Goa! And Kayma Visits India...

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Where I stayed
Donna Sylvia

Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

After nearly 8 months in India, I'm finally taking a proper vacation.  And with a friend visiting from the States, why not finally take the short flight down to Goa and check out the beautiful beaches of India.

My good friend Kayma has always wanted to visit India, and now that she has a friend that's living there (me), it was too tempting of an offer for her to finally take the journey.  She spent her first week up north doing the Delhi, Agra and Jaipur....but week two was all about Brandon.  Kayma arrived into Hyderabad late Friday night the 21st of September and we immediately made the trip to Club Rio from the airport for "expat night" where Kayma met Sonny, Kat and the rest of the expat gang.  Saturday we went down to old town to see the Charminar, then dinner at Laguna followed by a night at Ahala with the entire gang including Sofi.  I think she was somewhat impressed with the nightlife in Hyderabad...or maybe she was just being nice and chose not to make fun of it in front of me.  Anyway...early to bed (midnight) because the next morning Kayma and I are off to Goa on an early flight...woo hoo!

We arrive to the Hyderabad airport way too early for our flight on Deccan Air, the cheapest, low budget carrier in India.  Actually it's getting better now that they have been bought out by Kingfisher..the best airline in India.  Our airplane is a turbo-prop which makes Kayma freak out a bit, but it's an uneventful 1 hour flight despite my attempts to freak her out while in the air.  For this trip we decided to stay in South Goa which is know for beautiful beaches and tranquility....versus North Goa which is known for vibrant nightlife and backpacker scene.  Both of us needed some rest and relaxation so South Goa it was.  The airport was situated in the middle of Goa, so into the hotel shuttle we go and spend the next hour driving through scenery that looked less like India and more like the Caribbean.  For those that don't know, Goa is a former Portuguese colony in India so there are a lot of Christians here, thus there are a lot of churches here...more churches than I've seen in 8 months...sort of weird to see so many crucifixes and crosses in Hindu dominated India.  Goa has a rich history and there lots to read here and here if you're interested.  After about an hour drive south, we arrive to our resort, the Hotel Dona Sylvia.  I picked this hotel for two reasons....#1) It had great reviews on tripadvisor.com and 2) it was significantly cheaper than many of the larger hotel chains (for example...the Leela in Goa which was next door to us was $400 USD/night...ouch).  We upgraded to a "deluxe" room and after a short walk through the beautiful hotel grounds, we reached out bungalow which was indeed nice...and the closest one to the beach.  After unpacking a bit and changing clothes, we walked to the beach to get some photo's of the sunset and check things out.

Leaving the hotel property and entering the beach area is a lesson in patience and learning to say no.  No sooner are you 5 feet off the property and walking in the sand...when at least 10 local women peddling their crap are on you in an instant!  And they are persistent and have a comeback for every thing you might say to blow them off.  Oh well...part of the charm of India.  We captured a few pic's of the sunset and visited a beach shack just outside the hotel entrance.  This beach shack would become our home away from home for the next three days...loved it there.  As long as you agreed to purchase a few drinks from them and some food, they would give you a chaise lounge for no cost and keep the beach vendors away from you...greatness.  That night we enjoyed a great dinner at the hotel and our agenda for the next three days was as follows:

- 9AM:  Get out of bed and head towards the breakfast buffet
- 10AM:  After grazing on the buffet, grab our stuff and head towards the beach shack
- 11AM - 6PM:  Sun, sun and more sun.  With a few cocktail/beer and lunch around 1PM or so.
- 7PM - After getting cleaned up, head out to a nice dinner somewhere.

We had some great times on the beach as that's where we spent the majority of our time...including hanging out with this hilarious family from London who had two of the most adorable kids that you every saw.  We also took a Jet Ski out a couple times and it was quite fun trying to throw Kayma off the back of it.  :)  Kayma had a rather interesting beach massage and I'll let her explain why it's interesting....  On our last night we had an amazing dinner at this Italian restaurant at the Leela hotel and then spent our last morning packing for my return trip to Hyderabad and Kayma's flight to Bombay.

Great to see my first US friend make the trip out here...hope more of you can come too! 
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