It has been long since I logged in and tried to write something. Time has not been permitting because of professional commitments. The complications of this life do not permit you to do what you want. There are other commitments which are essential for survival. From the time of our landing in Goa and road journey to our apartment near Baga beach in Arpora village, we had got ample idea of what is in store for our week long vacation. We had booked a studio apartment in a society situated inside Hotel Double Tree Hilton Campus. The society is named “Riviera Hermitage” (more about it in a separate post). For our daily outings we were not able to decide whether to book a taxi or rent a self drive vehicle, so we arrived on the middle path. We hired a taxi for full day for our first day and then decided to take a self drive vehicle. The decision was made to get familiar with Goa’n roads and traffic. The taxi stand was inside the Hotel premises.
While taking a stroll in the village we noticed another very interesting thing, every household was doing some sort of business. Most of them were requesting us to hire a two wheeler from them. Some of them have opened up grocery store and many of them were selling liquor. Few of them were running restaurant. The city of fishermen could be seen evolving towards more complex business setup. Economics is fast changing the dynamics of Goa and seriously affecting its culture.
Another interesting observation was the way these villages are managing economy. They do not allow taxis from outside to operate in their area. They have formed type of unions and you have to hire from locals only. Taxi stand is managed on rotation basis, this ensures that every one from the locality possessing a taxi gets his turn and earns something. This seems a better tactics from locals to earn money and preserve their business interest, but is not so good for the tourists who at times get a raw deal and loose negotiation power.
Our taxi stand at Arpora was inside the premises of Hotel Hilton only. The minimum charges to hire were Rs. 300 irrespective of the distance you travel. On our first day we hired a taxi for Baga Beach which was only about 3 kms from our location and the charges that we paid were Rs. 600/- for dropping and pickup. Self drive cars had a different story and you can hire it from anyone. These are private cars (not taxis) and those who posses a vehicle are offering it for self drive. It seems every household is engaged in some sort of economic activity. Tourism industry has considerably changed the economics of the little state.
On our second day we hired a taxi from the stand for one day tour. The places to visit were fixed by taxi stand. You are allowed to make minor adjustments. Our driver Danny was a good and knowledgeable person. He had spent few years in middle east countries also. He gave us plenty of insight about the life in Goa. Rich and educated locals have moved out of Goa to other countries and are selling their properties. There are areas which are now dominated by people from other states like Kerala, North India and many other states. Some of these areas do not allow locals to settle there. Things are rapidly changing in the little state.
But for a tourist what is more important is a comfortable stay, beach and food. Goa still has lot to offer. But excess tourism is taking its toll.