I had looked on Internet for a train ticket, but it didn’t seem to be any day trains running to Hospet. So when I arrived in Panaji I went to the bus companies to ask for a bus ticket, but it turned out there were no buses running during monsoon time. At a travel agent I found out though that there was a train leaving Goa for Hospet a few days a week (on Internet I had searched for a day when they were not running). I was told there were only 2nd class AC left for the train next day so I bought a ticket. I paid Rs 940 (June 2010) at the travel agent for the ticket. On the ticket it said the actual price was Rs 834 and that agents take Rs 10 -20. It is better to book the ticket at the train reservation office at the Kadamba bus stand in Panaji.
The train was leaving from Margao at 8.00 in the morning. I took a taxi from the hotel in Panaji and it was Rs 620 and took 45 minutes. At the railway station in Margao I bought some breakfast and then tried to find out where my coach was going to stop. The train was very, very long and I couldn’t find my coach number A1on the signs. I was directed to both ends of the long platform, but when the train arrived (on time) I was luckily not far from where the coach stopped.
I had got an upper berth, which I didn’t like. I absolutely didn’t want to sleep, but wanted to sit up and look out through the window. The man who had the window seat (and thus the lower berth) didn’t want to convert the berth for sitting. When the conductor arrived I asked if there were any other seats and luckily there was a window seat not far away available all the way to Hospet. It was a single seat so no one sat next to me, and the chair in front of me was also empty. Most people in the coach seemed to lay in their berths with the light off and the curtains drawn before their compartment.
In Hubli the coach was cleaned, even the windows on the outside. Shortly after Hubli I got the lunch I had ordered earlier from a man taking up orders. The lunch was Rs 40 and consisted of chapati, rice and three pots, one with lenses, one with beans and one with lassi.
We arrived half an hour late to Hospet. I think the journey took about 8 hours. Even before the train stopped the auto rickshaw drivers hopped on the train trying to get customers. As it was big competition the price to Hampi, more than 15 km away, was Rs 100 (June 2010). As I wanted to buy a train ticket back to Goa the auto rickshaw driver waited for me. In Hampi I was dropped at the hotel.
From Baga I went on a daytrip to Old Goa using public transportation. In the morning I took a bus from the main road in Baga to Panaji. It was Rs 12 (July 2010) and took 45 minutes. In Panaji the bus stopped at Kadamba bus stand and from there the bus on to Old Goa was also leaving. The buses are frequent and I didn’t have to wait long. The bus to Old Goa took around 20 minutes and it was Rs 5. In Old Goa the bus stopped near the main attractions.
Going back to Panaji and Baga I took a bus passing on the main road in Old Goa. This time it was Rs 7 between Old Goa and Panaji, but the bus to Baga was the same, Rs 12. I had intended to go off in Calangute, near the Main Calangute Beach, but as there was an annoying man sitting next to I went off the bus earlier, already in south Calangute and walked from there.
At Palolem Guest House they told me there were buses going every half an hour to Chaudi (Canacona) so I went out to the crossroad outside Hotel Cleopatra to wait. When I had waited 25 minutes I asked someone at the hotel about the bus and he told me there was no fixed timetable. When I had waited over half an hour I asked again and was told there was a strike and no buses would come this way. I was told to follow the road to the next crossroad. To my surprise I came to the Chaudi - Agonda road after 300 metres. I continued to walk for a few minutes and then a bus came. It turned out to be the same bus I had taken between Margao and Chaudi a few days earlier. To Margao it took over an hour and it was Rs 23 (June 2010).
In Margao there was a long queue to the ticket booth. The buses to Panaji are direct buses and they sell just the exact number of tickets in the booth that there are seats on the bus. For a while there was no bus and the queue became longer and longer.. When a bus arrived I saw a woman, who had stood many places behind me walking past everyone and in to the bus. Because of that the last man who bought a ticket had to stand all the way. The woman had no ticket and I was thinking of saying so, but I didn’t. The bus ride took almost an hour and it was Rs 44.
In Panaji the bus stopped at Kadamba bus stand and from there I walked to the hotel in Fontainhas. It was more than half a kilometre to walk.