Beaches of Goa

February 24, 2008 - Goa, India

Dave:

The last couple days of the tour was spent in Callungute. Goa is comprised of a number of different towns and beaches, Callungute being a main area that is quite touristy. After checking-in to the hotel, which was quite nice, we all walked the 20 minutes to the beach. As we rose over the hill just before the ocean we got our first glance at the beach. It was actually a little overwhelming and disappointing. The place was packed. People everywhere. Vendors everywhere. However, it was a Saturday. The water wasn't as nice as I had hoped and the sky was quite hazy, or more likely smogy. The beach was lined with restaurants and bars. They allow you to use their lounge chairs if you purchase something from them. A few of us roamed the beach before laying down. Half of the group ended up at a bar and drank for the afternoon, probably the better choice. The entire group met up for dinner at a restaurant on the beach for somewhat of a fairwell dinner. Four members of the tour were leaving the next day. Charlie and Beverly, as well as Joanne were heading south to a nicer area and Ryan was heading back home to the U.S. After dinner the group went out to a club. It was the first real time we all went out. It was a lot of fun.

Despite a bit of a heavy head, I was able to get up early to meet the group for a final day of activity, a tour of Old Goa. Our guide told us we could either rent motorbikes (scooters) or jeeps to get to Old Goa. Rightfully so, most of the group was not up for driving bikes in the chaos which is the streets of India. Being a beach area the streets were less busy then the cities we had visited but Indian road rules still apply, which is to say there aren't many rules. The group elected to rent two jeeps for the day. Our guide was driving the one jeep but a second driver was needed. Everyone seemed a little reluctant so I said I would do it. I had already driven in South Africa and Namibia on this trip so I was up for the challenge. As I received the keys to the jeep from the 'rental' place, our guide told me that if anyone asks, I was to tell them that the vehicle belonged to a friend of mine. Funny, I didn't know I had a friend in India. The jeeps were pretty old and in rough shape. There wasn't power steering. The brake lights didn't work, for that matter, the brakes barely worked. The combination of these two things made for one close call in which I had to veer off the road onto the shoulder so I didn't rear end the other jeep. We weren't travelling that fast but the brakes couldn't slow us down fast enough and I had now idea that the other jeep was braking.

In old Goa we visited a few historic Catholic churches (this ares is strongly influenced by the Portgugese) and a mueseum. After that we headed to a spice plantation. OUr guide stopped about 6 times to ask for directions but we ultimately made it. The tour was interesting as we learned how different spices grow but the buffet lunch that was included was lacking. Lunch included a shot of Fenni, which is liquor made from Cashew nuts. It was quite awful.

We arrived back in Callungute safe and sound. The people riding in my jeep said that I had done a really good job driving in India and that I only hit one person. Hit one person! This came as complete news to me but I guess I really did 'bump' a pedestrian on the main street shortly after leaving the rental place. They say I didn't hurt him but that he did look annoyed.

That night we went for a final group dinner before people parted the next day.


Pictures

Sunset in Goa
Coconut Retrieval Demonstration
Spice Plantation
Spice Plantation
 
 
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