Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sleeping (or not) on a train and swimming pools in Goa

The overnight train from Mumbai to Goa was uneventful.  Sleeping on a train if you're not paying an arm and a leg is never going to be particularly restful, but when you have a little man going up and down saying "coffee, coffee" at regular intervals it becomes almost impossible.  By the time the sun came up I was ready to murder him.

We alighted around 9am hot and tired and boarded a bus for our hotel.   At this point in time all anyone wanted was to get to the hotel and rest. But it was not to be yet.  It was a fairly long drive punctuated by a visit to a local fish market and a vegie market. After several weeks we arrived at our hotel and flopped down in chairs for the usual ritual of handing out of keys.  Rooms, refreshing showers and beds would soon be ours.  But no.  This hotel didn't do things that way. We had to check in one by one, fill out forms and give our passport details. After several months we finally got to our rooms.  A demonstration cooking Goan fish curry for lunch. Not sure how enthused everyone was about this. Tiredness had taken its toll.

 After a short walk to the beach it was decided  to hit the swimming pool as the sand was so hot you felt your feet cooking.  There was also a little bit of an undertow.  Never has a pool been more welcome.
Evening meal came with entertainment. 3 African acrobats.  Given the limitations of space and budget they were very impressive.

The pool was the main attraction of this stay, interrupted the next day by a visit to a couple of Old Goan Churches with a guide whose English was almost incomprehensible.  He gave us facts and figures I suppose but as we couldn't understand a word he said we have no idea what they might be. We just nodded from time to time.

A visit to a spice garden was considerably more informative. The young woman walked us around the exhibition garden.  We learned that the apple part of the cashew nut is made into alcohol named Feni (or fenny as our hotel cocktail menu called it.). A tasty lunch and back to the main attraction: the pool!

That evening we had our farewell dinner, followed by cocktails at one of the beach bars
 With Ravi keeping us all entertained with stories.  It had been a fun two weeks with wonderful travelling companions.  A very harmonious group who were missed on the next leg of our trip.

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