Happy New Year from Goa. Our last day on the beach. Sad face. And excited face we are off on an overnight bus (?) to Hampi tonight a boulder strewn landscape with temples and a world heritage site cum travellers enclave. Jason is soooo much better whoopee and the universe is back in balance. It tilted. Slightly. There for a moment. A wobble.
Agonda has been delightful. New year was the best. Due to illness a night of partying was not on the cards however playing cards was a great evenings entertainment. And eating giant shrimp. Drinking daiquiris and then dancing around a beach fire at midnight with hippies, setting off beautiful Chinese laterns into the night sky. Gliding out over the sea. The wishes off the beach people tied to the candle. Fireworks were great fun. Never too sure where the next ones were coming from and in which direction they might fire. Chaos theory. Presents again. We made it until 2am J did well on antibiotics and no booze. The beach people carried on to sunrise. Beautiful. Full of love. There are epic parties over here for New Year and I read in today’s paper that one of the DJ’s at sunburn a three day electronic music festival down the road, interrupted his set to say that when he wanted love he comes to Goa. It’s true. The people make it so.
A few places to big up for any wanderlust travellers venturing to Agonda, South Goa. Tina’s Beach Bar and Huts, Rajesh helped me look after Jason, nothing was too much trouble and we had a lovely New Year with these friendly boys. The beach front huts are gorgeous and we have eaten here countless times, all great. Dunhill which is a bit posh serves the most amazing banana pancakes and food is a very high standard. Rama’s was lovely, amazing whole tuna for the equivalent of £6 and lovely service. Now dear old Cuba Bungalows. Huge, comfy and quiet only interrupted by electrical works in the evening – Indian timing and the odd outside painting, carpet laying and window assembling. Basically this place will be amazing in another week ( they work fast and hard) to be honest it may even be a bit too posh for us once it is no longer a building site. It’s been quite comical, in an Indian way. But the service has been good, the return of funds – even if we still paid over the odds in Indian terms, were much appreciated. Our input was taken seriously and we will send a letter with a comprehensive snagging list!
Thank you Goa. Paradise found. And most of all I can’t fault the local people for their generosity, warmth and eagerness to please. I know that it has been an easy introduction to India. I feel as though I am ready to be hit with a bit more reality. We are going to a place described as ‘unreal and betwitching’ a Hindu sacred site (no alcohol :/) and the centre of one of the largest Hindu empires in Indian history. It was referred to as Kishkinda in the Ramayana (Hindu sacred text) the realm of the money Gods. It had it’s heyday in 16th century when it was a thriving metropolis of 500,000 people and now it’s a major pit stop on the South India travelling circuit. We are staying at Mowgli’s guesthouse maybe this is a precursor to the cheeky monkeys which seem to inhabit the sacred sites of India. I have a fascination with all animals, yesterday I saved countless starfish as they flounded in a quickly retreating tide, I concern myself with hermit crab wars, wonder if the cows want some scrambly eggs and look after the very well behaved and quiet strays that wander the beaches. Last night this sleepy dog sat next to me closed his eyes when I stroked his nose. Everytime I stopped he placed his paw on my arm. He didn’t want food, I tried, he just wanted affection. How strange I thought. I asked out loud what it was that this dog wanted. I said to J that he was vulnerable I had the capacity to hurt him. J pointed out the dog had the capacity to hurt me. Not sure what I am getting at here but the animals here coexist with humans in a way that doesn’t happen in many places.
Back to the cheeky monkeys… especially those without opposable thumbs. As J points out I may well be cuddled up next to a goat tonight – worse things to be cuddled up next to I point out. I’ll be plugged in to my favourite album of the moment listening to Krisna Das singing ‘Hanuman’ how fitting.
Those addresses; Tina’s, great bungalows, great food, great atmosphere, chilled out… http://www.tinabeachresort.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, Dun Hill http://www.dunhillbeachresort.in to the left of Tina’s from the beach ,and Cuba Agonda http://www.cubagoa.com (Agonda)