02 October 2013

Goa, India (12/13)

A lazy day is called for today - time to chill and just enjoy the whispering palms, the swish of the waves and the cooling breeze.
After a hearty breakfast and the blog typed up, we donned the swimming costumes and headed down the beach. At low tide, there is hard sand to walk on so its easy walking. We walked all the way to the river mouth - about 2 km - and then around the bend to see all the fishing boats moored along the river. The smell of fish was overpowering so perhaps they dry them here? Once again, there is not much tourist info of the area from Holiday Inn/Averina beach.
On the way back, we chose a shallow pool of water which had a sand bank further out so we figured it was safe to wet our bodies as we would bounce off the sandbank if the current decided to catch us! The water of the Arabian Sea is like a bath - so very warm. It was really just a dip in shallow water as we have been warned about the rip and the sea was pretty stormy. Walking back, cooled down, was most pleasant.
The pool then beckoned and we had some cool R&R in the stunning pool. Everybody is so well behaved that it is a pleasure taking a dip. We have also been doing some exercises in the pool - more activity than we ever get at home! Today is fairly cool so we even felt chilly after our afternoon swim - believe it or not!
Time for those Kingfishers so off we went across the road to our wine shop, Bryson's Stores. The owner works till late at night with a short lunch break. He also stays open all year round so says there is no time for jiggy-jigg!! However, with 3 kids, he managed to squeeze in a few moments somewhere! It's a tiny little shop with everything one could possibly need and we wish him all the best for his dedication and very long working hours.
The chugging of the fishing boats going back to the river, the sound of the waves, the continual squawking of the crows, the swaying palm trees, all make for a relaxing and enjoyable Kingfisher before our supper!
It seems that 1st October heralds the end of the Monsoon season. The farmers are looking forward to harvesting a bumper crop, Goa is looking forward to a bumper tourist season with increased hotel tariffs, the heavy plastic drapes have been removed from the upstairs lobby today and the guy playing the sax started in the restaurant tonight! The air is much cooler today so let's see what tomorrow brings?
My body is feeling a little overdone from the sun but what the heck - we are escaping the last of the Cape winter!

What can I say - we have become total blobs and have spent the day at the pool, lounging on the loungers with our Kindles.
At one stage, after coming back from the loo, I could not find my glasses so I freaked. What have you done with my glasses, I shouted at James.
Astounded, he shouted back at me "They are on your head, dear!" Shows how much one loses brain power lazing around all day long. But it is delicious to do this sometimes instead of always dashing around the place. Of course, in India, one cannot dash anywhere so the slow pace takes hold. Give it up and just go with the flow. My independent streak has taken a knock in this country having to be so reliant on either taxi's or public transport. In many places the "cheap" tuk-tuks are not available. This is not a bad thing as they would just cause more chaos on the already chaotic roads.
Having said that, today's paper had a report on 2 deaths of 2 wheeler drivers (scooters) in separate incidents in Goa within one week. One week? The public were so incensed that they blockaded the road where the one accident happened and it had to be closed for a spell. This tells me that despite the crazy driving on India's roads, the drivers know how to cope with the traffic most times and obviously have some sort of secret code to keep total mayhem from disintegrating into death and destruction. Hats of to Indian drivers, I say.
Whilst there are many reports of crime, rape, prostitution and corruption in India, these are vividly reported and most of the culprits are apprehended.
Some official even had to spend a night in an Indian jail and complained bitterly about the mosquitoes and even worse, the bedbugs!!! It seems that prisoners have been complaining about the bedbugs for nearly 2 years - now something will be done to eradicate the little pests. Can you imagine being so hellishly itchy all day, every day with no respite from the tiny terrors? Enough to put one off crime for life. Introduce them to more prisons? Maybe they will do what society fails to do - keep crime off the streets. Hope springs eternal????
Passports are also a problem in India it seems - police are supposed to verify the applicant's residential address and this is taking up to 79 days instead of 21 days. False passports are also an issue here. Problems the world over these days appear to be much of a muchness - just in varying degrees.
On a lighter note, I love the Chile Limon Lays Chips - when can we have these in South Africa? PLEASE?
"Wicked chilli and naughty lime come together in an irresistibly tangy flavour. Make your moments magical with the all new Lay's Chili Limon that lets your playful side loose" says the ad on the packet. Not too spicy but of so tasty, say I!
Today (2nd October) is a celebration of Ghandi's birthday so it is a "dry" day in India - meaning that no alcohol may be sold from shops - but we still have the hotel mini bar to fall back on for that thirst-quenching Kingfisher.
If anybody has the tempting idea of retiring in Goa, this is possible, at a price.
For instance, take the Bougainvilla Hermitage Retirement Village in "Magical Goa" The following facilities are on offer:
Health-care Infirmary, Ambulance Service, Wheel Chair Elevators, Senior-Friendly Fittings, Yoga, spa, gym, Prayer Hall, Library, Swimming Pool and best of all, round the clock security. Situated in an "eco-friendly" village it sounds to good to be true??? I love the idea of "Senior Friendly" fittings - the mind boggles as to what exactly is meant here?
This does exist - I have not made it up - see www.bougainvilla-hermitage.com
Back to the beach scene which is Goa's most famous asset. From where we are right at the south side of the long beach, one could walk and walk and walk. The beaches down south are huge and very clean but do have rip-tides so take care.
Thankfully, smoking in public places is prohibited in Goa - this was my worst fear, that we would be surrounded by many smokers! Thankfully, it has not happened so far on this trip. Even in Mumbai, smoking was not an issue.
So, India is growing on me slowly - just wish we could drive here - it would make it far more interesting and adventurous!!!!

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