Trip Start Mar 04, 2004
Trip End Jul 02, 2005

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Flag of India  ,
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

India is a hard country to travel. Possibly the hardest I have been in yet and it has been even harder on Tina a newcomer to backpacking. Thus it was with great relief that we arrived in the much-talked about land of Goa. We rested and recovered her for 5 days, four of them in the paradise of Palolem Beach. We had a beachfront hut, swam and played frisbee everyday, regained our health, ate well and met interesting people. Its too bad the new gov't in Goa has put the kibosh on parties, even live music after 1030pm but its still a great place to chill out. Soul and Pepper and The Laughing Buddha are both good bars to check out. A constant warm breeze keeps the mozzies away, you can watch the fishermen bring in the catch, gaze at all the beautiful tanned people and use the time to get your head around the mad country of India as you hurtle through it and it hurtles into the future. I marvelled at the large numbers of sea-eagles and hawks in the area. There's also a decent spot of shopping to be done and the locals seem to finally have cottoned on to the fact that travellers are more likely to look, and buy, when they are being pestered.
India is one of the most future-oriented, fast-moving societies I've been in yet, on par with China. Both are awakening giants and their peole possess a strong optimism for their betterment of their lives and the power of their country. This entrepreneurial spirit and new-found focus on materialism unfortunately leads to a lot of hassle and hustle for the traveller.
Get a steak at Venite if you are in Panaji, only 85 rupees! Tina also bought a beautiful blue salway kameez there, that I can't wait to see her in. Old Goa, only 11km from Panaji, is basically a bundle of churches in the jungles. But they are enormous, old Portugese churches. The Church of Bom Jesus holds the sacred remains of St. Francis Xavier.
If you need a place to regain your sanity in India, I fully recommend Goa and Palolem in particular.
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