This year we spent Independence Day eating Kabobs and packing for our trip to Goa. Very strange to not be in the US on the 4th of July. July 5th we flew just one hour to the coastal town of Goa. On the plane I bought something call Bhel from the flight attendant. Bhel is cornflakes with seasonings and you pour this red sauce on top and eat it with a spoon, like cereal. Very strange but quite tasty.
When we arrived we really experienced the tropics – beautiful lush palm tree forests and verdant grass.
Upon arrival at our hotel, they rolled out the red carpet for us, Indian style – a red dot was placed on our forehead, a wet cloth hand towel was given to each of us to freshen up, along with a sparkling drink. We definitely felt like royalty.
The family wanted to hit the beach right away, but they found it deserted and the lifeguards told them that no swimming was allowed, a major disappointment. However, they had a great time in the pool. The following day, Jor wasn’t feeling great, so the kids and I went on a bus tour. I had no idea where we were going, but we wound up in 3 places – a hindu temple, a catholic church and a market place.
We enjoyed seeing the sites, though it was beastly hot and humid. Thankfully the bus had AC. Instead of shopping in the heat with no money, we found a restaurant and ordered smoothies. We also risked buying roasted corn on the cob from a street vendor. YUM!
The next day the lifeguard at the beach allowed us to frolic in the shallows which satisfied my need to have swam in the Indian ocean. The water was warm and sandy. We ate lots of Indian food and even sang Kareoke one night. Then it was off to Hampi. We got up early and took the train for 7 hours inland. The train was a bit smelly, not super clean and I got to use a squat toilet for the first time.
On the upside, we had our own berth, so we stretched out, read, talked and looked out the window. We saw a super cool waterfall and an ever changing landscape – from mountainous rain forest to flat fields of rice paddies and sugar cane. Fantastic.