Murmeli goes India

An AIESEC traineeship in Hyderabad, India

Trip to Goa – part 2 – vroom vroom!

After half a week in Goa the scooter bug had gotten a good hold of everybody. So, when on Friday we headed for the capital of Goa, Panaji (or Panjim), in central Goa, at least I was longing for a scooter to drive around in the small streets of this pleasantly sized city. A city of 100 000 people does not seem big after Hyd. It felt more like home.

We did a walking tour around the big church that is the main attraction in the city. The area around the church felt more like the old town in Porvoo, Finland than India! The Portuguese influence (they left Goa in the sixties) makes everything look and feel very European. The people look Portuguese, the houses are very European and also the food (as far as I’m concerned) is more European. I had Goan Sausages for lunch and it was a huge change after eating Indian (and occasionally Chinese) food for so long. The sausage dish felt like something my mom could make, except this dish had slightly more spices in it 😉

Jaana left back to Mumbai on a bus at about eight. Magera and Ben stayed in Goa and I decided to stay with them in Anjuna. We took a bus to Mapusa, but there were no buses from there to Anjuna. An Indian guy advised us to take a bus to that direction and told us to get off at Arpora. From there we should be able to walk to Anjuna. We could have taken an auto from Mapusa but we decided to save money. So, we got off the bus somewhere and started following a Nepalese guy who says he is going to Anjuna beach as well. He spoke no English at all. We started walking, asking directions from nearly every person we come across. The Nepalese guy was hanging on to us, trying to convince us to take a taxi. We did not trust the guy so we kept on walking. After almost an hour of walking along the surprisingly well-lit streets we noticed some landmarks and found our way to Anjuna.

On Saturday we took scooters again, surprise surprise. Elizabeth (New Zealand) joined us too. This time we headed south and drove all the way down to Fort Aguada. On the way we stopped by in Calangute. There were surprisingly many people there, as well as lots more traffic, which was not so nice for us as we were on the scooters. The beach in Calangute was much nicer than in Anjuna, but also here swimming was not allowed because the sea can be dangerous during the monsoon. Today on the plane I heard from a foreigner that four people had drowned in Calangute during the past few days.

When we came home Ben and Magera decided to head back to our guest house. I went for a little ride with Elizabeth to Vagator and Chapora. We also drove a little bit along the coast towards Siolim. The weather was now really good and it was a lot of fun to drive! In the evening we had some plans to go out (maybe to Tito’s in Calangute) but everybody was too tired to go anywhere. So we basically missed the party scene that Goa is famous for. Well, actually there is not much of that there now. Better go there in the winter if you’re in a party mood.

On Saturday night we heard a story about a deserted but beautiful beach north of Arambol. Full of enthusiasm we start our engines on Sunday morning at 0800 and head for the hidden treasures of Arambol. Actually they are not so hidden, since you can read about the beach in Lonely Planet too 🙂 But anyways, it felt like an adventure! Now we had only two scooters. I drove with Elizabeth and Ben drove together with Magera.

Eventually we arrived at the main beach in Arambol. We were again really lucky with the weather! We found a restaurant right on the beach, had some breakfast and started walking along a path along the coast towards the deserted beach around the peninsula. We found the beach, the freshwater lake beside it and a river coming down from the forest. The next thing we do is head into the forest trying to find a huge tree we had heard about. I think this walk was the closest I’ve ever come to walking in a jungle. It was fun, although the tree we eventually found was hardly impressing. Anyways, it was nice to walk there and I was so sad about the fact we had found Arambol so late, on my last day there. We had to start hurrying back since the scooters were supposed to be given back by twelve and I was supposed to travel to the airport to catch my 16.45 flight. We drove back to Anjuna, this time with Elizabeth driving and me sitting in the back. She has never driven a motorcycle or a scooter before, but now she was already giving me a ride! 🙂 Impressive!

I bid farewell to the others at about 12.30 and got on the bus to Mapusa. There I got a bus to Panaji and from there a bus to Vasco da Gama. The airport is on the way to Vasco, but I still had to take one more bus to go the last two kilometers to the airport. It was very cheap to go there from Anjuna by bus, but at times I did feel a bit nervous about making it on time 🙂

Phew… It is now past 10 PM and I still have to get to the train station here in Bangalore. It is not the main station but a smaller one, further away from the city. After 10 PM auto drivers charge 50% extra too. Damn. In Finland I would not have to bargain about the fare with the taxi driver and I could rely on the driver and the fact that he or she takes me exactly to the place where I want to go. Here it is different. But, so are many other things too. “That’s India!”

In three weeks I’ll be on holiday again. This time I’m going outside India, to Thailand and Singapore. Eduardo booked the ticket for me last week, I need to go pay it tomorrow. I don’t know the details of the journey, but Claire is flying home to Ireland from Singapore, so I reckon we’ll be there at some point. Ben will be in Southern Thailand for a month starting next week and he asked me to come and meet him there. I surely will try!

That’s all for now. I’m pretty tired so sorry about any typos in the text and any logical errors. I’m gonna go looking for an auto now and try to make my way to the train station. Damn, I can not believe I’m supposed to be working again tomorrow… well, fortunately the holiday was great and relaxing 🙂

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August 20, 2006 - Posted by | Traveling in India

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