Just another day, while scrolling through my facebook feed, I came across Ross‘ photo/post of him riding after ages.
Which made me realize that we had not cycled for years. Something like more than 15 years back, when we were on the better side of our teens. To give you some context, when we were in school (we might have been 13 – 15) a bunch of us from Mapusa (where I grew up) used to go cycling early morning. Our route used be mainly be from Mapusa to Calangute, via Parra or Saligao, making our way back via Baga and Parra. On some ambitious days we would cycle back via Assagaon, and once even cycled back via Siolim. But that was because we were lost.
Time had come to relive these days, so I made a post of my own trying to get some of the guys to cycle once again. Unfortunately, some were not in Goa, while others were working early morning or late into the night, and a few just did not own cycles anymore. Which meant, it was just Ross and me.
Now, I live in Old Goa and there was no way I was going to ride from there to Parra. The cycle got stuffed into the tiny Maruti Alto and I drove to Parra. While on the route form Guirim to Parra, I had to stop the car for this crazy little fellow. A tiny owl who just would not budge. I drove right up to him, but still didn’t bother to move. I had to back up to make sure I did not run over him. After a few seconds, he turned his head all the way back and gave me the death stare and continued sitting there! I waited for a few more seconds and finally decided to get out of the car and shoo him off!
Once the owl was off my path, I was home (Parra) in a few minutes. Then off to Mapusa I rode, to meet Ross (who stays in Moira). Luckily no dogs bothered to chase me down and I managed to get to Parra without any incident. We had decided to meet at the Mapusa taxi stand.
After a few minutes, the man was there. In a hoodie, looking very shady. We decided to take the same old route. Mapusa to Calangute, via Saligao and back via Baga, Arpora and Parra.
Our Route. A good 23+ kilometers. Note: For some reason Google Maps is not displaying the exact route.
We cycled through the Parra – Saligao road. The runway of a road, which would take you a minute or less to get through in a car, took us quite a while on cycles.
We finally made it to Calangute and did what everyone would do &mdash head to the Calangute beach. Surprisingly there were quite a few tourists at the beach on this early morning. We had a cup of chao each, pitied the mess that Calangute now is, and then headed off to our next destination — Baga beach.
Baga was in a sorry state too. The side across the Baga creek has gone full commercial now. What used to be a hang out spot for the locals wanting to avoid the crazy bhingta crowd while enjoying the breeze and sound of the waves, has now turned into a bhingta haven. RIP Baga creek. We hung around there for a bit and then finally decided to ride back via Arpora, taking the road behind the Arpora school, along the foot of the Parra hill.
We cut through the fields and saw a ton of peacocks and peahens. We managed to count around 18 of them, but I bet there were more. We even spotted a kingfisher, a couple of pond herons and few tiny birds that we could not identify.
A few hundred meters past this was home and I bid farewell to Ross, who had to cycle another 7 kilometers or more to reach his home in Moira. Which means he must have cycled around 30 kilometers today!