Archive for India

Goa Tourism Board Sponsored Newsletter

Hi Y’all

Wow, it’s been a while since my last updateI seem to have done a lot, but time has flown by.

  • LA was fun. I really liked hanging out at Venice Beach – I felt right at home there (yes, yes, I know . . )
  • NZ was busy, sorting things out, arranging auctions, seeing people etc, so
  • When I got to Sydney I was actually quite tired and spent most of my time lounging around, catching up with family, relaxing and reading books
  • HK was kind of repetitive given that I grew up there and have been there recently (a bit lacking in new tourist attractions), but nevertheless I had a great time doing non-touristy things like going to look at where I used to live. They also had a huge fireworks festival while I was there which was great, not just for the fireworks but also for being part of a crowd of 500,000 people who went to watch.
  • I spent three days in Macau where I hadn’t been since I was very young. I had a great time just wondering around and soaking things up. Unlike HK I get the feeing that Macau hasn’t changed a lot in recent years. It’s worth a side trip if you end up in HK with time on your hands.
  • Then on to Bombay which really is the world’s most horrible city. It was really hot (about 35º), there were millions of people everywhere, people sleeping on the streets, dead bodies, piles of rubbish, dirt and rats running around everywhere. I know someone who thinks it’s the most wonderful place in the world. I’ve tried, but I just don’t get it!

And now (after a 12 hour train ride) I am back in Goa, one of the most wonderful places possible. Picture; deserted long white sandy beaches, butterflies, sunshine, cooling sea breezes, wonderful food and friendly people – and you start to get the idea. I am staying on a beach called Colva and turned up in the middle of the night looking for a room. Found a nice place right on the beach for 200 rupees per night (4 €) and felt really guilty bargaining the price down to 170 – but hey, when in Rome . . .

It’s a tough life

So now my typical day looks something like this:

0830 Wake up

0900 Wander from room to one of four or five wonderful beach-front restaurants nearby and eat huge breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast, Goan chilli sausages, fries, coffee etc.) (2€)

1000 Wander along beach with Walkman improving my Czech (I’ve got some really good tapes and I’m actually making some progress). Optionally help local fishermen pull in their nets. Amuse fishermen by appearing to speak loudly to myself in Czech :)

1200 Go for a jog on the beach. Of course I get really hot eventually – so I just jump into the beautiful blue Arabian Sea, and swim back to my room.

1330 Shower and then choose wonderful beach-front restaurant for really spicy Indian lunch (2€).

1430 Lay in hammock reading book. Possibly have afternoon sleep.

1800 Head to nice beach front bar, listen to techno music, talk to Canadians, Brits and Scottish people. Watch beautiful sunset. Drink lots of beer (0.50€), and eventually wander/stagger up the beach to bed.

I imagine I’ll eventually get bored with this and want to go and see the Taj Mahal or something, after all I’m here for a month, but I can’t see any immediate signs. I’ll probably head up to Anjuna next week sometime (another wonderful place).

It’s going to be fun going from here direct to Moscow in the middle of winter!

So, I’m still alive, having a wonderful time, and no, I’m not bored yet.

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Letter from Goa

A few more weeks have passed so the time has come for another update.

For the last couple of weeks I have been in Goa.  Despite the fact that Kiwis are supposedly the world's greatest travelers, it would seem that not many of us make it here.  I have yet to meet another Kiwi / Aussie, and most of the locals seem quite surprised to see me.

This might have something to do with the fact that it is so incredibly difficult to get here! Goa is about 600km south of Mumbai, and despite the fact that it sounds like a great concept; the “sleeper bus” is not an idea that I predict will take off world-wide (especially in countries with lots of pot holes).

Anyway I arrived here fairly bruised and exhausted and spent the first week having a great time at a place

called Anjuna, which is the “Techno capital” of the world (Thank you Carla for the recommendation).  A lovely beach with lots of hippies and Israeli teenagers wandering around smoking drugs.  It's like the place was magically time warped from the 1970s, although all the hippies now have wrinkles and gray hair.  Need a florescent poster with mushrooms and pixies on it?  A Tattoo? Or some E?  No problem!  I spent the week blatting around on a rented motor scooter, attended my fist ever Techno Trance party and had a great time.

This week I've moved on to a place called Colva, which is absolutely gorgeous. A long deserted pure white sandy beach.  Spending my days lying on the beach reading books which brief breaks for beautiful gourmet meals.  Total cost per day (all up including food, accom and drinks?) NZ$ 20.  I'm staying in a little guest house that is only assessable by walking along the beach for a kilometer carrying your backpack.

I should theoretically visit Palolem before I leave, which is supposed to be the most beautiful part of Goa, but I'm having such a nice time here that I probably won.t bother (naughty I know)

That's enough from me today.  Still alive, having fun (and no, I'm not bored yet)

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