Moo-ving, Just Keep Moo-ving!
Trip Start Sep 09, 2007
33Trip End Ongoing
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Apologies for the lack of entries lately but we've been busy little bees... well kind of!
Since the last entry we spent 6 nights at Maggie's shack with a teddy bear pool.
A lot of R&R was had (that's rest & relaxation in case you're thinking Rock & Roll Steve came to visit!), well as much as the weather would allow - a lot of rain also fell which meant more time was spent in the bar watching cricket. Charlie is now officially a cricket 'expert' and knows the difference between a four, a six, a wicket and a wide!
During our time at Maggie's we also visited the 'English Bar' one night for bingo which was... an experience! A load of leather-skinned Northerners telling us how they loved the Indian way of life as they sat there drinking lager, eating bangers n mash and playing bingo! Not a completely wasted night though as Charlie ended up winning about 700 rupees!
We also, bravely/stupidly/recklessly (you decide!) hired a moped one day and took a little trip around the area up to Anjuna and Baga beaches and down to Fort Aguada and
Panjim City. Bearing in mind what we've already said about Indian roads and drivers it was definitely an interesting day although despite a few hiccups
(namely not initially knowing how to start the dam thing, nearly crashing into a hedge as i swerved to avoid a huge snake, being inches away from a 'bus sandwich' and dodging the various animal lifeforms which wander the roads!) I think I did OK. I'm not sure if Charlie would agree judging by the nailmarks on my back as she clung on tight and closed her eyes!!
We liked the look of Baga from our brief visit and so decided we'd moved North slightly for a few days there. Cheap accommodation was booked with a one-toothed old lady and we spent 4 nights in Baga which was a bit livelier than Calangute, with more bars, restaurants and beachlife. It also had a lot of women on the beach selling general tack and again we were burning brightly on the white-man radar. I was dubbed 'chicken man' due to my pastey skin whilst Charlie got off a bit lighter than me with her obvious tan advantage and she became known as an Indian Barbie Girl!
We met quite a few cool people in Baga as we did in Calangute which was nice as it meant I could resort back to speaking with an English accent - Charlie was getting worried by my simplified sentences and 'East is East' accent!!
Earlier this week saw the Twenty20 cricket World Cup final with India v Pakistan so we made a trip to the bar for that and Charlie's newfound cricket knowledge came in handy as we celebrated an India victory with the locals!
Keen to boost my road skills further we again hired out a moped this week as we made a trip down to Old Goa. There is some amazing architecture inside and outside the old churches and cathedrals and also a very peaceful feel to the whole place, perfect for calming Charlie's nerves after the ride there! From Old Goa we made our way back up North to Vagator Beach
and Chapora Fort with 360 degree views, eagles soaring all around us and a cracking sunset. The trip home was most entertaining as seemingly every herd of cows in the area descended on the roads and a whole lot of weaving, horn beeping and expert driving on my part was required!
As we ride along the roads, overtaking buses and chugging goods carriers, random people on motorbikes and mopeds will also often pull up alonside us for a chat and to offer directions!
After 4 days in Baga we yesterday made the trip via local bus, coach (in the 'white seats' - the bus was full with the exception of one seat so Charlie and I, the only non-Indians on board, were afforded the 'luxury' of a small bench next to the crazy driver who very kindly left the door open for the whole journey! At one point our climb up a hill was so slow we were tempted to get out and crawl!) and rickshaw to Colva which is a lot quieter than Calangute/Baga and more of a little seaside town, complete with slums, piglets and geese bathing in puddles.
Our favourite quote so far came when I was haggling with the hotel man for a cheaper room rate. When I tried to halve his initial price he asked "How can I do this? You're not buying fish you know!"
So here we are in Colva, again out on the moped today (rookie bravery turning to experienced Easy Rider with every cow I dodge!) before we head South to Palolem tomorrow and look to leave Goa for Bangalore.
We're going to try and upload some photos to go with this entry but it's pretty slow so there may have to be only a few.
Hope everyone is well and Mum please don't worry about me on a moped - I wear a helmet (sometimes) and I'm good with the horn!
Up the Shots... just don't get promoted without me!
Take care everyone, lots of love from a pastey-but-slowly-browning Tom, a calmer-but-still-eyes-closed-on-bends Charlie and Percy, who's slowly recovering after a bout of 'Delhi Belly' from a Prawn Vindaloo! xxx