Capital of Salcete Taluka, Madgaon has always been commercially abuzz. The river Sal, today silted up into a tiny stream, once had boats plying cargo to and from Arabia and Africa, making Madgaon a prosperous settlement even before the advent of the Portuguese.It was an important centre for trade, learning and religious activities with several mutts or monasteries established here.Today, the place shouts commerce from every nook and cranny. The traffic never stops, and crossing a road could be a lengthy process. Yet its shaded streets lined with grand colonial mansions, its bazaars full of the rich produce of Goa with many buys not found anywhere else, Madgaon is a perfect base from which to venture forth into rural Salcete. Breakfast at Longuinho’s, lunch at Nostalgia, dinner by the Arabian Sea at a shack on Colva Beach. That’s a day perfectly spent in Madgaon, where Goa is to be found, without the hashish and the hoopla.