We met Kate with only one difficulty. We met Kate, but a Kate minus her backpack...This had been lost in transit at Mumbai airport. There seems to be a theme running here with trying to leave with stuff from Mumbai. Mumbai seems to like keeping things of other peoples/trying to keep people from leading. But we had Kate and that was the main thing.
We stopped in a little youth Hostel at Morjim beach for a couple of days, Morjim was lovely, we spent some time sunbathing, ate lots of food (Kate had her first Indian Birianyi of many) and we drank beer and caught up. Lovely stuff. Our next stop was the magical Anjuna beach, and somewhat a spiritual home for us trance heads. Anjuna Beach - Where trance music began. To be excited to go there was an understatement. We stopped by the airport en route for Kates bag and off we trotted to find a beach house on Anjuna Beach (the beach of all things trance music).
Finding a beach hut was easy, lots to choose from with some decent cheap places on the beach. We headed to a lovely bunch of bungalows and checked into
one which we got a decent deal. Having unpacked we realised there was a reason for this cheap room, the toilet didn't work properly meaning that when in the toilet all you could smell, and see on the floor was poo water. Ew. A quick talk with the man looking after the bungalows and he seemed to think he could fix it whilst we went out. Having had yet more chicken tikka masala and nan bread whilst listening to some trance on the beach we headed back to find that a mop to the floor was not going to cut the mustard with the smell of the poo, with some assertiveness we swopped rooms to a fresh smelling non poo room. Ill trip could continue poo smell free.
We lapped up Anjuna beach, as a beach it was a quite standard very long curved beach, lined with restaurants, bars and sunbeds. But, hey man it was all about the music. There were lots of locals here on holiday which provided highly entertaining enjoying their time away from the cities. Getting drunk, rolling around in the sea in their see through underwear (not being able to swim did not hinder
them and we saw several people have to be rescued), lots of stares to us girls and even the occasional sly photo of western girls sunbathing which did result in a little anger from me to them. 'STOP taking pictures of me...NOW'. Most of the time was spent having lots of fun whilst sipping some cocktails and listening to trance. A few days in the famous Anjuna flew market was on, this was a HUGE affair of different stalls, well the same stalls repeated over and over again. Stalls selling hippy pants, Goa trance CD's, jewellry, clothes, lots of tie dye, musical instruments, pictures and food. Once Kate was sufficiently tatted up we headed to the beach for more cocktails and trance. On the saturday night it was the weekly psy trance night at Curlies, which is a bar/restaurant at the end of the beach. We had been for food at Curlies a couple of times, and l had eaten the nicest balsamic vinegar steak meal for a whole sum of £4.50, they also had a mix of both Indian and western, as well as a decent bloody mary! The famous psy trance night was everything we had hoped it
would be, busy, lots of strange hippy people about, talking to randoms, drinking cheap drinks, splashing about in the sea, lots of UV and finished with a hugh firework display and bonfire. It almost ended in disaster when the left over fireworks boxes were put together and lit as a bonfire on the beach, unfortunately someone hadn't checked the boxes were empty and fireworks started exploding everywhere and whooshing around where people were sitting on the beach which led to a bit of panic and everyone running around trying not to be hit by a firework, luckily we were well away and just watched the chaos and panic from a safe distance. We called it a night at about 4.30 AM and left the hard core clubbers to it.
Whilst at Anjuna we took a trip out to meet some elephants and get in the water with them whilst they use their trunks to spray us with water. It sounded like great fun, however, when we arrived we were faced with a hugh ethical dilemma over the whole thing and how well the elephants were being treated. We went ahead and it was good fun, however, i definitely wouldnt
do it again, poor elephants don't want us climbing all over them, they want to relax and just be elephants not show ponies (so to speak). Driving over to the elephants made us realise how small and accessible Goa is, and with cheap taxi we didn't need to to use the train unless we wanted to.
After a few days of trance for breakfast, lunch and dinner we headed south to Palolem beach, this was recommended by friends who had passed through the same area a few months before. After catching the train down for a very small amount of rupees and hiking up and down the beach to find someone to stay (it was nearing the end of season so there was limited choice) we struck gold (ish) with a room billed at 'the penthouse'. It was infact actually a fancy tree house with two double beds, a bathroom which was at a slant and felt at any moment would collapse under our feet, and which we later found out also housed rats/mice/flying cockroaches. But it was ours, it was cheap and it was right on the beach, meaning our balcony over looked the sea. Perfect! Whilst at
Palolem we did a lot of sunbathing, lots of eating, looking at tat and l went to one session of yoga.
Yoga was conducted by a man who was classed as a guru of some sort. He lived in a house, which was a bit like a commune with other western travelers (mainly women) and the rooms in the houses had no doors, simply curtains. Kate opted out of yoga so l went alone for an afternoon session. This was on the roof which was accessed by a stair case without a railing, and was just me and the guru. What an experience, it was boiling hot and it was a hard session, i was having to do moves l wasnt comfortable with, whilst sweating and thinking this wasnt such a good idea. But l couldnt leave as it was just me in the class and to top it off the guru proceeded to tell me that l was bloated, overweight, unhappy and other things l cant remember as l had to stop listening to the rubbish coming out of his mouth. I actually think at one stage he tried to mind control me in some way, it was
a very strange experience, one for the traveling books but not one l like to be repeated! I Could not wait to get out of there and get as far away from that man as possible, haha l shouldn't have bothered with the session at all!
Another interesting/near miss situation came from hearing about a guy who gave massages, having met him he was a lovely guy, but l didn't quite fancy a huge overweight sweaty man without his top giving me a massage. Instead we opted for a women who was very friendly and minus the sweat, Kate and l both slithered out of the massage tent with our dignity intact thankfully!
Palolem was beautiful and ld recommend anyone to go there, the season was winding down but it was lovely and still so vibrant. Just keep an eye out for dodgy guru's and sweaty men masseuse's.
Our last stop as a trio was a couple of nights in Panaji (Panjim), id read there was a few things to do here. We managed to drag out our time by visiting the cathedrals and churches which were a short journey away and also wandering around central Panjim.
Next time if a stopover was needed, l think one night stay here would be enough. For our last supper we found a delightful little local restaurant which served the most tasty indian food and we ordered a variety of dishes to give Kate a great send off.
We dropped Kate off at the airport the following day (tears a plenty) and made our way back to central to catch an early morning train to India's version of 'bedrock', Hampi.
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