Goa is a small place so moving from one place to another has plenty of options. The roads, as per Indian standards, are generally in good condition including the ones in interiors. But don’t be surprised if I say that National Highway NH17 which passes through Goa is just a 1+1 lane road and not a 4+4 or even a 2+2.
Wherever I go, at least once I try to use the local transport to get a ‘at home’ feel. A ride on a local bus, whilst you are on holiday, is usually a unique experience, not to be missed. Goa was no different.
The local buses are known as “Janta Buses”. There are no set timetables and mostly no bus stops either. But they are frequent, touch major bus stops and go to the interiors as well. The buses are not in good condition and packed; not to mention, they are private buses run by locals.
Almost always they won’t even issue a ticket even after asking for it. They just collect the money, stare at you and go away.
There is one more bus service called ‘Kadamba’ which operates between all major points such as Mapusa, Madgaon, Panaji, Vasco-da-gama; the service is regular, they have proper ‘Kadamba’ bus stops and they issue tickets. 🙂
However, one major drawback in Goa is the timings. By seven in the evening, all buses stop their services so planning to go back to one’s place of stay should not be left behind.
Near every regular bus stop, there is a motorcycle-taxi stand about which I have written here. They are plenty, fast, economical and safe.
Hiring of Scooter and Cars
Scooters and Motorcycles are in abundance, every day of your holiday you will be asked, by local touts & innumerable sign-boards ‘if you want to rent one’. But what you don’t know is that this hiring for self-driving is totally illegal. You are not allowed to hire private scooters or motorcycles in Goa.
If you do so, it means apart from the very real danger to you of a serious or fatal accident, you will be uninsured, and a target for the local police. The police know you are riding illegally and can stop you, threaten you with arrest, imprisonment and court appearances. Of course, they will tell that an ‘on the spot fine’ can solve your problem. There is no real ‘on the spot fine’ system, so the large amount of money (negotiable) that they extract from you, is for their pocket.
There are very few legal, motorcycle and scooter hire companies in Goa. The tip to remember is that they have black number plates with yellow registration numbers (not white which is for private vehicles only).
Private chauffeur driven cars are available for 2500 INR – 3000 INR per day depending on your days schedule but they too prefer to come back by evening if you plan to go from south Goa to north or vice versa. First two days we had booked the same to get familiarized with the surroundings and after that we were on our own traveling in all kind of transports.
General washroom facilities are available at every major bus stop but then even after being a paid service; you get to see a stinking, not so clean, fully wet, without any tissue or soap washroom. I think we Indians, should now assume that we can NOT improve upon this facility in any city.
One of the interior roads through a village