Relaxing and recovering!

Trip Start Jun 16, 2006
Trip End Aug 25, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Lonely Planet describes Diu as 'a revelation,' and it is just that.

After our monstrous journey we were just hoping for a few days of sun, relaxation, good food, cheap beer and some peace and quiet. Unfortunately we didn't get the sun, but everything else was pretty much spot on.

The island was a Portuguese colony until 1961 and still retains so much of the Portuguese style, architecture and culture that sometimes it was easy to forget we were in India. It is an independent Island, governed by Delhi (ie. it is not a part of a state) and so is able to set its own laws, and has a very 'free' and happy feel. There are very few foreign tourists here at all (I think there were about 6 faces that we kept seeing around everywhere) so the locals aren't trying to sell anything, and are really genuinely friendly.

We hired a small moped on our first day, and spent some time weaving through the small streets in the town, admiring the crumbling Portuguese architechture, and bombing along the deserted main road between Nagoa Beach (where we were staying) and Diu Town. (well 'bombing' is a little exageration, seeing as the bike would only reach 50km an hour at it's very best!) It was really fun, and we felt so happy to be here; even though the rainfall came in hourly (heavy) showers and the sun that we were hoping for seemed like an impossibilty.

After a couple of days of being in Diu we decided that we were confident enough to exchange our bike for something a little more powerful. We gave back our trusty 50cc moped and went for a 75cc Scooter! Unfortunately, we only made it for about 20 minutes before I smashed it straight into a parked moped... a small kerfuffle and 2000 rupees later, and we had our original little moped back and our tails between our legs! Our troubles with the bike didn't end there though; after breaking down numerous times, the crappy little bike eventually gave up and succumbed to a flat tyre... leaving us hitching a lift back to the hotel!

The food on the island was pretty good. Every morning we went for breakfast in 'Heranca Goesa' - a Portuguese family from Goa who made delicious food and served us in their front room. We were particularly partial to the Swiss omelette! We ate delicious home-made ice-cream at a parlour that was somewhat of a local institution... been there since 1930s! But felt very much like American 1950s, all we needed was a white cadilac and big white sunglasses! We spent much time chilling out and eating in our lovley little hotel (Resort Hoka) where we ate some really good seafood. The monsoon weather meant that the fishermen couldn't go far out to sea, so the catch was a little thin on the ground, but we managed to buy 8 MASSIVE tiger prawns for 150 rupees from the fish market, so we weren't complaining!

We did manage to visit the beach for an hour one day, but the gale-force wind and huge waves made for a not-so-relaxing sunbathing session!

The extremely cheap beer seemed to keep pulling Pete back into the bars, and on the day that we found out his exam results (distinction!) we celebrated with a few Vodkas and beers in a seedy beach bar full of Indian men getting too drunk for their own good!

We had one interesting experience... one night we were driving to Goghla on the moped (another island that's linked to Diu by a bridge) when the heavens opened and we were hopelessly looking for a fish market with our waterproof ponchos on and sunken hearts. We were suddenly accosted by a marching wedding party! The women in the parade literally dragged me off the bike, squirted us with silly string and made us dance around in the street in the pouring rain, to the sound of the drums being played. Very bizzare but it certainly lifted our spirits!

We stayed in Diu for 6 days, and only on our last day did we see a few hours of sun. We quickly stripped off and ran to the pool-side with some French girls we met, and sun-worshipped for an hour before we had to catch our plane out.

Diu was just what we needed, and we left with our batteries fully recharged and the contents of our backpacks washed and ironed! Despite the weather, it was a lovely stay, and we hope we can return again one day, preferably when there's a little less rain!
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