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Our world Travel On 10th May 2007 I fled the UK on a journey around the world with a long list of places to go. Got as far as the Philippines where I met my wife. We got married on 11th May 2010 and are now sharing the experiences of travelling the world together

Goa

INDIA | Sunday, 12 September 2010 | Views [1170]

Tuesday 7th September - We had to move out of the Indian Kitchen this morning as the price was too high, albeit for a larger room. Nothing cheaper available. Some places are prepared to negotiate, whilst others stay fixed and you just walk away. I have noticed that those which appear in the Lonely Planet are the worse at not budging sometimes. I think they have an inflated opinion about themselves, and think they have guaranteed business if they appear in the 'Traveler’s Bible'. Truth is that they are often also the worse at maintaining their businesses, and are often way behind what the book describes them. Others who are not in the guidebook have to set themselves up better to get the business, and are almost always better standard. The Baga Residency opposite offered us a room for 650 rupees including free wi-fi, which was effectively half the total price.

It rained heavily again this morning, but at least it gave us the opportunity to catch up. Posting photos, journals etc. After the rains stopped we got out to explore. Calangute beach was fairly deserted. The Arabian sea was throwing up strong swirling waves, making it too strong for most people, and life guards have been posted for safety. Finding some comfort food to make for ourselves in our room is easy enough with a handful of supermarkets dotted around the village. We even managed to find Shiera's favourite dessert Gulab Jamun. A bit too sweet, but she was asking how much for a kilo of it. Must find the recipe!

Well two things are relentless. The rain and the power failures. It threw it down through the night and carried on during the next day. Ok, we wanted a break. A rest. So this meant some catching up on the internet. As regular as can be annoying, the electricity failed. Last night we spent the evening in the dark until it came back about 12:30, just when we were about to doze off, the TV came on full volume and the fans and aircon joined it. Bad timing in one sense, but good timing in another. The cheese, biscuits and Bourneville drink we had bought earlier didn't go to waste. Went to bed finally, but on a bad food diet!

Power gone again as I write. I cannot believe why this part of Goa is this bad. Ok, it's the monsoon season. But why that should mean the power being this bad. They have plenty of experience at this weather pattern and should have done something to make sure it can cope. Well, that's the logic in the west, but maybe not here.

Made a visit into Panaji (AKA Panjim) and was impressed by it. An easy enough place to do on foot. Some great food options and struck lucky in finding our favourite desserts of Basundi and Rasmalai. Not great for health, but great for the soul! I knew about the casino boats that sailed around the Mandovi river, but was surprised at how many there were for this time of year. Lit up in the dark and floating around the waters with their captive audience.

Back at the hotel and the power was up and down again for the evening. Why does the power fail when you get to that important scene in a movie when the story is just about to become clear, or the most exciting bit? Murphy's law I guess!

The next day was a brighter day. The sun came out for first time since we arrived, so we walked the beach up to Baga. The entire area is a building site. There is nothing more off-putting that wanting to have a nice relaxing meal surrounded by tarpaulins, crashing and banging, and the whole range of construction noises. It is understandable though, as this is their downtime before the peak season begins, so they are all working to update and repair. The choice for lunch was more based on the level of noise rather than what food they were serving.

The following day was a busy day out. Visited Old Goa (Rs8 bus from the Kadamba Bus stand). It is a fairly compact area mainly around the Bom Jesus church and the Se se Cathedral. Francis Xavier's remains are displayed in an elevated ornate casket in the church. We returned to Panaji and headed for the cinema on 18th June street. The movie Dabbam was in Hindi, so could hardly understand a single word of it. It doesn't matter as the plot was the usual cheesy fun action interjected with plenty of singing and Bollywood style dance.

One of the best breakfasts we have found is at the Bar Eclipse on the main Baga road. Understandable considering the owners are both English. Yep, they know what the customer wants. We had their breakfast everyday once we had discovered it.

One of the necessities was to plan our route out of Goa up to Mumbai. Sounds easy, but getting train tickets for when we wanted proved to be tricky. We had been advised by the hotel to take our passports to the Konkan rail booking office at the Kadamba bus stand in Panaji to get our foreigner quota tickets. Turned out that they wouldn’t let us book them as the train originated from Madgaon and we would have to go there to book instead. Wasn’t in the mood to go all the way there just to book tickets and it seems crazy that they wouldn’t do it. Why make foreigners go all the way to a station a long way from anywhere just to book your tickets? Anyway, had to change plan.

 The journal is a bit shorter this time. Save's anyone falling asleep like the usual epic. 

Bye for now.

 

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