Leaving Goa for the second time
Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
67Trip End ??? ??, 2008
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So I said in my last entry I was heading back to Goa for a few days. Just over 4 weeks later that's me finally leaving!
I arrived on a Saturday morning at something stupid like 6am in Mapusa, which is a biggish town in north Goa. Bus journey was quite unpleasant as expected. I had booked a single berth, but when I got on the bus I was shown it and it was only about two thirds normal size. So as I wouldn't have fitted in, I had to share a double with another girl. She was very nice and all but it's a very small space to sleep next to a stranger and the bus drivers are crazy which means it's difficult not to roll about from side to side
I got the bus to Calangute and found myself a room there with the help of an overly helpful Kashmiri man. Only stayed there one night as for just over a week after that I stayed with my friend Sanjay in his apartment. Nice to have some home comforts, like washing machine, big TV, microwave etc. I did over stay my welcome a little there however as I had said I was only coming for a few nights.
So then moved out into a guest house in Baga (just next to Beira Mar for people who've been) so excellent location, just 5 mins walk from the beach and all the bars.
Lots has changed in Goa this year. The police are now strictly enforcing a music law that states no amplified music can be played after 10pm (except inside). So this means that no bars have music after 10, Mambos (outdoor nightclub - where I spent every night on holiday last year) has knocked down the very small inside bit they already had and built a new inside bit where they can play music. There is no music in the rest of it and it's pretty much dead. Although saying that, there seemed to be a bit of law flouting going on just before I left. Club Cubana (outdoor nightclub at the top of a hill - they have ladies night on a Wed when entry and all drinks are free!) is still going strong, music law doesn't seem to apply there for some reason. So apart from Club Cubana, really the nightlife isn't great this year at all.
I was just planning to leave Goa when I met 3 Scottish girls, Julie, Lynne and Jane
I haven't done much of note in Goa at all, it's been very much lying on the beach all day and drinking at night. Chad and I went to Panjim one day for a little bit of shopping and sightseeing and to the movies. Panjim is a nice city, it has a nice "promenade" which was built for the Indian Film Festival and looks like it could belong in the south of France. That's if you hold your nose and don't smell the stink of the River Mandovi! We went to see Red which is my first Bollywood movie. I really enjoyed it and although it was mostly in Hindi we managed to follow the story ok, partly because they throw in some random English now and then
We were here for the Holi festival. I'm not actually sure what it's all about, Chad heard it was something to do with getting rid of evil spirits with colour. Anyway it basically involves covering each other in powder paint! We woke up one morning to hear what sounded like a concert going on virtually outside our door. On investigation turned out to to be the Beira Mar (hotel next door) with massive speakers playing Hindi music and giving out free beer and covering people with paint. Excellent fun although I ruined a bikini and a top!
I also went to visit a porcupine called Peta at the request of Eleanor Cook! I had to go into a bar and say "Is this where they porcupine lives?" Eleanor knew this porcupine from holidays there 3 or 4 years ago, so I had to go and check it is still alive. It's very much still alive and actually quite interesting as I've never seen one before. I had to go back 5 times before it would co-operate and let me take decent pictures of it. I also met it's owner and he said it's only aged 16 and (I think - can't remember exactly) he said they live til they're 30 so should be ok for a few years yet
Chad and I also took a walk down the beach from Baga to Candolim which is the next but one town. There is a ship there called the River Princess which ran aground in 2000 or 2001 and has been sitting just off the beach rusting ever since. Bit of an eye sore when you're sunbathing! They're finally working on it now and it supposedly being moved this month (March). We'll see! Whole walk there and back took us about 3 and a half hours - don't know why I haven't lost any weight yet, the amount of walking I'm doing!
I was planning to move onto Gokarna next, which is a town just a couple of hours south of Goa in the state of Karnataka. But since I've overstayed so badly in Goa I've decided to give that a miss and go straight to Kerala. Managed to book a train ticket with only minor inconvenience. For some reason travel agents here can't book them electronically the way they can in other parts of India, they have to send a person to Panjim to do it! So I went to Panjim and managed to get a ticket for only a day later than I wanted. 15 hours in cheap sleeper class on the train, I'm sure it'll be fun! People keep telling me it's raining in Kerala, it better not be. The rain isn't supposed to start til May/June but the weather in Goa over the last few days is more like the weather at the end of April, hot and sticky and very very humid at night. There is a LOT of sweating going on....