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Published: March 18th 2006
It's so much better by car!!
We haven’t been to Tiracol since our very first trip to Goa in January 1999. Back then we hired an Enfield Bullet and took to the dusty roads in search of somewhere off the beaten track where few tourists ventured. Our guide for the day was Inas, a local guy who worked in the Log Cabin Pub in Calangute. We met him on our first day in Goa and still keep in touch now; he lives in Abu Dhabi and only comes home to Goa every two years.
Today’s trip was a little different; instead of the noisy, uncomfortable bullet we decided that the car would be the best option. We threw the bags in the back and off we went.
Back in ’99 the journey had taken two and a half hours but things have changed in Goa so with the help of the new bridge and the bypass the journey took only one hour fifteen minutes.
As you drive north out of Calangute and Baga the countryside begins to open up, there’s less traffic, less noise and a lot less tourists! When you arrive at Morjim you really feel like you’ve stepped back in time. You spot the occasional
ox-cart and the women still work the fields while the men sit around playing carom and drinking fenny. It’s almost cashew season here now so the smell of the cashew apples ripening in the sun is pungent. We headed towards Kerim, a beautiful village that nestles between the river and the sea. There’s a small fishing community here living in shanty villages on the waters edge. The Ferry stops at Kerim jetty every 30 mins to take you across the river to Tiracol where the old fort and its catholic church stand on the headland. The Ferry is just as we remembered; the cars and bikes packed on like sardines, the local bread man taking the trip home after his morning round and the clanging and clonking sound coming from the engine house. It’s only a 5 min journey and costs 10 rupees for a four wheeler - two legs are free!!!
The fort is still as lovely as ever, the views from the old ramparts are spectacular but it’s HOT!!!, Barry got himself a lovely set of red shoulders complete with matching nose and forehead. As well as being hot it’s also quiet and tranquil which is probably why
Fishermen - Kerim, Goa
"Hey guys, stop posing for the camera we've got fish to catch"
somebody has turned the place into a boutique hotel (with boutique prices). The rooms are gorgeous, very minimalist, beautifully done and the views are breathtaking but £105 per night is a bit steep, especially when you consider that day trippers (like us) are free to roam around and poke their heads onto your “private” terrace.
Anyway, back to the ferry and off to the beach, Kerim!!! The beach was almost deserted, lovely and peaceful, no hawkers, fine white sand and warm clear sea.....what more do you need? We spent a couple of hours lazing about had a couple of curry’s and a few drinks all for £5 then headed home via the coast road through Arambol, Ashvem and Mandrem.
It was a lovely day out, we’re hoping to do it again before we leave if we can fit it in, next time we’ll hire a little speed boat and go up river.
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