Goa is the richest state in the mighty country of India. This tourist mecca attracts foreigners in their millions, who enjoy the relaxed living and beach life the West Indian state is famed for. The peak season is from November to January, where the party seriously rocks! After arriving in Goa it's hard to believe that one is still in India as the maddening crowds, filth and squalor that can be so overwhelming at times in North India are suddenly a thing of the past. The state was conquered and ruled by the Portugese for 450 years, and only annexed by India in 1961. As such there is a discernable European feel to visiting, and the Goans are hospitable hosts who ensure a visit is something to treasure. The promotional face of Goa tourism is a young Bollywood actress, and I reckon her gig is not such a hard sell!
The journal continues, dear reader , from where we left off in Varanasi. Domestic flights are competitive in India at around 100 dollars, and highly recommended as a mode of transport in this vast country. I flew back to Delhi for an overnight stay before another connecting flight the next
morning. I stayed at the Eurostar International hotel just four kilometres from the airport, and had a nicely appointed room for only ten dollars. After ordering a tasty veg curry, I started to feel stomach cramps straight away, but was not overly concerned. Anyways, the flight from Delhi to Goa takes under three hours with a brief stopover in Mumbai. The airport is a good fifty kilometres from the beaches, and it took a little over an hour to reach the highly rated Evershine Guest House on Anjuna beach. The staff were friendly and welcoming, and I fell in with a great crowd of travellers from the get go.
It's amazing how quickly things can change when you travel, as I hadn't seen a beer for a week, and there I am suddenly in the middle of a table with fifteen people. A friendly Brit recommended a mutton curry, and I was in the mood to cut loose after some tough travelling. This led, inevitably and regrettably, to my own nightmare of Delhi belly hell. It's been raining almost continuously for the last four days in Goa, but I haven't missed much as I've been laid low with the
runs, fever, and chills. It's scary when you get sick overseas, but the trusty antibiotics prescribed from home have seen me through the worst of it. I only realised how ill I was when I tried to complete an online visa application, and just couldn't get anything right, as I was delirious and unable to focus. Everything was so confused on the form, and I was constantly making errors. I was putting DOB in the date of issue field for my passport etc, and eventually had to give up. The fever broke on the third afternoon, and my forehead and neck stopped burning up as I broke into an astonishing sweat. The owner said I should go to the doctor, and I was planning to the next morning when I started to perk up. Due to illness I missed the chance to visit the capital Panaji with the guest house crew. They told me the visit was enjoyable, aside from the infernal rain that is, so next time I hope to check it out as it's only an hour away by bus. But of course one's health is the most important factor, and that's an inescapable fact.
The guests have been kind and considerate during a difficult stretch for me on the subcontinent adventure. Finally on my last day two factors coincided so that I could do a bit of an explore. Firstly I felt well enough, and secondly there was a little break in the incessant rain, so I quickly grabbed my camera and handycam to try and capture a bit of Anjuna while the weather held. I was able to explore for over an hour, before the rain came pelting down again. One local told me cheerfully the weather was expected to clear tomorrow, perfect I thought, as I'm leaving before I even get one day to lie in the sun or have a swim. I'm not sure many tourists have come to Goa and not spent any time on the beach, but the rain has been astonishing during my visit. Particularly during the first two days as it positively pelted down, with only the odd five minute break before the next downpour. Never mind, as it's all part of the travel experience, and at least I got one opportunity to check out the beach today.
critic: why don't you go practice falling down, I'll be there in a minute! Well, let me tell you I've been practising... The Guest House tiles have become extremely slippery with the non stop rain, and I ended up on my arse yesterday while desperately trying to keep my laptop in hand. I'm certainly a bit sore, but there's no real harm done, and at least I didn't smash the computer. Overall I can hardly say I've had the most totally awesome time ever here in Goa, in fact it's been a traveller's litany of disasters! It would be great to visit Goa, though, during the tourist season when the place is going totally off. I'm told there are enough beach parties and trance music to wear out even the most wired of party animals. But I have absolutely no complaints, basically all of you should be here now!
Regard the society of women as a necessary unpleasantness of life, and avoid it as much as possible," Leo Tolstoy
As I continue my travels, until next time it's signing off for now
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