The Spice Farm

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 27, 2012

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Flag of India  , Goa,
Thursday, November 15, 2012

At the moment, we're just teasing you with a title for this entry.

We're currently sat by the pool awaiting our long train journey south this evening and will add the "Spice Farm" blog when we reach Kerala - assuming the interweb has reached that far south.....

Catch up with you soon....

So, here's a little contribution from the botanist of the two of us - not me!

[Jane: Thursday 15th saw us travelling by taxi with Peter and Margot to a spice farm just outside Ponda. We went a different route through Margao although it still looked like organised chaos there and passed some extremely colourful houses [lime green, orange and purple do not look out of place] and some rural villages where the contrasts are full on. 

The road was the highway to Karnatka - the next state and was busy which made overtaking an adventure at every opportunity! We crossed a very wide river with a shipbuilding yard alongside and Phil is not convinced that the ship under construction would be able to pass under the bridge! [Phil: destined to be forever in the river upstream of the bridge at Ponda - heyho]. 

Ponda is a small town - unremarkable other than for some temples and our first sight of children scavenging through upturned bins. At the spice farm we were greeted by several colourfully dressed singers and then had a couple of glasses of lemon grass and ginger tea to aid digestion - how did they guess that this would be necessary?

Our guide showed us coffee, betel nuts, cashews, pineapples, turmeric, pepper, piri piri, cardoman, vanilla, nutmeg and, cloves growing in a lush setting and there were some Goans in our group who were clearly looking for helpful hints on propagation! We now know how to harvest betel nuts and death defying climb up a palm tree and swinging vigorously to dislodge the nuts is definitely an occupation for the fearless. Naturally we will remember all the things we should be able to cure with these spices!  [Phil: yeah, right!!] 

Lunch was a buffet with a glass of Feni [cashew or coconut spirit] which Margot and I declined - it is 42% proof and smells vile! [Phil: lightweights!!] 

An educational day followed by another good evening - with fresh tandoori red snapper! Unfortunately Phil had his worst meal that night. Apart from a pizza and a steak Phil has, as usual, been adventurous with his food choices with little ill effect whereas I have tried to stick to tried & tested veg. or chicken options and failed - c'est la vie.

Every morning we have had fresh pineapple [never knew there are so many different types], bananas, oranges and the occasional custard apple for breakfast - ideal! A bag of fruit costs about 1.20! [and lasts through three breakfasts].  

The food story continues in Kerala where fish & veg are the norm.]

[Phil: have just added another photo into this entry.  We were walking to the Blue Whale for our final lunch in Goa and came across this dog who was clearly intent on making himself comfortable.....]


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Jane Brookes on

We are really enjoying your blog, keep it up. Weather here is awful - grey skies and drizzle and very cold. We still have some sunshine stored in our memory bank from Mexico but it is fast dwindling. Continue to enjoy your adventure
and stay safe and well. J & W X

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