Goa was the perfect place to end what has been a hectic tour through Southern India. We catch a morning train from Hampi to Goa. The journey will take most of the day and so we are a little bit dismayed to find ourselves in a third class carriage that is grungy, noisy and crowded with local travellers. We are already winding down at the prospect of a few days of sun and sand in Goa so we decide that for this last leg we might pay a few more rupees to upgrade to second class and complete this leg in a little bit of comfort.
This trip has enabled us to travel close to the ground and really feel India in a way that is not possible from the comfort of a luxury bus. But there are times when the whole experience can feel a bit overwhelming and this was probably one of those occasions. It is another long day of travel and we feel the heat when we hop off our air conditioned carriage. The trip concludes in North Goa and we find we have arrived in the midst of a music festival. The town is crowded and busy and I am glad we have booked the next two days in the quieter southern part of Goa. But it’s time to say goodbye to our friends from the last two weeks of travel. We scrub up for our last dinner together and enjoy a relaxed evening together. Tomorrow we will go our separate ways but tonight we will party.
We have booked our accommodation for the next two days in a place called Palolem. It is about 2.5 hours south of where the tour has ended but we are really glad we made the journey. We arrive at Fern Gardenia to find a delightful little resort, close to the ocean. We are shown to our little chalet and find a beautiful haven where we will be able to totally relax and unwind after what has been quite a tiring journey. The place is charming and the staff only too happy to oblige with any requests we had. Free transfers to the beach, ,a great restaurant and pool on-site are a few of the features we will enjoy in the next couple of days.
The beach has just the right amount of activity. Little beach huts are interspersed with restaurants and shops that sell beach ware. Indian families intermingle with foreign travellers in an atmosphere that feels more western than many of the places we have previously visited. The seafood is fresh and delicious and the ocean warm and inviting. We are glad of this break to do nothing but chill in a place heavily influenced by the Portuguese who colonised this part of the world many years ago. White churches dot the landscape and we even find a little sanctuary in the beach.
Our final night here is idyllic. The beach is strewn with tables lit by candle light and as we dine on lobster and prawns we say goodbye to Goa….a place I had been wanting to experience for a long while. Coming down to the south has certainly been worth it.
If you see the world in black and white, you're missing important grey matter. ~Jack Fyock