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Thursday, 21 Dec 2006: Calangute comes calling… January 12, 2007

Posted by Arun Rajagopal in India, Indian Railways, Travel.
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Took a morning walk along the Calangute beach. Was more crowded than Miramar. Went for my GTDC organised North Goa tour that cost 140 Rs. Visited the Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple at Narva, Mayem Lake, Mapusa, followed by the beaches of Vagator and Anjuna. Didn’t go boating in Mayem Lake, but clicked scores of snaps of a plucky herd of ducks and the flora at Mayem. Found the guide to be excellent, and learnt a lot of things on Goa from him. Loved the beach at Vagator, with its bevy of topless babes. Even ran into an ‘eight-legged bull’ and its companions.

Picked up my first dhol (drum), at a handsome price after some shameless haggling. Had a hippie look about me and I could feel the ever-present grin on my face growing wider. Got myself photographed by a Swiss ‘chocolate’ on the rocks, tried hard to get her daughter in the frame. Succeeded only in squeezing her bum in.J Anjuna has a special place in Goa’s history, as it is the first beach where the hippies landed, putting Goa on the international tourist map. Today the sea has reclaimed most of the beach and this very rocky, hazardous beach doesn’t attract visitors compared to Calangute or Vagator.

However, the Wednesday flea market in Anjuna is still alive and kicking. Go to seedy dealers on Anjuna beach if you want to gamble… and loose all you got. Decided to miss the trip to Port Aguada and got down at Calangute. Went on a dolphin watching cruise, got to see those lovely creatures toss their flippers and play hide and seek with us. Was the only one in the group to get them on film. Well, at least their fins. They can be incredibly fast… and can do without the attention. Got myself two temporary tattoos… and then visited Suiza Lobo to bid bye to Goa and have a parting shot of wine.

Calangute to Madgaon on minibus. The kind bus driver ensured that bike taxi driver didn’t take more than enough from me. Wandered into the AC Lounge at Madgaon Railway Station. Loved it… Three lady tourists were poring over the map of India. Great conversation starter – Is that the map of India? All three gave me a ‘you don’t know India on a map????’ look. Soon we were talking, even took their snap. And that’s when I came up with the not so great conversation ender – What time is your train? Never seen anybody so shocked. Apparently they had forgotten that they were to catch a train. The ladies ran for dear life. I enjoyed an expansive shower as I made myself home at the lounge. Met with two elderly couples from Jodhpur who were touring South India. They were telling how Jodhpur is such a beautiful place to visit. It seems that the water there is sweeter compared to brackish water in other parts of Rajasthan. A while later, I cut my finger while fiddling in my backpack. The two ladies swarmed over me as I sucked on the cut finger. They were kind enough to lend me Boroplus and band aid. I dozed off to sleep, after requesting the lounge attendant to wake me up in time for my train. Soon the 2619 Mumbai – Mangalore Matsyagandha Express came chugging into Platform 1 at around 1am, almost half an hour late.

To view more snaps from Goa, click on http://new.photos.yahoo.com/schmoozeby/
Type ‘Goa’ in the ‘search tags’ field in the top right corner and click ‘Go’.

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