Home' The Australian Senior Traveller : October 2009 Contents www.thesenior.com.au
THE SENIOR TRAVELLER October, 2009 15
SPECIAL HOLIDAY FEATURE
GOING on vacation to a place renowned
for its hippy culture and associated
lifestyle, the last thing I expected to see on
arrival in Goa was a Good Friday proces-
sion of robed priests carrying Jesus Christ
down the main street of Siolim.
But there it was -- a long band of
Catholics winding its way through the nar-
row streets of the former Portuguese
enclave after Mass. The highlight of the
procession is being carried on a bed, com-
plete with canopy, feted by Catholic and
Hindu residents alike.
We had decided on a late season week-
end away from Delhi before Goan restau-
rants closed until autumn and the heat
The fact that it was Easter, our travel
agent explained, was why fares seemed
unusually high for our last-minute booking
to the palm-fringed Indian coastal haven.
However we managed to book the last
room at Siolim House. The former resi-
dence of the Governor of Macao, built in
1680, Siolim House has been taken from
almost complete ruin to a seven-bedroom
guesthouse, boasting ochre-washed walls,
ornate four-poster wooden beds, large bath-
rooms and serene terraces.
The Portuguese palazzo has the air of
part-home, part-boutique hotel and is
crammed with antiques and lined with art
and tiles. Our light and airy upstairs suite
with huge windows was the largest I have
ever stayed in.
The only downside was the power fail-
ure on our last night. It killed the fan over
the bed and with no air-conditioning made
for an uncomfortably sweaty night before a
welcome morning dip in the pool and a
Situated on the edge of Siolim Village an
hour north of Dabolim airport, our refuge
was tucked away in the leafy lanes between
Chapora and Morjim beach.
Siolim is one of Goa's rare coastal ham-
lets to have escaped the interest of the
dreadlock brigade for which North Goa has
It is only a short scooter or taxi ride to
Asvem beach, home of the French gem La
Plage restaurant. We feasted on chilled
calamari salad, mushroom tart and choco-
late pudding, all washed down with cold
beer. And the best coffee I've found in India.
Then it is literally a stumble to the
beach and onto a sun chair to digest before
a dip in the Arabian Sea.
Now we really felt like it was a tradi-
tional Australian Easter.
TOP -- The beach just a short drive from Siolim
LEFT -- The Easter procession in Goa.
Expatriate GRAHAM CROUCH flees
Delhi for the Easter break
GOA'S Dabolim Airport is an
easy one-hour flight south from
Mumbai. Siolim House is a one-
hour transfer north (about $28)
where a suite inclusive of break-
fast is $196 negotiable or a
smaller downstairs room $168
per night. Expect to pay 25 per
cent more over the Christmas
and New Year high season.
Phone (+91) 832-227-2138 or
www.siolimhouse.com The hotel
can organise transport to
Asvem beach (15 minutes away)
or motor scooters are available
for hire at $7 per 24 hours. BYO
towel and swimwear. La Plage
restaurant (+91) 982-212-1712
is right on the beach and is
open early for lunch right
through until dinner. It is closed
from April 27 until September 1.
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Flying China Airlines or Malaysian into Hanoi and out
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$5520 17 Day Tour
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Flying China Airlines into Tokyo and out of Hiroshima.
10 day Japan tour when the autumn colourings are at
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All Prices now include
Airport Taxes and Levies
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