So with much anticipation we arrived in India. We flew via Air India which on my last journey (6 or so years ago to Thailand) wasn't so pleasant! We also stopped again in Mumbai. However this time it was a great experience, a nice plane, good service and great food! The new Mumbai airport was nice as well. After a slight mix up with our visa times and a new out bound flight required, we set off into Goa for a few days.
The tourist season for westerners in Goa had ended and the crowd was predominantly Indian tourists. Although it meant that the small towns along each of the various beaches were quieter, there was a nice chilled vibe about the place.
We hired a scooter for a day and just mooched about, visiting a few of the adjacent beaches, stopping for food and just enjoying the scenery, beaches and an old fort which looks over the river estuary. What was quite funny was the amount of photos that the locals asked to take of us with them! I'd experienced it a bit in Vietnam last year but no where near as much! Always obliging, we ended up taking a few with the locals in the end as well! It would seem these requests would definitely continue in the up coming places!
It was nice that Goa wasn't as touristy as during the high season. It would have been nice to have some more of the bars and restaurants open but we didn't feel that we missed out too much. We only felt the need to spend a few days here before moving on.
What we did notice straight away in stark contrast to Central America was the cost of things! Food and drink were much cheaper and where we'd spend $50 for a scooter and bed in Central America it would be around $15 here, and Goa was meant to be one of the more pricey places.
Our first night trying local Indian food and we avoided meat but got a full mix of breads, mains and rice. It was amazing! Especially compared to months of rice and beans in Latin America, this was a treat! There's always a chance that it will become the norm and we'll want something else but for the time being, we were very happy with the food in India! A full meal for two including drink was only about £5/6 as well, sometimes cheaper!
The beers were interesting, all the main stream beers from Europe were around but in terms of local beers the one sold was Kingfisher. I normally prefer Cobra at home but maybe it's just a 'UK Indian' beer? Kingfisher (and Carlsberg) come in normal and also a strong variety... At 8% not too many of them will be going down!
Our plan from Goa was to head to Hampi next, a village renowned for the amazing temples surrounding it, this journey would be done via the famous Indian Railway. After seeing so much of it in documentaries at home it was an interesting prospect!