Pigging Out (literally) in Palolem

Trip Start Nov 19, 2003
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Trip End Apr 29, 2004


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Flag of India  ,
Monday, February 9, 2004

In chapter last, the V Man sucked up Panaji's Portugese past. Very pleasant. Was able to walk and ponder without interruption from tourists or touts. Dined, and coffeed, with the locals.

After 3 days in Panaji, the V Man boarded a bus. Destination Palolem, (said to be the best of Goa's fine beaches.)

First a bus to Margao. About an hour's journey (approx 40 cents). The V Man sat next to a documentary film maker. Nee India. Lives London. An interesting chap. Spends a good deal of his time sailing. Our conversation took our minds off the driver who could not bear to have a vehicle in front of him. Constantly passing!! The chat was interrupted at one point when the fellow in front of the V Man's new friend spit out the window. Well, gravity brought that lugey right back into the bus and onto the film maker. Needless to say, the documentary doer was not pleased. He gave his two cents to the spitter and then returned to conversing. A globe trotter. Not the Four Seasons kind. Interesting stories and sound advice conveyed. The Londoner suggested lunch in Margao but the V Man wanted to board the next bus to Palolem.

From Margoa to Palolem took about an hour. Uneventful save the driver's attempt to break the world record for car passing. Was a contender!!!!!

In Palolem, the V Man tied his heavy shell to his back and began looking for digs to sleep. Palolem is a beach village. A 2km semicircle of beach surrounded by palm trees and sleeping quarters. Although there are some rooms available, huts (on stilts [see photo]) make up the bulk of sleeping options in Palolem. The V Man walked the sands for a while before he found a place to call home. Many places full. Ultimately, the V Man found a nice, quite, hut-inn on the southern most part of the beach. 350 rupees, ($8.50).

A pleasant place. The proprietor had a good vibe. 10 or so steps on a wooden ladder brought the V Man to his thatch room. Cozy bed covered with mosquito netting. Large fan.

Excellent view to eye the Arabian Sea. Shared bathroom. No worries. But pork chops with legs running all about!!!!!!! Spent most of their time hanging out by the bathrooms or just walking beneath the huts searching for something to nibble on. Pigs seem to make up a good percentage of the Palolem population. Numerous times the V Man sat to do some emailing and a pig would nonchalantly trot by. Almost close enough to hop on the Vagabonder's lap!

In Palolem cows roam leisurely. As with the baconmakers, cows trot along not giving the humans any mind. Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!! The locals don't bat an eye when a cow appears at the door of their business.

As far as grub goes, Brown Bread, an organic eatery, was very good. The V Man appeared at BB each morning for coffee and brown bread with peanut butter.

Yes, the V Man munched Mexican (at Casa Fiesta) even though he vowed to not let any food save Indian touch his tongue while sojourning on the subcontinent. As is explained with the photo of the meal above, it was entrapment! The happy hour sign advertising 15 rupee King's beer hypnotized the V Man and pulled him in. When complimentary tortilla chips, and salsa, were placed beneath his nose he was no longer in control!! Before he know it the vow was broken and a veggie enchilada ordered. Very tasty too!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lunched the first day at the Cozy Nook. Aloo Goby. YUM!!!!! Read in the Navhinda Times (Panaji's local paper) that Bryon Adams, (the crooner that sang Summer of 69 among other top forties), favorite dish is AG. Not that the Vagabonder is such a big Bryon Adams fan but the thought was placed. Slurp!!!!!! Aloo Gobi was gobbled for dinner the second night at Cuba Beach Cafe. Downed with a Kingfischer.

Took some nice walks on the beach and on the roads surrounding the village. A sunrise and sunset saviored.

Killing Fields complete. Farenheit 451 now exercises the Vagabonder's eyes. Tony Hillerman's, The First Eagle, a Southwestern/Native American thriller, is on deck.

After two days in Palolem the V Man is presently in Margoa. A guest at Hotel La Flor. Modern hotel. Cable TV. Hot shower. Ceiling fan (370 rupees). 44 rupees=$1. Purpose of stay in Margao is to visit train station and purchase ticket for next leg of trip. Destination Hampi where the V Man will visit the famous ruins of Vijavanagar. Founded 1336. Once boasted a population of 500,000. Now some locals, tourists and monkeys fill the space. Not monkeys again!!!!!!!

The V Man walked from his Margoa digs to the train station, stopping on the way at Bombay Cafe for some pori (Indian Bread) and eggplant salad.

Walked to the train station in exhausting heat. Passed shantylike living quarters on the way. Handful of families living on dried earth with makeshift shelters to escape the sun and sleep in.

Filled out a reservation slip at the train station, and was successful, after quite a lot of Q'ing, to acquire a ticket for Wednesday's morning train to Hampi.
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