Monday, October 20, 2008
Goa the first time
Our beach vacation had begun the evening we arrived in Margao, Goa's main train station, and were taken to our guest house on Colva beach. Next morning we awoke to find that the beach was full of fisherman, fishing nets, and fish, so we began walking down the beach looking for a more suitable place to get settled and hoping for destiny to intervene. As the midday sun was scorching we turned off towards the main road looking for a rickshaw to take us back to Colva. There at the edge of Benaulim, Michael saw a western couple next to a jeep heading in our same direction. Archie and Jane manage some vacation homes and just a few hours later (following Michael's first steak on the trip) we would find ourselves in a poolside bungalow on Varca beach living luxuriously. The following day our scooter arrived and we promptly began exploring our immediate surroundings, driving south to Cavelossim and Mobor. There we had a delicious seafood lunch and saw some of Goa's more refined resorts. That evening we had some poolside appetizers and a veritable feast delivered to our AC'd home from Toncia, the restaurant 100 meters down the road: shrimp, calamari, steak, salad, and fries galore (only to be followed by a chocolate bomb a la Briel). Not ones to miss churches when they are around, the next day we took the scooter on the "highway" to Panjim, Goa's capital where Portuguese sailors would land. Then we continued to Old Goa to see Goa's important cathedrals and in particular St. Francis Xavier, who brought Christianity to the region and whose body has been miraculously kept intact. We had a real relaxing day at the beach so that the following day we could go on yet another day-trip to the Tropical Spice Farm. The ride east took us through lush jungle. There we got a tour of the various spice plants and their medicinal uses. This was a great adult field trip and the tour culminated with a delicious local buffet.