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Published: January 7th 2010
Incredible, I was in Goa for more than 50 days and it seemed like a long time and now it is over! Today is my last day, I am super excited to leave even if I will miss Goa and the people I know here. I will come back anyway in a month to pick up a huge load of things that I don't need to carry with me on my way south.
My last weeks in Goa were not super busy with exploring, although I did go to a spice farm close to Ponda. The experience was OK, but the farm I went to was very much a tourist attraction, they seem to be doing the same thing over and over again so it didn't have the authentic feeling that you find is smaller family-run businesses. This was a big thing, with a big sitting area and well-trained guides that could recite their text by heart. They also provided a lunch that was quite ordinary, for a "spice farm" you would expect a "spicier" meal!!! Still, I had never seen what a cinnamon plant/tree looked like or a cardamon flower or even a pineapple "tree", so I enjoyed it.
Nice landscape, peaceful place
Again, just the trip to get there was part of the fun, local buses and all...
I also went a few times to Mapusa, visited my friends there and enjoyed good food on the way at the Navtara restaurant. This is a real indian restaurant, with mostly indian customers that take their lunch break between 2 and 3pm. I found out because one time I happened to be there just before 2 pm and was almost done with my lunch, my friend was finishing his chai and all of a sudden there was A LOT of new people arriving in the restaurant and we were almost kicked out by the staff! In his very polite indian way the manager said: "Mad'm, the customer is waiting!" They are so nice, and I love the way they speak.
Yesterday I went back to Mapusa to see Anna who was supposed to paint a henna tattoo on my foot. Just to try, because I want to get another one before I leave India. She did a great job, and while it was drying we went to the restaurant together. I could not put my sandal back on until it was dry
The smallet but hottest peppers in the world
so I walked bare foot to the restaurant trying not to think about the garbage, spit and cow shit that was likely on the path... But it was actually not bad and my tattoo was intact when it was time to take the crusty henna off. Anna and her friend took the leftover food with them. I asked: "For eating later?" They said no, it was for the children on the street. I was very touched. These girls that have very little think about the people who have even less.
On my way back I stopped to say goodbye to the indian families that I know here. Everybody is so nice and each time I have to have chai and cake and sweets and all. I came home stuffed like a pig and could not eat until this morning!
There is something super nice about staying in an area for a while. You get to know peolpe and they get to know you and when I don't buy milk for 2-3 days from my milkman, he asked me where I was... The veggy guy also knows me, the fruitman, the breadman, I think it is part of the
Anna and I
My henna artist and friend
pleasure of travelling to feel accepted and comfortable in a place so culturally different from our own culture. I know my neighbours, they always say : "Hello Catrina" when they see me and even people I never know my name, and they say "Catrina-Canada" when I walk by!!!
So this it it for the quiet life in Goa, I will be on my way to Hampi tomorrow morning, it should be a busy month with many sites to explore, many miles to cover and many restaurants to try!!! Tonight I will enjoy one more sunset with my yogi-friends, eat at Pete's one last time (if I have room after the chocolate cake that I will eat this afternoon), and say goodbye to my ants. I am sure they will be ahppy to see me again in February...
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