Towards the end of last year’s monsoon, we made a trip to Goa, a state famed for its beaches, cashew nuts and sausages (Goan sausages ala chorizo). Despite being the monsoon, many bed & breakfast places were fully booked but we eventually managed to find a charming place in the form of Casa Susegad.
Casa Susegad is run by Norman and Carole, a charming couple who have decided to make Goa their “retirement home”. Because foreigners are not permitted to purchase a house for residential purposes, they have decided to run a B&B, filling it with warm helpers, ethnic furnishings and a troop of friendly animals (main reason why I insisted we pick this place).
The days at Casa Susegad were very chillax, an atmosphere that was entirely representative of Goa. (In fact, I saw a graffiti which went like this: “Goa is like a fridge because everyone chills here”) Our days would begin in the peaceful house with a cup of coffee, toasted bread and omelettes. The breakfasts were simple, but the homemade jams and chutneys made everything taste especially wholesome and delicious.
Casa Susegad is located in a village called Loutolim in South Goa. It is further away from the more popular Goan beaches and Panjim (old capital of Goa when it was under Portuguese rule) but completely accessible by a car ride which can be easily arranged by Norman and Carole.
The upside of traveling to Goa during the monsoon/offpeak season is that sometimes, you get the entire beach to yourselves. The downside, is, of course, you don’t get as much sun as you would love to.
Apart from its famed beaches, Goa is also well known for its churches. Whilst we were there, we took the opportunity to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.
Our lovely driver also brought us to a less well-known architecture known as the Ruins of St Augustine Complex, which was abandoned in 1835 due to the expulsion of the religious orders from Goa and the Portuguese government ordered its demolition. In 1846, the main vault of the church collapsed and the convent rapidly decayed. The valuable articles belonging to the religious complex were either sold or lost, being nowadays dispersed over many churches in Goa. The bell from the tower was initially taken to Fort Aguada and later in 1871 was shifted to the Lady Immaculate Church in Panjim (Panaji).
And this is the lovely Lady Immaculate Church:
Or you can always explore the village of Loutolim and
walk the dogs let the dogs of Casa Susegad walk you.
Staying in for some doggy therapy is always an option too!
If you’re looking for a peaceful stay away from the usual buzz and tourists, this place is an excellent choice. That is, if you are an animal lover or at least, don’t mind the occasional wet nose of a dog butting into you. :)