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Published: August 25th 2018
Sunshine at last! (After 2 very heavy showers earlier on)
Arriving in Vasco Da Gamma at just after 6am we were surprised at how quiet it was. There were no auto rickshaws waiting outside and most of the stalls and shops were shut. There were, however, a lot of taxi drivers. These seem to be replacing the tuk tuks in Goa.
Deciding a taxi was far too expensive we walked straight out of the station, past the deserted tuk tuk stand, and managed to find ourselves a bus to Panaji. Perfect! And only 40 rupees each...
The bus stand in Panaji turned out to be a mere 2km from our hostel so we walked there. Unfortunately we were somewhat early. Reception don’t start until 8am, breakfast isn’t until 830 and check in is after 230pm - welcome to laid back Goa!
We are staying in the Old Quarter, a hostel in an old Portuguese style building surrounded by other ‘heritage homes’. It’s a lovely area (if a little noisy at night) and the communal area of the hostel is comfy with air conditioning and great coffees (a little expensive but def worth it).
Following a yummy breakfast of porridge and posh coffee (hot choc for me!) we went
for our usual explore. It wasn’t far to walk to the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. Built in 1619 it’s the centre of Panaji. We then headed over to Miramar beach. This is a beautiful sandy beach. Unfortunately being monsoon it isn’t safe for swimming but I enjoyed a paddle in it and got thoroughly soaked by the waves (it’s really hot here so it was welcome!).
We walked back along the water front toward the hostel. En route we discovered Cafe Coffee Day - our first since arriving in India (and recommended by my brother & his wife). We decided to stop to enjoy the air con and some lunch. Stephens ice coffee was good, unfortunately my ‘lemonade’ was undrinkable and the food was mediocre and expensive. Somewhat disappointed we continued back along the front and came across the Campal Gardens - run by the forestry department this is a lovely area for a walk and we sat in the shade and relaxed for a while.
Once back at the hostel to check in we discovered our room was a 5min walk down the road. We also realised they tumble dry all clothes and half
Elizabeth gets to enjoy the water :)
our clothes say ‘do not tumble dry’. After dropping off the half that were safe to tumble dry we proceeded to wash the rest in the sink at the hostel. Our bedroom is now beautifully adorned with drying clothes hanging off every available space!
The final issue with the hostel (and this seems to be a recurring theme) is that it has no mosquito nets and very high ceilings! We managed to attach ours to the light fittings but it’s not exactly ideal...
The day ended eating at Viva Panjim - a local restaurant situated in a Portuguese style villa serving delicious Goan food. Well worth a visit.
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