Thursday, June 3

Stain Glass Cottage

After two days of driving thru Kerala, Karnataka and finally reaching Goa we had to negotiate the way to our fourth Mahindra Homestays destination  Maria Vaz's Stain Glass Cottage in Margoa.

The road from Kerala to Goa passes very close to the sea at times and in someplace we had the river on one side and the Arabian sea on the other.

We got (what seemed to be) very precise instructions on our travel voucher... but unfortunately Goa is full of 'foreigners' and tourists that it is almost impossible to ask for directions. One lady took the time to give us such precise directions that we thought she knew what we were talking about... but we ended up in the middle of a coconut field. Damn! We then navigated to the Colva beach on our GPS and worked backwards... with some telephonic help from Maria Vaz.

There is a simple way to get here... and for all those who travel by car here are the instructions.

You have to come by NH17 (either from the north or south) - at the Margoa District Court junction (which has a nice fountain now) take the west road, towards the Colva beach and after passing under the railway line take a right after the Colva Plaza Hotel. This right turn is about 2.5 kms from the fountains. Even if the Colva hotel changes it's name... look out for the BSNL exchange on the opp side. 

If you overshoot this right and reach the Our Lady of Merces Church turn back.

Once you are inside the morais colony take the first right and go to the end of the road... Stain Glass Cottage is on the left.

View Stain Glass Cottage in a larger map

When we finally go there we were pleasantly surprised to see a modern building designed in a traditional way. All the elements of a traditional Goan house were there... the tiled roof... the large well... the large sit-outs...

Maria Vaz was there to welcome us and she introduced us to the staff and after exchanging a few pleasantries was on her way. She did not stay here... "there is some work going on at my place... just a few streets away" she said. 

Every thing about the place was spic and span - the themed rooms- names after the colours in the stain glass windows, the well maintained AC, the WIFI in all rooms,  and the staff who knew when to give us privacy... everything was just right... however the one this missing was the host. In our opinion Stain Glass Cottage cannot be called a 'real homestay' as the host lived away from the place... even if it was just a couple of streets away!

Incidentally, Maria had been "a police officer in Dubai" - looks like the gulf between us and the 'gulf returned' people had been bridged again! That probably explained how she was able to manage the place.

Except for the fact that the place was actually owned by Maria's daughter (who is somewhere abroad), and the family is also in the "process of setting up some more properties in the area", which meant that the place was more like a guest house, and less like a homestay... the Stain Glass cottage was very homely in it's decor and comforts.

The next day we got to meet Ashley Gregory - the new Manager, who is also set to manage all the properties owned by the Vaz family. Over the last month or so, since he had moved to Goa from Mumbai, he had brushed up on his konkni and was able to interact with the locals and got a lot of 'inside info'... he was very helpful in suggesting a lot of 'happening places', hangouts and restaurants in the area. 

It turns out that Ashley has some tam-bhram (as Tamil Brahmin's are called) genes in him... his grand father had converted to Christianity while all his other grand aunts and uncles had remained Srinivasans and Ramans ... in an alternative universe he might be speaking tamil for all we know!

If only he was staying in the place he would have made the perfect host 

Even though we did not get to savor the Goan specialties at Stain Glass Cottage (we opted to eat-out all the major meals) we had some 'real English breakfast every day' - toast, eggs and lovely jams and marmalades.

Tomorrow we move on the Nandan Farms, Sindhudurgh, Maharashtra.


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