Lobsters and white pointers
Trip Start Jan 08, 2005
135Trip End Ongoing
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All the accommodation was a rip and they thought us strange for only wanting to stay a few days rather than a few months which is obviously the norm.
I knew the beach towns of Goa probably wouldn't be my cup of tea and so far it was a whole pot!! But you've got to come and try things out.
We took a walk to Anjuna beach to check out the 'hippie' markets. The walk over the cliffs was good but Anjuna beach wasn't nice at all. The sand was black and there was rubbish all over the place. Predictably there were tourist women with their tops off and a bunch of locals ogling them. Being a prude I'm not into getting the white pointers out in public. Fine if you want to but I don't think it's acceptable in a country like India where their culture requires women to remain covered. I know, you might think I 've got double standards as I wore my bikini in Dui. But I did put a top on and the beaches were empty. The markets weren't that impressive either. Just full of the normal touristy stuff only the prices were way more inflated and some of the stall owners were whitie hippie types. I suppose if you were there on a short holiday and wanted to get some pressies or pick up some cheap DVD's and CD's then it might be convenient and probably alot cheaper than London!
We walked back over the cliffs, through Baga and on to Calangute. Apparently Baga used to be a quiet little place and the road joining the two towns empty. Progress has taken hold and everyone wants a piece of the tourism pie. The road is lined with hotels, shops, stalls and restaurants all the way. The town of Calangute is the same. Packed with restaurants of every description and plenty of bars, shops and hotels to make you feel right at home. That's if you want to feel at home. I didn't feel like I was in India.
Next morning we packed up and moved to a smaller establishment run by a little old guy called Mr Rodriguez. He may have had a European name but his English was crap!! The room was more our style though. Cheap.
We went for a walk along the crowded beach. It wasn't crowded with sun-worshippers just deck-chairs, beach-shack-cafes, locals touting for business and dogs. Underneath all that from what we could see the sand looked quite nice. All the deck-chair touts made taking a nice peaceful stroll along the shore impossible. We decided to head into Panaji to book our train tickets to Hampi. So a bus ride and ferry took us there. Along the way the old Portuguese influence could be seen in the way of churches, crosses and old houses. Some were beautiful and some had been reclaimed by the jungle.
Panaji seemed small, quiet and very clean. We came across a magnificent church perched on a small rise in the town square. It was the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. We decided to leave it for our return. Our mission today was to get train tickets and eat. After purchasing our Hampi tickets we went to a traditional Portuguese restaurant that had been recommended by the family in Dui. It was fantastic too!! When we got back to Calangute we decided to go for another walk along the beach. David took a dip and I watched the people watching him. There were roasted fat lobsters out in force, some even with matching g-strings. Not a pretty sight!! There were also quite a few topless older women whose boobs were nothing more than loose leather pouches.
Next day we went for a couple of swims. The water was really warm which was nice but not the bunches of people staring from the shores. We took another stroll along the shore dodging the floating dog turds being washed up onto the sand and watched some local fisherman pulling their boats up onto the shore whilst the sun dropped below the horizon. Sunsets on the beach are beautiful, even here.
Our train to Hampi was leaving very early so we decided to spend the night in Vasco de Gama. We got there in the afternoon and had a look around. It's a very small place with not so much to see. On the bus ride in we saw a sweet looking church so went to find it and stumbled across a Catholic wedding in progress. We'd been surrounded by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhism for so long it seemed strange to see the full white gown and dress suit. I wanted to stick around and see them walk out of the church so we sat back and took a couple of photos. Instead of trays of champers and canapés they brought out crates of soft drinks and trays of samosas and curry puffs!! When relo's noticed us they waved us over and included us in their party whilst the photos were taken!! It was great!!
After we waved them goodbye we had a look around the graveyard next door. It was amazing to see so many Portuguese names and not just from centuries ago either. Some graves were very new.
Calangute beach wasn't the place for me. Too many big, fat lobsters, g-strings and breasts parading the beach and far too many deck-chairs. I can see why some people would go for a holiday though (if you like that sort of thing). It's cheap(ish), it's hot, there's a beach where you can baste on a deck-chair all day and be waited on hand and foot and there are cheap souvenirs to purchase. I'm happy to leave it to them.