With a fist full of Imodium in my belly I was ready for the 12 hour bus ride to Panaji, the state capital. Being a Portuguese colony, Panaji is a wonderful mix of Portuguese architecture, big city amenities and beef. It was great to be able to eat that tasty animal again, which is so sacred in the rest of India. How much chicken can one man eat? After a much too short stay in Panaji I was off to reunite with Jen and Monique in Anjuna.
What at first seemed like a nice beach town quickly turned aggravating. Anjuna is a town overrun with abominable restaurants, relentless touts, tourists, and crowded beaches. Our first time to the beach we were approached by two women selling their wears. After ten minutes of telling them to leave us they finally agreed and sat down beside us. Ugh! With another five minutes of firm declarations of of not wanting to buy anything, they very, very gradually left. This encounter left us quite annoyed, so Jen and I decided to go for a swim to cool off. While enjoying the water I happened to notice that Monique was surrounded by three more women pushing their jewellery on her. I decided to get out of the water to help her out. Once I reached Monique I found that the women had put jewellery on her wrists and ankles and were telling her how beautiful she looked. With all patience exhausted I yelled at them to leave. Having had enough relaxation for one day, we too left.
With two scooters and a little patience we were able to find the relatively quiet beach of Mandrem. The tourists were still there but the number of touts had dropped exponentially. We booked some lovely huts close to the beach and were ecstatic to find a good restaurant just steps away run by a Nepalese family. They were definitely the highlight of Goa. I played frisbee with the cook everyday, who could rival any ultimate frisbee player I've seen, and we all befriended Camron, a nicer guy you could not meet. I hope to reunite with him once I make my way to Nepal. We finally had a nice place to relax.
Just when I was starting to warm up to Goa (pardon the pun), I had to leave to tend to some family business back home. Five flights and three and a half days I'll be back in Canada. From +30 degrees to -30 degrees, Paula better be at the airport with a jacket for me.
Good bye India, hello Gyoza King!
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”