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Showing posts from December, 2017

Journey To Mumbai

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City Bound
The next morning, we went back to get another Crème Caramel, yes it was that good!

And then it was time to get a taxi to the local station called Karmali, where we were getting the train to Mumbai. We had pre-booked the fastest train which was also the newest service running this route, the 22120 Tejas Express. It included catering and we also had airplane style seats with our own entertainment screens for the 8h 30 min journey.  The food wasn’t bad, with a main meal plus a couple of snacks and water, however eating it in a small confined space isn’t easy just like on a plane.

The highlight of my journey was getting to play Angry Birds Rio for most of the trip, apart from eating and enjoying the view including a beautiful sunset, there wasn’t much else to do.
As we got closer to Mumbai, the excitement and nerves of visiting and staying with one of Sadie’s friends, Cotton, who she hadn’t seen for 20 years was telling on her.
The plan was for Cotton to meet us at the station,…

Panjim & Old Goa

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Bit of Culture

We got a Taxi early morning from the Jungle Hostel heading to Panjim, which is the state capital of Goa, where we were spending the night before getting the train to Mumbai the following day.
Just as we entered the city, there was a huge construction project going on to build a new bridge over the Mandovi River. What caught my attention to this, was that the construction method and design of this bridge was pretty much the exact same as the new Queensferry Crossing going over the Firth of Forth in Scotland.

As well as carrying a chest infection for the past few days, I was now also suffering a bad back, which I think has been caused by all my coughing, plus an uncomfortable bed at the hostel.
Thankfully we had booked a little bit of luxury for our last night in Goa, staying in a lovely hotel called La Maison Fonthainhas. What a difference in the bed/pillows we had, just wish we were staying more than the 1 night!

So, with having all afternoon to explore the area, Sadie …

Vagator

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After Anjuna we moved the short distance down the road to Vagator, near Chapora. We arrived around 12pm during a power out at the hostel, but as we had little cash to pay with we had to make the 10min walk in the baking sun to the ATM.... Unfortunately they also had a power out so we had to walk to the next one (another 10mins away). That cash machine worked but had no money left in it! An Australian couple (Roz and Josh) were also doing the cash machine rounds and so the only thing to do was all of us to keeping walking to the next one (around another 2km). I did my steps that lunchtime!

Turns out Roz and Josh were staying at Jungle Hostel too and it was their first night in Goa, so we grabbed a taxi back to the beach to catch the sunset and have beers.
We had an amazing dinner at the Mango Tree next door to the hostel and then joined the others in the common room of the hostel. I'm afraid I had a few beers too many and was sent to bed at 11pm (I blame the kingfisher strong beer…

Anjuna

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Northbound

We left Benaulim by getting a taxi to Madgaon Station and then a 45-min train up to Thivim which is in North Goa and is quite a scenic journey with hills and lakes. Then it was a 40-min taxi journey to our next guest house.


Banyan Soul was our home for the next 4 days, and it was lovely. Situated in a quiet part of town, about 10-15 min walk from the main beach and most of the beach shacks and restaurants. The staff were helpful, and with only 12 rooms it felt very relaxing and we could easily have here stayed longer.

Pretty much right next door was the famous German Bakery, which is a very chilled café/bar serving delicious food. I think we ate here for breakfast 3 times and dinner twice and every meal was great, and they took card payments as well which is a bit of a rarity around here. Set in a shady wooded area, with great tunes and good service, it’s well worth a visit if you are in the area.

We took a walk down to the beach on our first night, starting at the infamous …

Benaulim

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After Agonda we went to Benaulim for 3 nights, which is a very long, flat, white sandy beach. This does mean you must walk a bit between places, but it’s worth it for the solitude you get.


The place we stayed at was very laid back and run by a group of lads that preferred to sit and play on their phones than hound you for custom -This had its benefits and its drawbacks but all in all it was a very nice little place, just a shame the Wi-Fi was terrible. (Anthys Guesthouse)
We had a lovely couple from the Wirral in the room next door and they helped teach us a few tricks as had been coming to this area for over 7 years. Most of our days seem to be taken up by swimming before it gets too hot, reading in the shade/ bar or a/c room for the hot bit and then back out again for sunset swims or drinks about 5:30. It’s not a bad way to spend your time and as we knew North Goa would be more active we embraced the lazy beach way of life.  We did manage to get a taxi to the big market at Margao …

Agonda & Palolem

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First Resort
We travelled down by train from Vasco over 2 short journeys, with a quick change at Madgaon. Our first experience of Indian railways was an interesting one, with trying to figure out the platform we needed to be on, to all the produce being touted by lots of locals on the trains which included Masala Chai, Samosas and Omelettes.

Our first proper stop at a resort was in Agonda, which is South Goa. We had booked 4 nights here as a relaxing start to our holiday, and we couldn’t have picked a better place.
From arriving in a Tuk Tuk from the local station, the place captured our hearts with the small winding lane leading onto a small road running parallel with the beach right down the centre of the sleepy town which was just lined with local traders, bars and guest houses.


Our guest house was called Fatimas and was on the main road, a 50-yard walk from the beach and it had its own bar/restaurant attached too. It was a lovely place to stay, clean room, air-con and friendly st…

Really rough itinerary

I'm being nagged for this so this is the really rough draft of months and places. Dec - India (Goa and Mumbai)
Jan - Nepal (Kathmandu and Pokhara)
Briefly back to Delhi and Kolkata
Feb - Myanmar
Mar - Thailand (North Thailand)
Apr - Laos
May - VietnamIt gets a bit vague here as it depends on if we can get visas to come back to Laos and Vietnam but ideally...June - Laos
July - Vietnam
Aug - Cambodia
Sept - Thailand (South)
Oct - Malaysia
Nov - IndonesiaNo plan after that. 😀

Vasco de Gama

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So the first day has been at Vasco de Gama. We only picked this place because it was so close to the airport and when you land at 1am all you want is a nice bed for a couple of nights. The hotel is really nice, we have a double bed each, a balcony, plus a toilet/wet room complete with built in viewing window.


We slept most of the day and then went for a wander into town in the afternoon. The roads are chaos and everyone was staring at the 2 crazy westerners walking along side the cows, goats, dogs and locals.... There are no tourists in this town and everyone wants to shake your hand and say 'Hi'.  Sadly town at that time is mostly industrial car workshops, closed pharmacies, closed bars and hardly any people but on the way back to the hotel we found a dingy little bar with 2 beer fridges and some locals having a curry and pints. 2 kingfishers later and after they started closing all the shutters and doors with us inside, we thought it best to go back to the hotel.
Distressin…

Our Last Day

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Nearly Time

Well what a day yesterday was, rushing around trying to get all the last minute stuff done along with a lot of lovely messages from our friends. Things went wrong, emotions ran high and we both had a cry.


But time to wipe away the tears to focus now on getting to the airport.

We are going to miss you all lots, but are looking forward to our huge adventure.
Lots of love 
Paul & Sadie 
xx