Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Morjim shuts down for the rains


-Brian Mendonça

As the rains kick in over Goa in June, the best thing is to drive into those off-beat places which you have always wanted to visit.

Paying a call to Siolim, we took the road up North planning to have our lunch at Morjim beach, Pernem. The winding roads took us over the bridge over the Chapora river. The view was breathtaking - both while going as well as while returning. The broad swathe of the river as it demurely ran its course was a sight to behold. Picturesque coconut trees lined the rim of the waterfront.

As we proceeded on our journey the signs read ‘Chopdem.’ The jetty for the river was on our left. My friends come fishing here. Next time I am going to join them.

The greenery all round us rejuvenated us. Though it was not raining, the sky seemed overcast. It made our journey in the afternoon very pleasant.

The first destination we typed on our GPS was Golden Eye beach shack at Morjim. After a long drive we reached the spot and got out of the car with bated breath. The place had received good reviews about its food. Imagine our exasperation when despite the bevy of white taxis stationed at the parking, we were informed that the restaurant was closed for the rains. (A note in tripadvisor.in says November to April).

What do these guys do for the remaining half of the year?

We could see the lip of the sea in the distance. To view it more closely we would have to take the track around the restaurant.  The only problem was that the path now seemed stolidly occupied by grazing cows.  We decided against the adventure.

As we looked around we saw most of the shops and restaurants were shut for the impending monsoon. The stretch from Morjm to Ashwem was in some places like a ghost town. Most of the signs were in Russian.  We drove on aimlessly past 3 p.m. The online restaurant reviews were useless now.  At our wits end we decided to inquire at Tahira Beach resort, Ashwem, if they served lunch. The receptionist jerked a finger at the back.

We walked the somewhat precarious stepping and emerged almost onto the beach to Arabian Sea restaurant. None of this could be seen from the road. It was open because it was contracted by OYO which had acquired the property nearby. They required a restaurant to cater to the needs of the guests. The waiters spoke Bengali.

We tucked into our prawn curry (somewhat marred by the wedges of tomato) and rice, as the waves crashed in front of us. We remembered the members of the D’Souza family from Immaculate Conception colony, Borivali who were wiped out in the waters of Aarey-Ware beach, Ratnagari last Sunday.

As we walked back to our car we noticed workmen assiduously putting huge plastic sheets over the roofs of the cottages at Tahira beach resort.
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Pix taken by the author on Morjim beach, Goa on 5th June 2018. Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 10 June 2018.

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