Not sure I can keep up the posting of a two week saunter? It just comes out the same, so more of the same, or my Christmas day. And the first para is not really Goan-centric.
I may have eluded to my opting out of Christmas in previous posts, this is just my annual dislike for the intense shopping culture that pervades in the west or least the U.K. Whilst this is my position I did actually mildly join in this year and bought Yoga girl training gym wear from her favourite home city sports shop. As I was coming out a week before her all I had to do was go to this shop which happens to have a record of her previous purchases, and therefore size and be led by the very helpful manageress. Bingo, smart clever partner presents pre-wrapped (by the shop) exact fit sportswear early Xmas morning. Guys, note to self on this tactic. Not really trip advisor material is it?
So Xmas morning early morning gifts done I’m up to my now favourite Patnem Chai shop for chai, Bagi-Bagi with bread roll and take away samosa & banana bread, all just yum yum. I then sorted a scooter from a little tailor shop on the road, didn’t bother to try to chip him on the price as he was so mild, a local and of an age. A few minutes earlier I had laughed in the face of the guys in Om Shanti restaurant on the beach as they tried to charge more than I thought was anywhere near reasonable, even for what they considered to be the high season rate.
Still early-ish we head off to Galgibag, Turtle beach a few kilometres south. I enthused/posted about this place and calm (yes calm) scooter ride there last year. The small back roads and lanes are an easy scoot with little traffic, but lots of green forest, iron bridge to cross, river to track and a few miles of pristine empty beach to trace. Fortune embraces each turn of the wheel, warm breeze coating us. Every so often the honeyed smell of Jasmine lays in the breeze and caresses our senses, this interspersed by occasional sweet burning wood. The air is dehydrated, heavy and hot to breathe, the smells and meandering on the scooter give a nice hum, I love this contrast of my northern European climes. There is a serenity of this environ, even the dogs that are a mild irritation are laid out by the road side, too easy in dream to bother with another tourist passing through. Easy rider….
We spend some hours on the nearly empty beach, just a few other couples and always hundreds of metres separating. In this exposed location the sun feels stronger, the sea has larger breakers and is almost more refreshing than Patnem, it’s the same sea so this can’t be the case, however its etched into my mind, so it must be so. As the sun turns up the heat we retreat to one of the make shift restaurants in the trees, on our way we inspect one of the netted turtle nests, nothing to see really, other than a post stating the date the eggs were laid, 14/11/13 and an expected hatching date left blank. Galgibag emptiness is it’s absolute charm, a real Robinson Crusoe-ness about it, a place where doing nothing is almost too quick. A mate came here last week and said one of their group ordered a cheese sandwich that took 1 ¾ hours to arrive, not sure I could cope with that.
On our return trip we stopped at various locations to try to capture the river, bridge, forest on camera. YG wouldn’t venture onto the bridge on foot, a bit of vertigo involved there, I trotted out and got a really nice shot of mother and daughter dressed in colourful sari crossing on foot. Another with motor bike behind them. Even the police patrol truck waited patiently while I finished this most amateur of photo shoots.
The evening beach meal was by accident involving eight long termers and was at our Namaste guest house, and happens to be by common consent the best food on the beach. A great finish to the best day of our little jaunt.