Friday, January 21, 2011

Candolim, Goa, January 22, 2011

We had the most relaxing day yesterday. We slept well and got up an had breakfast on the beach at one of the “shacks” and then promptly rented two beach beads and an umbrella and lazed away most of the day on the beach.

The beaches here are brown sand beaches but quite clean with little or no seaweeds. Shells are not as plentiful as on the Florida coast. The really nice big ones have some kind of sea life still living in them. Almost every shell I picked up had some kind of life in it. Even so, I did manage to find some treasures and they have been soaking in dish soap and water to clean them up.

The beaches here start to get crowded around 11AM and each of the three beaches in our area have a slightly different crowd. Our beach is made up almost entirely of Europeans primarily from the UK, Australia and Germany. The different English speaking accents were like a little chorus. Once family was definitely from Ireland and the momma kind of adopted two of the little kids who were selling jewelry and fruit on the beach. She must have given them quite a bit of cash for them to sit and play with her little girl, swim and waste valuable selling time.

A huge difference from other international beaches I have been privileged to sunbath on is the overwhelming amount of people selling things on the beach. Almost every 3 or 4 minutes someone is trying to sell you everything from massages, clothes, fruit, beads, henna, ice cream etc. Particularly depressing is th enumber of small children who should be in school now working to help support their families. That is very depressing.

Devika and I did partake of the massages. The young man, Sanjay, is in business for himself and gives a foot and upper body massage right on the beach. The cost was less than 10 dollars for about 40 minutes. He did a great job and after our long walk the day before, it was a great way to kick off the day and move into a very relaxed mode.

We ended up ordering our lunch and eating right on our beach beds. We had biryani, which I have not had since I left Kenya. Biryani is basmati rice, a wonderful blend of masala and at the very last, three colored powders are added to the rice so some of the rice is red, orange or yellow. It is a very pretty dish and was very delicious. Devika ordered hers with hard boiled eggs buried inside.

Late afternoon we showered and headed off for tea at a place Devika and her friend Sharmistha had carrot cake in the past. I was a skeptic about carrot cake in Goa, but sure enough, it was almost as good as my own homemade. We started to walk the 3 kilometers to the Goa Fort but got distracted by a lovely little department store hidden back off the street. We must have spent almost an hour looking over all their treasures. I may go back today and buy some nice little cloth baskets and a table runner.

Today’s agenda is to actually walk to the Fort, enjoy another lazy afternoon and then go to the Friday night market in a neighboring town. It is suppose to be more like a festival. We shall see. I may have to “dress up” and wear a skirt or local sundress from one of the vendors.

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