Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A Month of Sundays

Ground Hog Day, Goa Style

Again written on a computor overwritten with Flat Head scribbles (Russian things..)
After several days on the beach (now in Palolem, South Goa), we have re booked flights to come back earlier - a week in England, then back to Portugal.

Very nearly tested the principle of groundhog day to the limit yesterday as I decided to take a short cut and swim around an outcrop of rocks to the next bay. Strong tides, several beers and a lack of direction (yes, Snr. Stupido got lost in the ARABIAN SEA!!) toook its toll as two hours later I got to shore - saved mainly by my very boyant crocs (foam sandals). Ah well, saved you all a trip to Goa, but if it happens again, check previous blogs re where to stay...

BBQ, Goa Style... all invited.

As the sun dips, anywhere in Goa, the bonfires start, and after a few minutes you realise the locals are burning all the plastic bottles and packaging. I am sure napalm smells sweeter. If someone clears an area, as many eco groups are doing, then the neighbours will drop their rubbish there double quick. Don't try and relax on the beach, as am average of 6 - 8 sarong, cd, dvd, sunglass, massage salesmen will wake you up every HOUR!!!!
Stop at a shop and you spend half an hour explaining that they are trying to charge more than 'kin Harrods.

Several people recommended Goa... I wonder if they have actually been here? The fish is never fresh, hung in the sun all day, seafood is more expensive than Portugal, they put Glycerin in the local beer to preserve it, the food is so confused - every restaurant serves Indian, Goan, Italian, Chinese, Nepalise, Continental and heck knows what else food, most of it below average. All with a smile.

Our local restaurant.

Come to Goa, get a tan. Seems it is the reserve of chavs on benefit. Of course it would be, with charter flights from Manchester, it's just up their street...

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Motorcycle Diaries

Che get lost...
It should have been a Brough Superior, but it was a 350cc Enfield. Finally we got an Enfield, all two and a half tonnes of it. I now understand why the British Motorcycle Industry went belly up. Take as much heavy iron as you can find, put a small lump of metal in the middle of each wheel (you can't describe them as brakes..), add a sowing machine from the industrial revolution, and stick a pretty badge on the tank.

The Bullet was that fast we gained light years...

Did I mention the inovative feature called a guess - a - box? Like a gearbox but with seven neutrals, a random lotto choice and stick the lever on the wrong side. After two days and about 400km of dodging triple overtaking cars and heavy lorries, I just about got the hang of it, but still wouldn't have one even if it was free...
We rode down to the South, Palolem Beach (our next stop) and also to Bondla Wildlife Reserve (a sorry zoo..). Think we'll stay on the beach. Currently we are at Benaulim Beach in a very comfy co co hut - but sod's law meant we are attacked by mosiquitos every night.
I realise it has been over two weeks since I had:-
- cheese
- wine
- ice
- salad
- brandy...
Doing those lists again!!! I have to admit this is just a glorified beach holiday, no point going inland. All the restaurants have the same strange menus, Indian, Chinese, Italian and continental dishes.
Going to the beach and beer and garlic naan sandwiches and loads of totty!! Stu x

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Two Sarongs Make A Good Night

Life in the South Seas

Good, economic, fun.. especially when drunk..

Coc co huts are a lot smarter than I thought. Off the ground, an adequete bed with mosquito screen, fan, lighting and electric points, this really is south sea luxury at 8 euros a night.
There are lots of Russians here - some stunning looking ladies (To appease my female readers a few years of perfection before it all heads south). They seem to have taken over this internet kiosk as well, google keeps coming up in Russian! Great being a bloke really, a few weeks in the gym and it all looks good, the more rugged the better....
A murder of crows. Bloody crows, they make cockerals seem a quiet bunch - for about three hours each morning (5 to 8am!!). Feeling a bit deprived of sleep - back to the beach I guess.
Newtons law of gravity also applies to motorcycles. After the Enfield refused to start, the moped, loaded with two people (Newtons Law now applied), refused to go up the first hill, so back to base for the third one.
Once you realise all other road users (especially Ivan and Natasha times 1000) are out to run you off the road, you're strangely fine and we scored our cheapest lunch yet, four beers two huge plates of curry for 3 euros!! We travelled to some of the tourist resorts (Candolim, Canalute and Baga) but they were just like Quarteira.
Owl had a massage to get her limbs reconnected after six hours on a moped, and whilst I was waiting I er er got a tattoo...........

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Going co co loco down on Goa oh!!!

Planes,trains,tubes,taxis, buses and a mono rail

It only took three and a half days to get to Goa. Our original flight via Aer Fungus was cancelled, so we re booked at 5 am to Gatwick with Monarch. After a five hour delay, we were re routed to Birmingham. Rather than get the free bus to Gatwick and get stuck there, we got the train to Euston (beautiful Virgin train, well quick) and a tube and another train to heathrow, just in time to miss our connecting flight...
Gina managed to rebook us for the following evenings flight, which after queueing for five hours was cancelled at the last minute. Free hotel care of two hours queueing at another BA conter, and we returned to Heathrow just before 6am the next day. NO seats but we could wait on standby... on the gate side fortunately as we had no hold luggage.
Tears in our eyes as we were allowed to board followed by a four hour wait on the tarmac.. whilst queuing for more de icing, the auxilary engine failed, than heathrows portable power supply failed, then we were towed to their main supply that also failed. We all got out and bump started the pig in the end.
We arrived in Mumbai at 4am their time - man so busy, when do they sleep. Taxi from International airport to domestic one and six hour wait for next flight to Goa (regardless to say two hour delay...
At Goa, man in a Newcastle shirt met us and took us on a two hour terrifying ride across country. Goa is not third world - it is the third world, the biggest truck on the road wins, de rigeur is to overtake on blind corners. Somehow it works, but having lost two nights pre paid accomodation and being ripped off by the pyseudo geordie taxi man and not having slept for a few days made me start to wonder what we were doing.
We left the posh hotel on principle (three nights for the price of one..) and moved next door into a co co hut - a bamboo shed on stilts. Several Kingfisher beers, good curries, swmming in warm warm waters later, this place is starting to grow on me. There is no infrastructure, fly tipping must be an olympic sport (Portuguese are real amatuers by comparison!!), mayhem between taxis rickshaws, motorbikes and people on tiny roads - but it works, and if you want anything, its around.
We are now in Arambol, on the North coast of Goa, a small town full of life, staying in an apartment hanging over the Arabian Sea, a nice breeze, fine life! I have just booked a 350cc Royal Enfield to go North to Fort Teracol - it's only 20 years since I rode a big heavy motorbike - with Owl on the back through crowded streets!!!!!!!!!!!
Wish me luck, Stu x

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Shoot the ducks - It's too wet

New Olympic swimming pool opens in my farm..

Now two blogs ago, mid December I did say it was a touch dry. After five hundred mm of rain even my large water tank is nearly full. Three weeks if rain including a nice 68.4mm in one day alone have convinced me it is now wet enough.
Seven rock falls along my track, seven streams through my land and seven heavy lunches have hastened our departure to Goa.. Small rucksack packed (me) and one slightly larger one (Owl), we will set off downstream at midnight to catch the right tide to Faro Airport.
Follow our travels on this blog - we will be at Yab Yum Yoga Resort for the first three days ( then walking down the beach to Arambol for some cage fighting and on to Terekol fort for sun downers.
Stu and Owl x