Sunday. March 25
It wasn’t hard to leave Jaipur as we flew south to Goa on Spice Jet, a really decent Indian airline (as compared to Air India whose plane to Kullu looked like something out of another age). Arrived around 5 pm and were astonished to be the only people in the large restaurant for dinner where we had a delicious Goan thali. After a good night’s sleep I was itching to walk by the water. The boys slept as I headed out into the damp, jungle-like humidity that hits you almost like rain. I struggled with my camera, thinking it wasn’t working because each shot was over-exposed, only to realize that it was moisture on the lens that didn’t evaporate until the air dried a little!
After breakfast by the water, we all dashed together into into the Arabian Sea which is warm, with fun body-surfable waves. We hauled Blair out of there after 2 hours and relaxed, though I am still feeling jumpy and restless from our days in the desert. Not ready to relax yet! Our hotel is lovely but we immediately missed the real streets of India, and wanted to explore, so wandered along the main road through Candolim after a quick road-side lunch and saw how friendly Goan people are. The season here is truly at an end, and shopkeepers are persistent in trying to unload their wares. Blair returned early to the A/C in our room while Clark and I walked much farther and returned completely drenched with heat. Swam in the pool (30 degrees as compared to the air which sits at a slightly hotter 31).
Blair points out that the sky is not blue here on Goa’s coast, due perhaps to the season and to a tropical haze that lingers all day despite the breezes blowing in from the sea. A woman who lives here tells me today that a shipwreck (which sits being slowly dismantled) in this bay has gradually changed the currents (is that possible?) over the past 15 years to the extent that the beach all but disappeared a few years ago, leaving only rocks and stones. The place where we have breakfast used to be on the sand leading to the water, but now perches on a bluff about 15 feet high, which we can see is being weakly supported by brickwork and mortar. Haven’t seen them yet, but dolphins are apparently visible form shore around the point to the south. The food is certainly different from where we have been until now. The basics are the same, but the spicing is unique (as I recall Melinda and Rasik describing in the past!). I had a choice today between a veggie sambar to go with my dosa or a “Jain sambar”, which apparently contains no onion or garlic. I had fun with a local woman who painted mendhi on my hand (black not brown), reminding me of the carpet weaver who had the designs in his head from years of experience.
Love, love, love