LOG ENTRY 28
I arrived to the lovely province of Goa where everything seemed just better than other parts of India. Unfortunately I missed out the beach parties and ended up sleeping on a sofa after the storm took my bungalow's roof.
|Rider's Log....... Lifelong journey around the world||
It is an understatement that I was excited as the tropical sun woke me up in my berth. I jumped out of the bed and headed for the morning shower, which basically meant wiping my body with wet towels in the lavatory and then a quick breakfast. I didn't know what to expect in Goa so I wanted to be sure that I am prepared. As the train rolled into Vasco de Gamma station I noticed that people are not pooping anymore between the railway tracks like in Delhi and Mumbai, no shanty towns either instead, the last two hours the train rolled through the most scenic countryside since Dharamsala.
Vasco as the locals call it founded by the Portuguese in 1543 and remained in their hands until the 1961. This explains a lot, the architecture, the cleanness and the relatively low and non dense population which is predominantly Christian. It was such a refreshing feeling to walk out of the train station without the hassle of jumping over people who are sleeping on the floor or the endless amount of beggars, both are really a pain in the bigger cities. In fact, I haven't seen a single beggar in or around the train station or anywhere I went in Vasco. The city is not the capital of this lovely province thought but I yet to visit Panjim which is the actual capital and administration center.
I picked Calanguta beach from the Lonely Planet as my base as it sounded like pretty good with a long sandy beach and a few party spots. I found a minivan surprisingly easily from Vasco with a driver who spoke decent English with a good sense of humor. The humor came handy about ten minutes into our ride when we burst one of our tire. He just set next to his minivan and laughed at the disabled vehicle which I ended up changing it's wheel. My good deed actually earned me a free ride as he didn't charge the 150 rupees agreed price in the end and he also took me to a guest house. I know he must have been associated with them but the place looked very decent, stone throw away from the beach and it contained about 30 hut with bamboo looking roof. First I expected the price to be high but they only wanted 650 rupees for a night which I managed to work down to 250 rupees. What a bargain I thought and quickly headed down to the beach. Unfortunately July is not the best time to visit Goa. The sun hasn't been really up since the morning, clouds took over the sky and the ever increasing wind made the beach quite an unpleasant place to lay. As bad things always comes with good things, the strong wind turned the beach into a real surfers paradise which I enjoyed for over 2 hours. Apart from the time to time appearing vendors the beach was empty. Some of the vendor warned me that many people died lately here as a result of the storms and strong current.
On the way back from the beach I have been approached by two well dressed and friendly Indian guy with perfect American accents. We got into a little chat and they invited me to the bar next to us for a beer. At first they friendliness surprised me but about ten minutes into the conversation a little red flag raised in my head. They guys claimed to have an international jewelry business and they mentioned me that other foreigners made lots of money just by transiting diamonds for them. Sorry boys, I thought, I am not your typical broke backpacker who in need for some cash would smuggle anything so I finished the beer, politely excused myself and went back to my bungalow. They invited me for a house party but of course I did not join them later on.
After a great Portuguese style dinner I decided to check out the party hot spot of the beach as it seemed that no beach party will happen here during the rainy season. The club was nice, something similar I seen in Kenya, just on the other side of the Indian ocean. There were no walls, just a huge bamboo roof supported by concrete pillars and a half circle bar. The music was a bit low when I got there and hardly any people were drinking cocktails. This changed very quickly thought, around 11 pm the party kicked in and people from all over the world turned up to dance for the latest Indian dance hits. Punjabi MC was the most popular of them. I met all sorts of people, an Afghan tourist was the most interesting out of all but I had a few drinks with a group of American soldiers, Indian gap year students and Danish bikers.
It was around 3 am when the party stopped and I haven't even noticed the developing storm which caught me on the way back to my bungalow. The heavy rain turned into a proper storm by the time I reached my waterfront little house. At first I managed the water what was dripping through the roof with the buckets I found in the bathroom but later on the wind blown some part of the roof away so I had to relocate myself to the less beachfront main building and slept on the sofa with a few other unlucky guests.