A holiday within a holiday

Trip Start Nov 30, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Clinton Guest House

Flag of India  , Goa,
Friday, January 29, 2010

A very smooth train journey - only 10 minutes late and we managed to get lucky and secure one of the lower bunks on the side by the window- so we could both stretch out and get the wind in our hair (well mine anyway!) without having to cram on a bunk with 3 or 4 other people. Few cockroaches and mice running around, but when it came to sleeping I made Kev take the lower bunk near where they were and retreated to the top bunk where I hoped they couldn't reach me.

Opted for the on-board catering rather than jumping off at a station to forage for food as not sure we could manage the running along and jumping on a moving train technique employed by our fellow passengers.    Nice veg curry for about 50 pence each.  I manged to cause great hilarity in our little berth when I carefully packed up the empty containers and placed them in a plastic bag to dispose of later.  The 6 other passengers travelling with us thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen to see this strange English girl treating rubbish with such care - they then mimed eating and flinging it out of the window to me to demonstrate the correct Indian way of dealing with the problem!  Considering they were fairly well to do looking pensioners this was a very different attitude to what we would expect from their equivalent in the UK.  Not sure India stands any chance of solving its littering problem.

Nice to chill out for a few days at the beach in Goa.  Opted to stay at one of the quieter Southern Beaches, Colva rather than head for the full on hippy rave scene at the more northern beaches. Must be getting old!  Nice to see the sea and get a bit of a breeze as respite to the sweltering heat.  Yes, finally the sun is out and the thermals are relegated to the bottom of our backpacks - hopefully for quite a few months to come.

Hired bikes for the day and cycled about 15KM down to the quieter beaches further South, then back to our resort along the shore line.  All going really well until Kev managed to get a flat tyre.  Cycling on sand with a flat tire is not easy we now know.

Moved on from the beach to visit the capital of Goa, Panajim for a few days.  Looks like a town in Portugal, lots of white churches, pastel coloured buildings and some really atmospheric narrow streets and alley ways.  Had a fantastic meal sitting outside a lovely cafe with strings of coloured lights above our head. Fantastic Goan curries, rice and bread and drinks- all for less than 4 pounds.   

Took a bus out to Anjuna to visit the markets, and managed to hold back on the shopping fever, just about - although we did come back with earrings, a sarong and a shirt for me!  All of which of course were essentials.  (One of the earrings I brought away with me fell down a slumdog millionaire toilet in Nepal - and there was no way I was reaching in to get that back!)  The haggling skills have come on leaps and bounds - managed to drive hard bargains for all our purchases, and not feel guilty after wards.  Stopped for a cold drink at a stall on the way round and made the classic mistake of not checking the price before we took the drink.  The guy asked for 30 rupees - a crazy price as the most bottles of sprite etc have cost in a restaurant is 12 rupees!  Told him he was crazy - and that he must live a very nice big house in Goa if he sells them for 30 rupees!  raised a laugh with him - but no drop in price, until after wards, as I handed back the empty glass bottle and he smiled at me and gave me back 10 rupees!  20 rupees is still expensive, but at least it was a small victory!

Leaving tomorrow by bus for a 9 hour journey to Hospet, then transfer on to visit Hampi.  Sounds like it should be a nice relaxing place - am hoping it will be like Khajuraho. 

Have been emailing people in Kerala today to try and tee up some Volunteer work before we leave India.  We decided not to take up the option with the hospital in Gwailor in Northern India - freezing cold and loads of fog affected the whole of Northern India in January - and after freezing in Nepal for a month we didn't want to leave it too long before we headed to the sunshine.  Fingers crossed we can come up with something here, if not then we'll just have to keep on relaxing and enjoying ourselves for another month before we reach Thailand and then try our luck somewhere in Southeast Asia instead
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