Sunday, 7 June 2015
For the princely sum of $50 we had a driver for the day today, so we could go and look at other parts of Goa aside from our jungle oasis. Speaking of our jungle oasis, I think I managed to better capture the front of it this morning, as we waited for the car to turn up..
We started with a visit to Panjim, the administrative capital of Goa. We had a quick look around but there wasn't too much to get excited about. I had plans of buying a few Goan tablecloths, like the nice one my Danish friends brought from Goa and gave me way back in 1994, but the pressure from the sales staff basically hounded us out of every place we looked. We had a very small walk around the streets though..
From the shopping places we went on to Old Goa, via a quick stop by the water..
After Chennai I'm really enjoying the fact that the roads have lanes, which even get used..
Goa is the richest state in India, and it's really obvious. The houses are bigger, the roads are better and everything is more manicured and orderly.
Next we went to Old Goa which has some very impressive cathedrals and churches and even the embalmed remains of St Francis which we could look at. The cathedral was very big and white..
But I actually preferred the look of the old shed next door to it..
Next we visited a Spice Farm, where we had a tour and ate and indian buffet lunch. There were heaps of tourists (mostly Indian locals) at both of these places, but otherwise Goa is very quiet as it's the start of Monsoon season.
I learnt things at the spice farm, like what a vanilla plant looks like, and what the three most expensive spices are (saffron - which I knew, cardamon and vanilla, neither of which I would have guessed. Also we saw an elephant both having a bath, and giving the two people on top of it a bath too..
The tour was only about half an hour, but felt like a bit of an endurance effort in the hot jungle sun! The lunch was nice afterwards though.
From there we headed to the coast to see some of the famous Goan beaches..
and you know they were okaaaaayyyy... if you like your beaches covered in rubbish and stray dogs and everything that comes with them.
Although it looks overcast it was actually super hot and windy - so like being blasted with a hairdryer as we walked along it, watching where we stepped. I did dip my toes in the Arabian Sea which does sound very exotic!
Then we headed back home for a restorative swim in the quite warm pool. I must say that I really didn't capture what I enjoyed most about the day out, which was all the Portuguese style houses - brightly painted and very decorative with tiny windows. Some of them are up to 400 years old. Hopefully I'll get some more photos tomorrow. I can't say I have any desire to be a backpacker in Goa (which is a very popular activity), although I guess if your aim is to sit in the sun and drink cheap beer then it's a good place to come.