The fresh air on my swollen sleepy face woke me up at the right moment for me to catch my almost flying sun hat. I stepped on to the garden barefoot, feeling all dreamy, which crashed the moment panic struck on zooming my eyes on the ant colonies under my feet. Advice : At such times just dive into the safest place. Which was the hammock for me at that point. But, clearly I needed to have my physics lessons handy. Just the shoulders on the hammock wasn't really my plan. So, the indefatigable me got up and tried again. Legs up first. Ummm..failed. Place your butt on the woven hollow and then back flip to get your feet up. Disastrous! After several attempts one trajectory made the cut. I am very serious when I say, "Hotels with hammock in the cottage garden should provide a 'hammock riding instruction manual' aswell". Come on, feeling like a trapped insect in a spider web isn't my idea of reliving science practicals on my birthday. Thank god! there was no hottie staying in the adjacent cottage to witness my limb coordination disaster. Strangely, the quiet family staying next door ignored it all as an entirely normal scene. Of course, it was an English family else had it been an Indian one, I would've had four people each holding one limb and placing me on what I love to call 'Jhoola' (Hammock is too fancy a word when you've been exposed to Jhoola all your life). Then came my help. At least thats what I had thought as the immobile entangled me cheered. But, like the rest of the spoilt world, Mr Bling first chose to record on camera his dose of entertainment. I agree, it does make for a sure shot gut tearing laughter roll, but not when I am the victim. And then when he was done, in his own sweet time he rescued me. Wonder when do I get to rescue him the same way. Heroic method: Just flip over the victim stuck in the hammock 'upside down' without any warning. I did get free.. Yes. But, also got kissed. Kissed by the muck below. Another point to be noted; Hotels should have soft green grass everywhere in the garden. Do not neglect below the hammock area, especially when a mud pack isn't on one's beauty agenda always. Hmphhh!
I was in a desperate need for my morning tonic! Remember I told you guys how breakfast decides my morning mood playout. So I did the obvious; dashed to the phone and ordered some in-house made cereal with fruits and Mr Bling ordered a desi version of an english breakfast. Onion and indian spices tadka in his baked beans with toast. Move over the famous desi chinese food talks, eh! :D Tell you what, it did taste damn good. So far the food experience at the hotel has kept my tummy very pleased :) It was time to doll up and explore North Goa. Checking out Fort Aguada as it's adjoining to the hotel, by default, becomes the first thing anyone staying at the Taj does. No toxic gases in my face; just a breathtaking clear view. Walking along the fort wall, we reached a point high and away from the crowd. At a distance we saw this engaged couple posing for their pre-wedding pictures. The girl in a lavender dress with a long trail and the guy in a white & black bow tie outfit. We perched on the rock for a long long time looking at them. One word. Peaceful. The entire scenario against the deep blue of the water and the azure of the sky was like a balm to my soul. It would be even to yours had you been there. But, that didn't take the amazement away from me as to how that bride-to-be balanced herself in that dress on the slippery rocks! In reality, if I switch off the romantic button, I saw the rocks; sharp & dangerous and then there were these unhappy barking dogs (probably jealous that those humans were getting action they weren't). Had I been at her place, I would have knocked myself off to heaven and turned a ghost bride within minutes. On that note, I knew it was time to get up from there and zoom vroom around Goa.
Step one: Hire a vehicle. There are a plenty of car and bike rentals the moment you step out of the hotel. So, I thought it won't be a task and we'll be on our way in a couple of minutes. But as luck would have it, the person we went to turned out to be a complete pest! An hour later, harassed and annoyed, as we walked past a cute little shed right on the Taj- fort aguada road, we got our ride. A Honda activa scooter rented to us by a 'too sweet to be true' goan lady. She didn't even ask for an advance or anything, just gave us the scooter without a fuss. I must really look proper, eh! We started from the Sinquerim-Candolim-Calangute road towards Anjuna. It was a Wednesday and I had heard a lot about its weekly market. 15 minutes.. that's all the time we wasted there and quickly left for Art'juna; an artsy cafe nearby. The dust that flew into my mouth during our 30 minute scooter ride didn't fill my stomach. So, we ordered for a cookie, a green omelette sandwich and a juice. Loved every bit of it! This was the second time I was coming here. They have a store as well on the cafe premises. After spending more money on accessories than on the food there, we set out to Thalassa in vagator for an evening birthday toast. Most of my friends have been to this place and have raved about it. I always wondered what the big deal was. Now I know. The vibe just hits you the moment you park your vehicle. There is a very merry feeling to it. After crossing the clothes and the accessories shop, we went to the restaurant area. On the way my eyes chose my evening birthday cake to be butchered and gobbled. A slice of chocolate cake which wasn't allowed to live on the plate beyond 2mins. After spotting a bunch of actors at the bar (No one of our individual interest so we ignored;) ), we ordered 2-3 vegetarian dishes; lasagna and baked layered cheese potato veggies. In totality, my taste palate was very pleased. We'd had a long day, so we headed back to our beautiful hilly property to call it a day. By the way, you all should know this, before sleeping off that night, Bakktales occurred to me. Don't know how, don't know why. But, it just happened in my head like a lightning bolt. It was something that I felt I had to do for myself and to all of those reading. It was my birthday gift to self and couldn't have been possible without Mr. Bling :)