We took an overnight bus to Panaji in Goa and stayed in the centre for one night. Wow, what a difference!
is like a totally different country from India. Now we know where all
the paint and tarmac goes. Gone is all the poverty, street rubbish,
stinking open sewers and general neglect. Buildings are now freshly
painted in bright colours, streets have smooth tarmac (with yellow
lines!) and trees and green grass do after all grow in India.
is light and generally well behaved, although scooters and cyclists
still ignore any rules. As this is the first bit of civilisation we
have seen for a month we must relax and enjoy it. Our first stop was a
fairly deserted beach at Benaulim where we enjoyed our first dip in the
Most of the tourists here are British and Joan relished the
opportunity to natter on and on to the others. To our surprise, there
were quite a lot of wealthy Russians staying in a nearby five star
resort, which charged 200 dollars a night, but probably did include
A group we talked to were from St.Petersburg and invited us to have lunch with them, but we had already eaten.
5 miles away was a resort called Cavelossium which was a beach with a
river David tried fishing in the river but only caught a tiddler.
five days at Benaulim we moved on to Cavelossium so that David could do
a bit more fishing. The beach fishing here is pretty useless at the
moment although the boats are netting huge amounts. In the river David
catches catfish and snapper which we give to the locals. Many tourists
told us to go on an all day tourist boat trip up the river, which we
did. I was extremely good value and for 8 pounds each we had a trip out
to see dolphins, a bird-watching trip up the river, a prawn and
kingfish dinner and as much drink as we wanted.
the Goa way of life we moved on only 15 miles over hilly forested roads
to the most peaceful place yet. A very small fishing village called
Agonda had rejected tourist development and had no beach sellers, no
tourist shops, no hotels and only a few beach huts. We stayed in a hut
right on the beach and within a few yards of turtle nests. At six in
the morning a knock on the door woke us up and we were told that a
turtle was laying eggs only yards away. The local people protect the
turtles by enclosing the nests until the young turtle’s hatch.
the way south, we looked in at Palolem, a resort described in the
guidebooks as "idyllic and peaceful", It was nothing of the sort. The
last few years had transformed it into a bustling budget tourist resort
full off stalls, touts and grubby looking accommodation.
turned around and continued south to Karwar, the first town outside
Goa. The roads were reasonably quiet and reasonably surfaced, but the
wind was against us and the terrain up and down. The midday heat makes
it tougher, but we try to stop by lunchtime if possible as we are no
longer able to do 80 miles a day in these conditions as we used to.
to a resort called Gokarna where many Indians visit many temples and
even the sea is holy. Joan found the day hard as she suffered the first
of her tummy upsets which made her a bit fragile. Since Goa, the prices
have fallen to similar to those in the North and a hotel room is about
3.5 pounds with dinner for two about a pound.
Dave and Joan Wooldridge