We were looking for something different to do in sunny Goa, we wanted a break from the thick of tourist action, to live like natives of this lovely state. To slow down, breathe easy and yield to the novel experience of an idyllic rural retreat in South Goa.
So we set about lovingly restoring a small house to the full glory of its Portuguese heritage. Renamed Casa de Mendonca, we created a picture postcard pretty house in Velim. Completely furbished with modern amenities, it exuded warmth and serenity.
A trill of cycle bells heralds the arrival of fresh
baked ‘pav’ and ‘poi’ breads that we dunked in
our morning cup of coffee/ tea.
In the cool air of the morning,we strolled down to the lake and watched lotuses bloom and ducks waddle.
Hopping on our bikes, we rode down to neighbouring Assolna and right on to the ferry. Chugging across the River Sal and in 10 minutes, we were at the peaceful Mobor beach.
We beat the heat with a glass of chilled beer or the heady cashew or coconut ‘feni’ over lots of lime and ice. It’s a seafood gourmand heaven with prawns, lobsters, crabs, calamari and a variety of fish – bekti, mackerel, kingfish and pomfret. And of course, the famed sausages and pork vindaloo. There are plenty of fresh vegetables that are cooked in unique local masalas.
Come evening, we could join in a game of football and worship at the Francis Xavier Church at the village square. Chewed on spicy hot onion and chilli ‘bajjis’ as we mingled with friendly neighbours.
We don’t own it any more but the memory of the house we built and the time we shared there sometimes by ourselves, at others with friends and family are indelible.