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Goa Getaway Part 3

We Love Her…

This post is a continuation of the first 2 as the header suggests. Intitially, I was not going to be adding this one & the Goa Getaway Part 2 was going to be the last basis our trip; however, basis the last 3 days spent in Goa this post just had to happen.

Awesomeness!!!

Best Place to Eat in Goa!!!

Rs 5/- Fenny

So post the 4th day in Goa where we decide to extend our vacation super excitment time had happened! Immediately, we went and bought booze food, etc. etc. Also jumped into the pool & vegged there for a good few hours post which, basis a recommendation from our Villa manager, we decide to go to Florentine, a local joint, which according Henry serves the best Chicken Cafreal in Goa! Also, by now, we had a new bike added to our list of Activa & Avenger which was the Yamaha Frazer. So come dinner time, I decided to try my hand at riding the Yamaha. The same had a very differnt feel compared to the Avenger which I am so used to, also the gear system which is totally different – 1 down the rest up. Felt kinda like Valentino Rossi on the same, though was riding at a snail speed trying to get used to the system. Post reaching Florentine, realized this was a classic local joint with cheap food & alcohol, considering their cheapest drink on the menu was at Rs 5/- for the local fenny. Ordered loads of food – Chicken Cafreal, Vindaloo, Egg Curry & Loads of Papads – devoured all of the same, had a few drinks & for about 8 people and loads of food paid only Rs.1400/- which is simply spectacular. Everyone visiting Goa has to try this place – it’s got the best Goan food ever!!!

Next morning, Ekta, Aashay & me who were up early decided to go for a bike ride 🙂 Ekta was riding the Yamaha, I was on the Avenger & Aashay was riding the Activa. We decided to head towards Aguada Jail road and take a detour towards the Helipad, further to that road there is a dead end which has a small lane which allows you to ride your bike towards the edge of a cliff which overlooks the sea and is simply brilliant!!! (Check the Gallery Below for some awesome Pics of the Bike Ride)

Our Awesome Rides!!!

The view from the edge compares to nothing you have ever seen… also the feeling of peace, tranquility & all that jazz is absolutely & totally sensational. Rest of the day was spent sleeping. In the evening we decided to go to a pub on the road to Taj Vivanta called Charcoal & Cheese – had loads of our Goa drink which was invented there (Goa Drink is Rum, Thumbs Up, Loads of Ice & Chat Masala…. totally Ulti Bakka). Post that, we decided to head to the Park hotel which had a ladies night where drinks for ladies were free! Went there, chilled for a bit & decided to come back the next day as the ambiance was super and also we reached at 9:30 pm and the place shuts at 10:00pm for music; some new crap policy by Goa police to shut blaring music by 10:00pm everynight, preposterous I tell you…

The Park Goa!

Charcoal & Cheese!

Next day, which was our last day in Goa, finally, was spent lying in the pool to start the day, heading for a bike ride; further to the same mandatory nap happend after which Rachita, Aashay & I decided to head out and finish some shopping. Enroute we realized suddenly Goa had become extremely packed with tourists and was quite a buzz, post quickly picking up some hairbands & crocs we decided to grab a bite at Britto’s… by then Ekta had also joined us. We entered Britto’s & in the same breathe exited after seeing the crowd which comprised of grannies & little kids (horrifying i tell you absolutely horrifying). Though by now we were hungry, so went to this place called “La Pub” which is on the way to Britto’s, ordered our Goa drink fix, also ordered some superb Sausages Wraped in Bacon &  Non Veg Platter which was brilliant. Post this, it was early evening so we decided to head to the Park for some general chilling. Reached there, saw the brilliant view on the beach, the breeze was spectacular, add to that some fun music & crazy ass drinks :-). Most of the evening was spent dancing with Aashay, Ekta & Vishal. Rachita was also there though she was sitting and enjoying her sheesha. Post a crazy evening & night, went back to the villa & passed out. Next day woke up early and then proceeded to drive back to Bombay. Left at 6am from Goa and was home by 6pm in Bombay… Also a special mention to Moti (our adopted dog in Goa) who was totally suffering from ADHD, though was very lovable and super cute. She spent a good deal of about a week living in the villa with us and following us evreywhere including inside the Park Hotel. Shout to Moti to end this article “we miss you :-)”

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Goa Getaway Part 2

Pure Awesomeness!!!

Our Private Pool!!!

Today’s post is also a continuation of the Goa Getaway post. For all of you who read part one about the roadtrip this one is the conclusive one which is all about our awesome experience in Goa… So post the amazing car journey we reached Goa Saturday afternoon by about 1pm, went directly to the Villa we had rented – the anticipation & the excitement of how the place would be was unnerving. Though post reaching Calangute & figuring directions to Villa Alina we were finally there! The property looked spectacular with a super old world charm. Immediately, made a run to check our personal infinity pool – the same was totally sensational & very inviting; post figuring rooms and getting the luggage out, we decided to dive into the pool and laze there for a few hours. Meanwhile, Aashay & Rachita had gone out to pick up some alcohol. Once the booze was in, things got into a better perspective and life was all sorted 🙂

Love the old school charm!!!

So for all of you coming to Goa, do check out luxury villas which people rent out. They are cheaper and better than your regular hotels; also, if like us, you prefer an old school getaway place to live then this is the place you need to rent. Ok so the way this works is, you rent the Villa, you have hired help who manage the housekeeping, breakfast & are on call if you need something or the other. There is also a fully furnished kitchen which can be used to make meals, breakfast for us was included in the package. Also basic amenities like towels, etc. are provided by the Villa.

Alcohol & More!!!

Day 1 more or less went into exploring the vastness of Villa Alina & lazing in the pool with oodles of beer & other alco which included Smirnoff vodka, a bottle of JD, some Carona’s, etc…  The feeling of owning  your own Villa with a private pool kind of makes you feel like someone from the “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” absolutely unmatched that feeling is.  Day 2 Ekta & Aashay decided to get bikes on rent which is the norm in Goa, so an Avenger & a FZ was rented. We also tried the breakfast offered at the Villa which was your basic: Fruits, Cereals, Juices & Egg Preps. Rest of the day went in the pool wherein random pitchers of JD, Rum, wine, etc were being made & served. Also dinner was a barbecue party where Rachita had cooked some amazing seekh kebabs, chicken, potatoes, paneer & mushrooms.  Too much fun was becoming 🙂

Heaven!!!

Day 3 started off with Rachita, Keisha & me going for breakfast at the iconic Infantaria Cafe – some bacon, goan sausages, mushrooms on toast, croissants, etc. were had with a pint of Millers beer which was on an introductory scheme.  Post that Ekta, Rachita & me decided to go on a roadtrip to explore south Goa, drove through some awesome scenic views of Goa, went past Ponda towards Colva beach road and then towards Colva beach which clearly wasn’t very happening, it kind of reminded me of Juhu beach in Bombay with no real excitement and just the crowd was a major put off. Came back, crashed for a bit and then was back in the pool with the gang.  For dinner went to the Park and had some crazy spicy Vindaloo & Xacutti which was brain blasting!!!

Beautiful Drive to South Goa

POA General Chilling!!!

Day 4 started off with Rachita & me swimming in the pool where we decided on extending our vacation for another 3 days, actually day 4 was going to be our last day, so spoke to the Villa owners, got a good discount and also extended our trip by another 3 days. Most of the day then was spent sleeping & lazing in the pool like a buffalo. For dinner, Rachita had made some awesome coconut chicken curry with rice and kheema with bread accompanied with beers! So the POA for the next 3 days is to rest, drink, eat & generally chill!!!! Mota mote (Long & Short of it) Goa is an absolute must visit at least once a year and if, like us, you have the option of extending your vacation whether in Goa or anywhere you have to do that, the feeling is fabulous, sensational and all that jazz for sure.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Greatest Olympian of All time – Usain Bolt

The Olympics have pretty much dominated our lives over the past 15 days, the highlight of the events being Indian athletes performing better than expected and winning medals, and the other the absolute star of the Olympics – the track and field events. Our favourites are the running events 100m, 200m, 400m, 110m hurdles, 4×100 relay and so on.

The love affair with track and field started in the 80’s. This was when Carl Lewis was at his peak and dominated men’s athletics. Lewis was a dominant sprinter and long jumper who topped the world rankings in the 100m, 200m and long jump events frequently from 1981 to the early 1990s, was named Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News in 1982, 1983, and 1984, and set world records in the 100m, 4Ă—100m and 4Ă—200m relays. His world record in the indoor long jump has stood since 1984 and his 65 consecutive victories in the long jump achieved over a span of 10 years is one of the sport’s longest undefeated streaks. We have been blessed to have watched the man perform at the highest level. Watching Carl Lewis run was like poetry in motion, and the ease he ran with is something athletes find hard to emulate even today. On emulating style I think most runners now adopt the aggressive stance and style of Ben Johnson, he was Lewis’s nemesis and in the 1998 Olympics outran and beat Lewis. You had to watch Johnson in action – he was built like the Incredible Hulk and demolished everything and anything that came in his path, a pity that he was also a steroid freak – this resulted in Lewis being awarded the Olympic gold in ’88.

From there on we kept following the running events on and off; I think the peak was when the world championships would happen. Stars like Donavan Bailey, Justin Gatling, Linford Cristie, Maurice Green, Asafa Powel all took centre stage during the ’90’s into 2000 – these were super athletes, not only did they dominate their sport they also had a charisma which had reporters chasing them off the tracks. These men ran under the 10 second mark and put on a show that few others could. Of course, with the fame came issues of using steroids, bans on events, etc. But this never took away from the excitement of watching them on the idiot box; I remember cheering for Donavan Bailey in a particular meet and when he won our living room exploded with excitement. Of course, we have also followed the likes of Sebastian Coe, Sergei Bubka, Florence Griffin Joyner, Edwin Moses, Michael Johnson, etc., but none of them were as explosive as the sprinters. Speaking off Michael Johnson, he matched the sprinters in their flamboyance and also brought a one off style to athletics, he is the only male athlete in history to win both the 200m dash and 400m dash events at the same Olympics, a feat he accomplished at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Johnson is also the only man to successfully defend his Olympic title in the 400m. Aside from his Olympic success, Johnson accumulated eight gold medals at World Championships, and is thus tied with Carl Lewis for the most gold medals won by any runner in history.

Enough about the past moving onto the present. None of the above mentioned athletes come close to the current Track and Field sensation Usain Bolt. He emerged on the scene in 2008 and has taken the athletic world by storm – his 2008 season began with his first performance – a 100m world record of 9.72 s – and culminated in world and Olympic records in both the 100m and 200m events at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He ran 9.69 s for the 100m and 19.30 s in the 200m, and also set a 4Ă—100m relay record of 37.10 s with the Jamaican team. Bolt’s greatest achievement though, is shattering the World Record in the 100m – the time 9.58. A lot has been written about Bolt and how his casual attitude will eventually get the better of him; this due to the fact that he was miles ahead of the field in the last Olympics and pretty much eased up towards the finish; purists believe he should have put his head down and run all the way, but Bolt chose to enjoy the moment. From then, till now, there have been races he has not won, false started and lost in, he even came 2nd in the Jamican qualifying rounds. Interestingly most critics and haters had written him off basis this year’s Olympics but after watching the race it was very clear there is only one man who can dominate the 100m and his name is Usain Bolt. Bolt had a late start and stayed with the field till about 50m but post that he accelerated. It is impossible for a human being to do what he did and by the end of the last 50m Usain was the winner with the field trailing much like the last Olympics. Next on the horizon the 200m and the relays, I do believe with Powel and Blake at his side, the Jamican team will dominate and it will be an absolute joy to watch one of the greatest sprinters ever to grace the sport…..

Off the track, Usain Bolt is very laid-back and relaxed, like most Jamaicans.  Bolt’s Jamaican track and field idols include Herb McKenley and former Jamaican 100m & 200m world record holder, Don Quarrie. The first sport to interest him was cricket and he said if he was not a sprinter he would be a fast bowler instead. As a child he was a supporter of the Pakistani cricket team and admired the bowling of Waqar Younis. During a charity cricket match, Bolt clean-bowled Chris Gayle. Gayle was complimentary of Bolt’s pace and swing. Bolt also struck a six off Chris Gayle’s bowling. All in all, Usain Bolt is a rockstar he has brought crowds back to the stadium and is 3 races shy of achieving God status in Track and Field Heaven.

Here are the crazy times set by these athletes across the years –

1. Usain Bolt – 9.69, Beijing 2008.

2. Donovan Bailey – 9.84, Atlanta 1996.

3. Ben Johnson – 9.79, Seoul 1988.

4. Justin Gatlin – 9.85, Athens 2004.

5. Maurice Greene – 9.87

6. Linford Christie – 9.96, Barcelona 1992.

7. Carl Lewis – 9.99, Los Angeles 1984.

8. Allan Wells – 10.25, Moscow 1980.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Categories

 

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Olympics Fixation

So the fixation with Sports for Mihir & me started courtesy Dad – my Dad loves all kinds of sports and has been watching them since decades. That interest definitely spilled over onto both of his kids :-). Sports – beyond Cricket & Football – like Basketball, Baseball, etc. were watched in the Shah household regularly. Enough of basking in the glory of watching all kinds of sport, coming back to the Olympics…

In 1982 there were the Asiad Games & for the same our family bought our first Color TV – the same was huge thing. Excitment all around considering the same was a 32″ Sony Telivision. At that time, India had only 1 channel the govenment run Doordarshan. The first Olympics we watched was the 1984 LA Olympics. The opening Ceremony, Lighting of the Torch, etc. were activities which were just unbelievable at that time. Also saw multiple different kinds of sports like – Volley Ball, Swimming, Diving, Steaple Chase, Athletics, to name a few. Over the years, till cable TV hit India, Doordarshan carried the Olympics; Cable TV, ESPN, etc. hit India during the early 90’s. The same changed India’s perspective on sports only from a viewership perspective.

Over the years, we saw some great feats in the Olympics and some great Atheletes right from Carl Lewis & his achievments in athletics, Sergie Bubka – the greatest Pole Vaulter of his time, Florence & Griffth Joyner – the sprint queens, Gail Deevers, Greg Lueganiss in diving,  Michael Johnson & his dominance in the 200m & 400m races, 1992 USA Dream Team in Basketball, Tennis Legends – Jenifer Capriati & Andre Aggasi, Michael Phelps probably the greatest Swimmer ever the list is endless. Through all through this there have been a few favorite sports: Athletics, Diving & Gymnastics. (Next Week we will have an article on the legendary Sprinters of our Generation).

This Years Olympics in UK have also been awesome and also the way we have started to see the same in terms of perspective has changed. Initially, it was about Winning & Losing, also about favourites and atheletes you didn’t favor. Now its more about the sport per say and the acheivments, also athletes and how they are able to push themselves which at some level just seems unreal. It’s like they are from a different planet :-). Details of this year’s medal winners is splattered across the web and we clearly didn’t want to cover the same, just wanted to share our experiance of the Olympics as probably the greatest Sporting Spectacle of All Time!!! Also Google changes its Google Doodle everyday with the theme of the Olympics… This is an event you dont want to miss.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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