saw mills on it all in a cluster – the smell of the freshly cut wood stacked vertically on the roadside was delicious .
infact the whole journey was a series of smells … food, fish, wood, engine fumes , plants , insense, cow crap, spices, fires, rotting rubbish , decomposing dead dog on the side of the road and i near puked from the hum ,… it had it all .
in some of these off the grid remote villages when most people see you their reactions are priceless . if they are young they are so happy and start shouting stuff in some lingo, gangs of kids pointing and literally jumping with excitement at times chasing you . older people just look open mouthed . people lean out of car windows and busses just wanting you to wave back , pointing , taking pictures , the lot . every single person stares at the least . its like they cant believe some random person is in their village . its only a couple of hours – but it is worlds apart from package holiday central goa and everyone is so friendly .
you seem to be constantly crossing bridges over river inlets from the sea .
terekhol has just got a massive new bridge to save going right round the end of river or using a ferry . i saw it 2 or 3 days ago when visiting querim i didnt realise where exactly it was or where it went, but looking at the map it all makes sense now . its been tarmaced and must be a week from opening for traffic at the most and if you read this it probably is now , i think it was just missing a central line , it really was as close to opening as that . when this opens its really going to be a game changer for this area . access to here will suddenly really open up for people of northern goa it will take an hour off the journey from ashvem/morjim etc . you can bet your bottom dollar this will become a trip place for people . even tho this end is a lot closer to morjim etc , it takes longer to get there going right round the main road . its quicker to shiroda part – but all this will now change with terekhol bridge , now the redi fort will become closer . . thank god ive seen it now ! im not sure the locals even realise here how this area will suddenly start seeing people more and more tourists , so the smart ones will get some tourist stuff sorted and cash in . the worst affected will be ther ferrymen whos living has just vanished with the opening of the bridge . back to fishing for them ?! maybe ask a cabbie or someone if the new terekhol bridge is open and go that way if speed is of the essence , or if adventuring take this route as it was fun ! see my map picture with red insert box showing teerkhol and how it appears on maps with current ferry crossing opint , this is where new bridge is about to open .
other brdges had been or where being resurfaced on the way too too . its good to see solid development like this .
the roads where spot on all the way and goog to drive , but nearing my destination the back roads around here where truly awful . for about 3 miles road after road was like driving accross banyan tree roots ! it was bits of tarmac and lumps of concrete patches and it hadnt been smoothed out , totally rutted , infact ive never seen a road laid so badly anywhere in the world i dont think . romans laid better roads that this im sure , infact if you drove over old stone cobbles that is what it felt like ! eventually i arrived at the junction a few hundred metres from the beach that id marked in sat nav . i had to ask here as my mapped roads stopped , a guy pointed down a dusty trail and he obviously knew what i was there for . white face , goa plates on the bike , looking lost , all that … he had me sussed out for sure 😉
not far along there was a broken concrete flag stone lying propped up on the side of the road where someone had crudely written “redi fort” with a chalky stone , it was barely visible even close up . talk about low key !
i drove down and there where 2 taxi and 6 bikes at the end of the red dusty path . tourists for sure . parked up , walked to the beach , and it hits you . speachless …. killer beach/lagoon !!! .
WIDESCREEN PANORAMIC PICTURE
WIDESCREEN PANORAMIC PICTURE
WIDESCREEN PANORAMIC PICTURE
it kind of reminded me of a place in mexico’s baha peninsula i put on trip advisor, balandra bay near la paz . redi lagoon is similar , worth a trip for a day or two , or longer . there where about 15 people milling about , hardly anyone . it felt pretty deserted . i cannot imagine how much historical stuff must be up here to see in the nearby villages and the experiences you would have . its well worth it just for a killer beach alone . people on goa forums generally tend to talk about going south to agonda and palolem on beach trips etc , and the north doesnt get much of a look in . ok its not technically goa so thats part of it , but its not that far to take a trip to . the main beach is a huge sweeping bay about 5 miles long , but at the south end a river inlet creates an extremely shallow peninsula , almost and island . the water quality is like tap water , so clear . ive not seen water in goa like this .
so i walked along for a bit towards the fort area , just stunning . you cant see the fort its so well hidden but its massive too
youll see one or two little boats on the end of the lagoon
and looking left youll see the end of the massive bay , with a bit of a rocky headland breaking up the far end of beach
its real desert island type stuff
from the beach you can swim or a bloke will take a rowing boat out to the sandbank / peninsula bit . he asks for 100 per boat , but i laughed and negotiated that one . eventually told him people from liverpool usually pay 50 , and indians probably pay 20 . I gave him 50 , but he didnt want my 50 so i offered him 10 instead , he was in stitches laughing . eventually he took the 50 , and i gave him the 10 too ! what a character , great guy …. no teeth but a great attitude !
you could wade/swim it and i saw reasonable swimmers doing it easily , but the current can be strong as the river bottlenecks into a small channel creating a strong current so be careful here , the water flows out to see deceptively fast in one narrrow channel part .
i had a camera and sat nav so took the boat rather than swim ….. so we set sail … lol !
on reaching the sandbank i realised it wasn’t an ‘island’ , but an extension of shiroda main beach .
further along i could see only about 20 people along the nearby long bay . it was 50 -50 mix of eu and indian i saw . it was 26th jan republic day , a holiday in india , so there where probably indians here cos of this .
the beach is untouched , unspoilt virgin beach. theres no tourism stuff on the beach . 3 bamboo pole day beds where here at the lagoon , but nobody renting or charging they just stood there . nothing else …. no sellers , no shacks , nothing at all .
way down in the main bay in the tree lines theres a guest house called dolphin resort , and i could see signs there where a handfull of odd people down there . such clear water !
the shoreline to the sea had just a few odd bottles and sea weed washed in from other places but only right on the end bit ,
apart from that it was clean white virgin sand unspoilt by tourism – very special .
on the sandbank the sand was so fine as you walked it compressed few inches underfoot and you got ‘squeeky sand’, not as squeeky as one in kata in phuket , but it squeeked in parts like it was fine dust or talc . i havent found a beach in goa with sand like this , maybe arambol or sweet lake possibly was close . like all the beaches on the west cost there was a constant light breeze coming in off the arabian sea , but the air seemed hotter here . i dont know if it was cos the bay was so shallow , if it was maybe the shape of the bay , or just the days weather , but the air was actually red hot coming inland, not cooling in any way . and again like the lagoon the sea was perfectly clear
id been there an hour when all of a sudden out of nowhere a kid on a bike comes along and offers ice creams! 20r lolly ice , could it get any better right now . the sea was hot too , the hottest so far probably cos it was so shallow . most water in goa is clear but appears murky where the tide churns it near the shoreline , but on this beach the water was clear as tap water and the tide was so calm . after a couple of hours i boarded the rowing boat with my mate “the skipper” [lol] , and we set sail for the epic return journey [took about 90 seconds haha] .
it aint over yet tho … redi fort is hidden in the jungle on the shoreline right here , barely visable unless right up close literally 10 foot from it then you start to see a few bricks . it looked tiny and i went into the fort gates thinking it wont be like chapora ,
but once inside it was like doctor whos tardis , it just went on and on , how is all this hidden behind the trees ,it seems impossible .
crumbling old walls and turrets
at times vast 150ft drops into moats
down overgrown stairs ,
over bridges , under bridges ,
and buildings ,
following well trodden red dust tiny paths .
at one point going thru big 3 story building you can see the old windows and where floors previously where
it opens bang onto beach and has great views in some points . this end of india is a nation of abandoned forts ! makes me wonder why when the country has so much history its letting it all naturally decay so badly . all the walls are crumbling , trees grow out of every opening . some great images can be taken in these places . there are no signs , its not exactly geared to tourists . again i found it by chance when exploring maps . if i hadnt i would never know it was there it was so well hidden . i saw some people walk the beach , get towards the redi part , then turn back thinking that was it and there was no lagoon or fort or anything there . i felt like shouting them to come see 😉 i guess they came from middle of ‘shiroda’ beach , and its definitely worth doing it from the fort end first as if you like shallow white sand beaches and clear blue water youll be speachless .
sadly time wasnt on my side i had other things planned so couldnt spend more than 45 mins in the fort , and boy was it hot in there with no air . I wished i had seen more tho . i hopped onto my bike , several miles further north is a similar looking bay on map . i headed up there [over yet another river] and found the headland but there was no access to this bay from here I could find , maybe its cliff faces ? i found a quarry rd , various points id marked on sat nav but no way in unless walking a bit up a trek. one day perhaps next time . so i headed towards shiroda beach , this part was called velagar or aaravali . it had a few huts down there , all domestic looking . i pulled into “dolphin bay resort” and “rahi resort” which are next to each other and cut thru to beach .
there where about 100 or so Indian people there with it being a national holiday i guess it had visitors today .
it was a long wide sweeping beach , with clean and fine sand . the tide marks on this beach where weird , they went the opposite way ?? how possible ?
time was tight and i didnt stay , i was a long way from home and it was 4pm . it wasnt a journey i want to do in the dark ! on the way home i saw a few boar running along the road right infront of me not a care in the world , cute little black things just running wild and they nearly became bacon . and 2 cats having a fight flew from out of the trees and accross the street screaming at each other rolling in one ball of chaos , such a commotion and barely recognisable as cats . so lucky it was not a busier place . dogs goats kittens cows chickens cats boar … i had a full set of animals on the road to negotiate back . on the route home all the villages had little things happening for republic day holiday . it was a series of smells sounds and sights all the way home – amazing things . i stopped in quite a few places to see temples , ceremonies , parties etc .
one place i stopped at i heard all this racket of a large machine as i walked round some buildings . i started the video and looked thru the window and this old thing was ponding out a mix . i asked the guy what it was bashing , apparently it was massala mix .
then he took me into the shrine round the back of some houses which was a great little place full of such character .
the outside of the building had been crudely cemented and it looked more like a cave entrance .
a mixture of old crumbling building with flaking paint paint and a pristine god to worship .
they where also building a whole new place next to it , you know the type … amazing bamboo scaffolding you see accross asia . always looks fascinating .
you went thru the front door
and bells ,
shiny floor and flaky ceiling
and the main god in his temple
outside was the village hall where they where wiring up the sound system for the republic day party
i said thanks to ‘my mate’ [right] , whos other two buddies where now on the scene , and headed back to my bike passing the local temple on the way
further on towards home there was a massive pink church
outside a guy washed his JCB with a bucket and filld it from a hose on the opposite side of the road . dont know why he didnt take the jcb to the hose , or hose to the jcb . welcome to goa !
opposite the church behind a few houses and shacks was the banyan of all banyan trees !
and music played near the tree which seemed to really create a moment
got to the chapora river bridge and all the stars alligned – WIDESCREEN PANORAMIC PICTURE
with a power low warning light on the sat nav , petrol low , and sun just setting as i crossed the chapora river 10 mins from home – talk about perfect timing .
infact everything was just perfect today . it was some moment on the chapora bridge this – amongst cars and bikes you had the full moon on one side rising ,
and the perfect full sunset dropping on the right side. you just couldnt plan that all coming together like that at that moment topped off with the full moon . I felt priveliged just to be here .
got cleaned up , grabbed some food and headed to cirrus club later on.
it was a toss up of this and ingos night market so i chose here as i couldnt be bothered biking any more today . saturday night it was supposed to be busy after the markets but it was dead . the owner was asleep on wooden slatted beds in the club .
the music was at volume level minus 1 . the decks had no dj’s on [that is a painting on wall !] ,
a bar with no barman ,
and violin music playing outside . ive partied and dj’d in a lot of clubs all over the world but its the first time ever ive had to negotiate 3 punchbags as you enter a ‘club’. that could be really intimidating in somewhere other than goa .
instead it was just messy . plus inside it had a washing machine next to the bar on the dancefloor … a strange concept of entertainment . it was in all honesty like a student house party circa 1990 .
what an absolute let down and waste of time coming here . i stayed for half an hour , grabbed a beer , watched other 2 couples arrive [and leave immediately] . it is in a residential neighbourhood , a half house half club kind of rave thing , with house music and promises of underground partying … it talked the talk but didnt walk the walk . its the third time ive been here right up for partying and the every time it was totally empty like this . and its hard to find it near vagator petrol station in chapora . apparently you can stay in their tree huts too . sure . i left the owner to his club/sleeping etc and split . shouldve gone to saturday night market !