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Graham Williams & Louise Jones Travel Blog This is our journal logging our trip through Central and Latin America from July 2005 to the present date. We update it and add new pictures every two to three weeks. At the moment Will is travelling in South Africa, while Lou is living in Buenos Aires.For more background reading on our travels go to - http://journals.worldnomads.com/will/

Christmas in Goa

INDIA | Tuesday, 2 January 2007 | Views [3419] | Comments [2]

The Portuguese Church beside my guest house in Goa.

The Portuguese Church beside my guest house in Goa.

A Happy New Year to all our readers!

I (Will) arrived in Goa about three weeks ago after flying from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania via Dubai Airport (a shock return to the first world) and then onto Hyderabad in Central India. Since I was last in India a number of budget airlines have been created one of which was flying directly to Goa that afternoon, saving me a two day journey by bus.

I traveled up the coast to the village of Anyuna, which is well known for its Wednesday market and for being a Hippy hangout, although the guidebook says that ‘its days as a place to see and be seen are virtually over’. Still it’s a very pleasant place and I have a nice, quiet room surrounded by palm trees and gardens. Close by is a small Portuguese church which was newly whitewashed for Christmas. My room also has cable TV, which is good for catching up on old movies and watching the Premiership, though some of the matches are played at one o’clock in the morning.

Goa attracts a mix of people, from the package holiday crowd to the backpackers. Most of them are British or German, with a strong contingent of Japanese. For some reason at Christmas time, it is particularly popular destination for young Israelis who live together in rented houses where they can cram in as many people as possible. This year the Israeli government issued a terrorist warning, apparently there was a threat that one of the many raves or parties might be attacked at Christmas or New Year, mainly because of all the Israelis here. Security was apparently tightened although I haven’t seen a policeman since I got here, and to date nothing has happened. Perhaps the terrorists went to Bangkok instead? As a wag on one travel bulletin board put it, ‘A Jewish state issues a Muslim terror warning about an attack in a Hindu country during a Christian festival, it’s a wonder the Buddhists don’t feel left out’. It has meant that business before Christmas was very slack with the locals complaining bitterly about this ‘terrorist hoax’. The place has filled up since, but it’s been a poor season so far.

Easily the biggest threat to life is not terrorism but motor scooters which are hired by most travelers, who then race them around the narrow lanes and footpaths. Any experience is not necessary nor even a driving license. As no one has a helmet or even much clothing on, any accidents would be messy affairs.

There is a large group of ex pats living here, nearly all Europeans; many are old hippies who came here years ago and then came back, and many of them do look like Jerry Garcia. Goa is the new Littlehampton for the sixties generation. One thing that makes me stand out from the other travelers here is that I am one of the very few who doesn’t have some kind of tattoo. Everyone male or female and of whatever age seems to have at least one.

The beach at Anyuna is small and lined by bars and eating places. Cows wander along the beach and hawkers offer massages and fruit. The sunsets here are wonderful, the sun drops like a large orange into the sea. Girls pester tourists with ‘You want to look in my shop?’ If you say no, they ask ‘Why not?’ As if you are being quite unreasonable. If you do walk in they will pursue the deal with the tenacity of terriers with their teeth in your ankle, which is quite unnerving when you consider that some of them are only ten years old! The market at Anyuna is large but it consists of a selection of ten different types of stalls, selling clothes (usually big brand knockoffs), spices or CD’s; which are then repeated about twenty times. It’s difficult to see how they all make a living.

Christmas itself was very quiet, the family who run the guest house put up some lights and made a nativity scene. On Christmas Day they all put on their best clothes and went to church and when they came out, everyone shook hands and wished each other a Merry Christmas. New Year was a lively affair with fireworks going off most of the night all along the beach, lots of music and people having a good time.

I will be in Goa for one more week before traveling up to Bombay (Mumbai) where I will meet Lou (who will be flying in from Buenos Aires via Rome) at the Airport and we will continue our travels through India together.

Tags: Beaches & sunshine

Comments

1

r u owner of the guest house. wt is the rent per day for d bed room. give other details. thanks & bye

  mumol Apr 2, 2007 6:11 AM

2

Christmas, the festival of joy and cherish, is the birth anniversary of Jesus Christ. In

India the event is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the people no matter

to what religion or place they belong.

  Lokesh Dec 2, 2008 12:56 AM

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