Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Goa, by plane, train and taxi

Wow, what a crazy week.  Tues to Fri was pretty much spent travelling, and since Fri we've been having a well needed chill in a lovely quiet little place called Agonda, South Goa.  I'm feeling quite reluctant to do much, although today we've got round to getting a scooter and started checking out the surrounding area,  Thus, finding an internet cafe (with a surprisingly fast connection!)  We also got an ice cream and watched some monkeys! :)

So the flight to Mumbai was fairly non eventful, slightly delayed as someone poured fuel all over the engine of the plane we were meant to get!  Mumbai was quite a shock, especially the hour and a half taxi from the airport to the train station.  Talk about diving into the deep end of India - slums everywhere; children, animals, people walking along the sides of the road, chilling in any area of shade.  Traffic following no rules apart from the need to beep at and overtake as many other vehicles as possible.  We had expected rain, but it didn't rain for the first couple of days, so hot hot hot! 

The train station was intense - we felt conspicuous as the only white travellers.  We also had about 7 hours to kill after finally managing to get tickets for the sleeper train to Goa.  We spent much of it sitting on the floor with everyone else, and played some cribbage (Dad, thanks for the refresher course!!)  When 11pm & the train finally came, we had to overcome being told they'd double booked our bunks, but we ended up getting upgraded (with the help of a small bribe!)  Things work very differently out here! 

Coming into Goa on Thurs morning on the train was lovely: beautiful green views.  We'd got some sleep which was well needed, and had a near miss with some super-sweet chai tea!  12:30, we arrived at Malgao, where we opted for a pre-paid taxi down to Palolem.  We'd liked the sound of Palolem in the travel guide book, but although the journey there was stunning, the place wasn't quite what we had expected.  Clearly very geared up for the tourist season, with lots of hippy shops, bars and restaurants.  The guest house we were dropped at was grim, although we were desperate to stop so we said yes and regretted it later.  The evening we spent in Palolem was actually surprisingly lovely, with a spotting of two monkeys, an incredible storm and a wonderful meal on the beach (shark masala, mmmm!).  We ate whilst watching strobe-like lightning, which I've never imagined could last so long.  Going back to our room was a bit depressing - we had to play a game of 'things I hate about this room' to cheer ourselves up!  Water leaked out of the AC unit on the bed during the night..  We got the hell out of there in the morning!

So on Friday we came a bit along the coast to Agonda, where we're now staying, on a recommendation from a guy we met called Seth.  It's dead quiet, the guest house we're at has a little restaurant, and the beach is 2 mins away.  We're enjoying having some time to read, draw, sew and generally chill.  We also met a nice couple, Eve and Jay, who we've had a couple of meals with and got some good tips on, for example, how to haggle!

At the moment, we're back in Palolem making the most of the facilities (cash, post card for Nanny!)  Tim is off getting a bit more used to the scooter whilst I do internet stuff.  I suspect we'll do a bit more exploring this afternoon and find somewhere to have a meal later.  I think we'll be doing much of the same for a while yet!!

1 comment:

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