The 44 day reward
Trip Start Aug 14, 2007
114Trip End May 23, 2008
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· GMT +5:30hrs
45 days waiting
I hate getting up early. 5am we were out of bed, our train bunk, this morning. The fact that we were finally in Goa, that our 38 and a half hour train trip was over and that we both actually slept moderately okay last night helped get over the God-awful early start to the day. We hung around Goa train station for a few hours until the ticket reservation office opened at 8am and soon after we were in possession of our last India train ticket, the one that, in 6 days time, will get us north from here to Mumbai (Bombay) from where we´ll fly to Oman. But first things first. Goa, part II for me. We shunned the more expensive, but more convenient, options for getting to the beach from the train station, hopping on a local TATA bus for the 35km trip south to Palolem beach. Its five and a half years since I was last here and not much has changed in that time. There is a slight bit more development here and a few more travelers cafes and bars but little else has changed; the sand is still golden, the beach is still dotted with fishing boats and is still lined with a swaying curtain of coconut palms, palms that shelter an unbroken line of seafood restaurants, cafes, bars, shacks, cottages and Thai-style bamboo & palm-leaf huts that house the foreigners that flock here during the season (November to April). We settled into a basic cottage within a few hours of getting here and have spent the day so far doing nothing. Well, that´s not actually true; Pat, ecstatic at finally getting to the sea on this, day 44 of his trip, spent a big chunk of the day in the water and getting `lobstered´ on the sand. Me? Well, I tackled more computer problems (the less said about them the better). We´re not quite sure what we´ll do for the next 5 days, but that´s the beauty of being here. As is the smell of sun cream, having sand between our toes and on the floor of our room, having to take 3 to 4 cold showers a day just to cool down, making friends with the cute geckos clinging to walls of our cottage, eating fresh seafood and drinking cold beers as the sun goes down. Yep, rest assured, we should be fine for the next 5 days.
Day 228 Observations (March 28th 2008)
· A classic
I finished reading the Godfather at 7:50 this morning standing in the queue for the ticket reservation office of Margoa train station. It's a hell of a read. I'm only telling you this because I recommend you read it.
· 5 turns into 6
We only intended to spend 5 nights here in Goa but a lack of ticket availability on our preferred date of departure from Goa has now pushed that out to 6 nights. I´m sure we´ll get over the `inconvenience´ and won´t let it spoil out time here.
· Air just right
We were glad to get off the 38 and a half hour Goa Express. All told it wasn´t a terrible trip, just a long one. Pat liked it, saying he preferred it to the long trip we did weeks back, the one that got us from Xi´an in China to Lhasa in Tibet, even though that trip was shorter and done in infinitely more comfortable compartments. He puts that fact down to Co2. He says the Co2 levels in the Chinese train (because it was pumped with oxygen due to the altitude) made that more uncomfortable. Can´t say I noticed to be honest.
"Remember Apollo 13 Dave?" Pat asked in explaining his reasoning.
"Those guys didn´t exactly enjoy their trip, now did they? Co2 level were too high, you see."
"I see Lad," I said, not seeing at all.
We´d almost forgotten that India suffers with mosquitoes. That was until we got here to Palolem Beach. Our room has mozzie nets over our beds, we're choking ourselves with the fumes from the mozzie coils we´re burning and we´re even, get this, putting on some repellent. Yep, I think we´re safe enough (especially considering we´re still diligently popping those next-to-useless, `smartie´ tasting anti-malaria pills we bought in Nepal). If a mozzie can get beyond all those defenses then they are welcome to feast on us.
Remember I mentioned in an earlier entry from Xi'an how the Chinese sweep the dirt on the roads into nice even layers? Well, the Indians here on Palolem Beach go one better. They actually sweep the sand on the beach. Yep, out they go with their homemade brooms (a few twigs tied in a bundle to a bamboo stick) sweeping the sand. If we weren´t laughing so hard at the sight of it we´d probably pluck up the courage to ask them what the hell they are doing. They speak English you see.
I wasn´t feeling too well today. Stomach rumblings and the likes. Nothing major but it was enough to keep me off the beach with Pat. Lets hope it doesn´t develop into something bigger.
I told him to be careful but he wouldn´t listen. Pat is a tad red this evening, having over indulged a bit on the beach today.
"But I was only out for a few minutes," he claims.
"Yes Lad, but it´s hot out there. I told you that."
There will be no sunbathing for Patricia for a day or two, that´s for sure.
· RIP T22 - December 2001 - March 2008
My laptop has finally given up the ghost, meaning it has died. You probably know I´ve been fighting BSOD errors, `Unmountable Boot Volumes´ and `No Operating System Found´ messages for 3-4 months now and I've rebuilt the computer half a dozen times in that same period. Well today, when I saw my latest BSOD, I finally decided enough was enough and I won´t be trying to fix it this time. I´m kind of glad I came to that decision actually because even though I have all the time in the world here in Goa to fix it, doing so is the last thing in that same world that I want to do, such is the hassle the thing has given me over the last 3-4 months. Not having it is a major inconvenience; no more music, nowhere to store my trip pictures and of course nowhere to do Travelpod entries. This entry, and the previous two, were written on paper and transferred to the Travelpod site in a Palolem Beach Internet café, a task that required an effort I´m nor sure I´ll be able to repeat too many times during the final weeks/months of this trip. Keep that in mind for future entries, entries that may only contain a few lines of babble or might only just be a map pin to show where in the world we are. Apologies in advance.