We arrived in Goa and we’re immediately hit by the heat and the humidity. And then we realised that we’d moved states. And I mean we really noticed a change. Gone we’re the small streets and dusty dry roads. It was humid, and it was a jungle. Palm trees and this Tarzan style vines covering everything in sight. Then… We couldn’t believe it. A SUPERMARKET! Then another and another oh… Bakeries and Italian cafes.
We knew Goa was a tourist destination but wow it was different. At first we didn’t really know what to do.
We booked into a small place a 20 minute walk from the beach. We quickly realised this was too far given the heat. But we set off in the evening and we’re blown away by the sunset. An empty beach (the next day we noticed the sign saying it was closed from 7pm…oops) with the sun setting perfectly over the sea, perfect sized waves lapping the shore. The sea breeze keeping all mozzies away and making it an almost bearable temperature.
We wondered along and then back onto the streets to find dinner. Gregor had done a Google and found a place called pentagon that had good reviews so off we went.
It was darker than previous places we been and the dogs seems quicker to bark at you, I was a bit uneasy but lots of people were walking past so we made it through.
Pentagon had excellent food. They seemed confused as we only ordered one curry and one rice, but Gregor and I had become very used to sharing a meal at lunch and dinner. Everyone was eating way too much! We couldn’t keep up.
Nice ambiance. Lots of seafood which meant a sneaky table move at one point. But we did come to the coast so what did we expect. (Not seafood. I didn’t think) but a beautiful evening. We even had a beer! Then the entertainment started. Oh wow. Every 60s hit by a man and his keyboard.
Poor Gregor couldn’t cope.
It turns out that the area we were in was a very popular destination for retired Brits and Russians. Very different to the north. Everyone spoke English or russian. Everything was made for tourists and everyone knew eachother. We met quite a few people who said they’d been coming out here very year for 20 years. They’d come out in October and leave in march!!
We were the odd ones out.
After two days we moved further south to Benaulim beach. We’d gone over one afternoon and then booked into an apartment the next day. AN APARTMENT. We had a sofa! And a sink! And for the first time in months we had a night in! Luxury.
Benaulim is still very russian but less expensive and less posh. We had been seriously missing cycling so we hired bikes for a few days. Helmets? No. Gears? No. I loved my bike, however it’s worth noting that the women’s ratio was much worse than the mens! It was impossible to go at any pace and I had disco legs on every down hill. Gregor was tanking on the downhill but lost me on the uphill. His ratio was much more sensible.
Given the bikes we planned a small tootle. Which turned out to be an excellent day down to betul beach, a beautiful, quiet peninsula which we spent hours wondering around, followed by chips and a lime soda at a busier beach up the road. We sat reading for hours.
Though it was a quiet day it ended up being over 30km, which was more than I expected my bike to handle!
Its been a lovely few days. We’ve been picking up fruit and pastries and having breakfast in. We e had an evening in and found an excellent resteraunt opposite us. We’ve enjoyed exploring on bikes. We’ve enjoyed exploring on foot (and realising it is way too hot for such things) and enjoyed sitting on a balcony watching the world go by.
We’re incredibly aware of covid-19 and still unsure how to play it. The travel insurance have made it clear that we get no help from them unless the government tell us to leave India. If the government say to leave an area of India. They will only help us move to another. But it’s okay. We can get home.
The current plan is to head to palolem for 4 days of yoga, then to gokarna.
Then back to Maharashtra. We’re thinking Mahabaleshwar and some hiking but who knows. We’ve decided to stop train travel, taxis are more but seem sensible given covid and the general level of sanitation in India. It’s a shame but we just don’t trust people to admit to symptoms, to to to the doctor or get screened. And to be frank, given the level of smoking, dust and air pollution. Everyone is already hacking their lungs out. We’re pretty certain it’ll go in noticed here for a whole and then suddenly boom. And we don’t want to be around for the boom.
Palolem tomorrow though! Time for more yoga!