… Few hours more in Goa… After our wonderful trip to Chorla Ghat (Read my journey to Chorla Ghat), we had some time in-between to take the late evening bus to return home. This state capital of Goa is located on the banks of the wide Mandovi river. The relaxed city holds the charm of the colonial backdrop with colourful Portuguese villas – mansions with tiled-roof, protruded balconies and oyster-shell windows, avenues lined with Gulmohar and Acacia and whitewashed churches. Not to mention the cruise boats, floating casinos and bars, all adds to the unique identity of Panjim.
It is an ideal place to walk around. Although I had a purpose along with. To heal our the accidental injuries, we exhausted our medicine and first-aid material in stock. I needed some basic first-aid items to dress the worsened wounds of my husband and wrap a proper bandage for the whole night travel.
It being a Sunday, as per the local practice all medical stores were closed. Many asked me to go to the 18 June road. The only medical store in Panjim that remains open even on Sundays. So I found a purpose for my otherwise aimless loitering in the hot and humid day.
Through the narrow to medium sized avenues I moved our exploring the roads of Panjim. Just a few metres from the Bus terminal, I crossed a bridge over a canal which was connected to the Mondovi.
The quintessential Goa, known for its colonial past was gradually unveiling before me. The brightly coloured old buildings with Portuguese architecture were all around. It is the same Panjim that I had been many years ago.
I felt the joy of rediscovering the roads. The yellow to blue houses – with white bordered window, red-tiled-roof, arched door, protruding wrought iron balconies – all so bright and appealing. Who cares of the sweltering heat? The sights were pleasing enough to make me go on.
Thus, I reached the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. This whitewashed church was one of my personal favourite spot on my previous trip to Goa. I was so elated to reach the same destination without any prior intention or plan. Even this place remains the same.
The Gulmohar lined streets are equally endearing. On reaching the 18 June road, I enquired about the medical store. A kind, soft-spoken elderly man, seated on a nearby pavement, busy in his newspaper, sadly told me that the shop was closed then. It remains closed from 2 pm to 5 pm every day. I could not wait till 5. He enquired if there is any urgent requirement. He even offered to ride me back to my hotel.
I was more interested in walking back to my place through the other route. This one was the road by the river Mandovi. I strolled through this beautiful river front. The cruise boats were parked by the bank. Many of the old buildings by the road are government offices now.
My husband was waiting for the medicines but with no luck, I returned empty handed. My walk did not go in vain. I enjoyed every moment of this leisurely walk. The later part of the afternoon we both went to the nearby Ambedkar Park. Sitting on the swing and watching the children play was a good pass time.
With the sun down and our dinner done we moved to the boarding point of our bus… to get back home.