In Panaji (capital of Goa)

Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
Trip End Nov 15, 2005

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Saturday, December 4, 2004

Arrived in Panaji this afternoon, Thursday 2 December. We caught two buses along the way that was an experience. It is actually an experience to still be around to type this! Our first driver decided he could overtake a car on a bend, going up hill, with another bus coming in the opposite direction. Fair!

Panaji (pronounced Panjim) was particularly busy while we were there. The 35th Indian Music Festival was taking place in Panaji and the exposition of the Patron Saint of Goa, St Francis Xavier.

We spent the first hour of Friday the 3rd December walking in the wrong direction to try and find Se Church where St Francis Xavier was 'on show'. It turns out we were walking in the wrong direction and the map was not to scale. We ended up on a bus that took us the 10km to the site along with the hundreds and thousands of others. As with all other buses in India, they make sure that they don't lose out on any fare. I counted 74 people that got off the 29 seater bus that took us there. I had a dead leg and pins and needles when we arrived but managed to walk again shortly after.

St Francis Xavier can only be viewed by the public every ten years (for a 40 day period) so it was just luck that we were there at the right time. Considering it was Pilgrims day and tens of thousands of people were there, it only took about 30 minutes to queue and actually view St Francis in Se Church. He 'would' have been 499 years old. He looked as you would imagine a 500 year old bloke to look. I'll let you search on the net for your own pictures!
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