Beating the heat in North Goa

Image of a green classic car in Goa

It’s Sunday morning in Assagao and I can’t wait to head down the street to a little place called “Villa Blanche” and its famed brunch. I had signed up the day before to reserve our seats. Despite the 96 degree heat (and 99 percent humidity), Villa Blanche seems cool and comfortable with only a few small fans.

A young man quickly comes for our drink order. Eric has the Ayurvedic Cooler and I have the fresh Ginger Lemonade. We then steal away to the buffet.

The proprietor of Villa Blanche tells us she is going back to Germany next week, though she is Italian (and of couse speaks perfect English as well). The buffet includes recipes from her German grandmother, her half-year home of Goa, Italy, and oddly America.

More than anything, the brunch items created a perfect American 4th of July picnic: potato salad (American-style, popular all over Goa), coleslaw, muffins, brownies, and even deviled eggs (labeled “American mustard eggs”)! With a flag on the wall or a stuffed bald eagle I would have been very confused about my current location (more so than usual …). The constant fireworks going off in the neighborhood didn’t help.

On that subject: Firecrackers seem to go off all the time in India. The Catholic chuches in Old Goa even had a sign posted “Do not light fireworks inside.”

I quickly filled up on the delicious fare at Villa Blanche. To work it off, we hopped on our rented scooter (250 rupee per day, about $5) and headed to Little Vagator beach — recommended by our host at Casa Tres Amigos. Sadly, we were so haraunged by agressive vendors (including not one but two women who pulled at my leg hair and suggested removal tecniques at various prices) at Vagator, we all but ran back to our scooter.

Over the bridge, we found the “Russian” beach of Morgim. It was much more low-key. Most of the oversized unfriendly faced Russians looked like they had spent the better part of a month convalescing on their beach chairs. Most likely waiting out the Siberian winter. I wasn’t prepared to wait it out with them. I bought a Frisbee and we moved on again.

After crossing back over the bridge, Eric was flagged down and fined for not having a motorcyle permit. We had heard that in a situation like this, the cop will just take whatever cash is in your possession. Eric had 1,500 rupees and so that was the fine. At least we were wearing helmets (mandatory on that highway alone).

So minus a few rupees, we headed back to our hotel to cool off in the pool — so much easier than the beach in the end.