Ian & Claire's Adventure
We actually had to stay in Mumbai for an extra day or two as we arrived for our booked train and found it was a lower class with no toilet and Ian was really ill. We spent the time getting Ian antibiotics, lying around watching tele in a nice hotel, avoiding curry and dismissing film roles from studio tauts looking for english people to play 1940s roles, ian with big sideburns riding a horse!!! oh and a guy wanting us to do some fashion shoots and modelling. We arrived in Goa after a 12 hr fairly pleasant journey which we spent mostly asleep or eating biccies and bananas thanks to Sarahs advice not to eat the train food, although the faint sound of tomato soup....chicken soup.....through our muffled earplugs was tempting. We also met an English couple, Lil & Ryan and sat chatting with them a while. We met a German girl who shared our taxi to Arambol and lugged our rucksacks to our booked hotel, over the beach and across stony cliffs pouring with sweat, to find our room wasnt available. Finally we found a nice place called residensia which was cheaper for our own little bamboo hut by the beach in a fairly quiet place. Finally we were able to see Arambol. The beach is huge and fairly empty most of the time with shacks selling food and drink and stalls selling clothes and sarongs etc. At the North end there is a rocky area and round the corner there is another more deserted beach and freshwater lake. The beach has cows with huge horns wandering around, through restaurants sometimes and nobody bats an eyelid. There are those lovely old boats mored up on the beach and people wandering around really chilled, or caned or both. Arambol looks and feels like the site of the first and misplaced Glastonbury festival two decades ago where some of the people and stalls are still waiting for it to return. Its full of escaped crusties, brown, bearded old men in g-strings and unfortunatley Israeli's who seem to fit in quiet well here. It's cheap, you have to barter hard and its dirty (point made). The food is pretty good and you can get everything from pizza to chinese and we can both eat agood indian meal for less than 2quid including a drink. We've spent most of our time getting up late from our hut, wandering through the many stalls and then lounging by the beach. We met up with Lil and Ryan again on the beach who at the last minute jumped off the train after we had got off. They must have liked the sound of it too. We have potentially 3 months left. Lets see how far we get. We spent Indian Day (Sunday, their day off) on the beach, wherewe had an altercation with a theiving b#@tard lounger seller, Ian only didnt end up in a fight because he was a foot taller than the guy, long story and not worth going into, but in the middle of it we met a couple called Kim & Lou. We spent the whole day, sunbathing, reading, swimming and gabbing to them about their great life in Northampton in a holiday park and the 6 months a year they spend here, its opened up all sorts of ideas to us which are making us feel very positive for the future, however we, as they need to make the selling Indian stuff thing work, it was great to meet like minded people who love to travel and hate to 9-5 but need to find a way for it to work, they were some of the richest people we know but had not much money, corny but true. That evening we ate finally at our place, which was great food but a bit expensive, 10p more for a curry.... we then spent an hour or two sitting in a hammock reading about india and discussing the future. Later we walked into 'town' and went to the well talked about Jam Session at leolis bar, it was packed but we managed to squeeze a seat. It was bonkers, run by a guy who looked like sideshow bob from the simpsons and acted like an american standup on whose line is it anyway. There was a band made up of a crazy bunch of old hippies, a guy in jester hat, uncle johns double who played the flute beautifully, an old couple the bloke played the drums and the woman danced, she looked like auntie jane with really long white hair, there were a few guitarists, one looked like Auntie Barb's french friend and some mexican looking drummers.....oh and 'the white man' a 50ish white bloke dressed all in white with a white turban who danced in THE most bizarre way. There were acts coming up, some good some not so good, two guys one played the digeridoo while the other made noised into the mike. A woman who told a strange story, the side show guy, was great, off the cuff jungling with fruit, eating the apple as he juggled. One guy went up with a guitar looked like an accountant and sang a song called f#@k the angels. We had a few beers and enjoyed the crazy evening. We then walked back and spotted Lil & Ryan in the pub watching some premiership footy, chelsea vs Newcastle so we joined them. The plan is to leave on Tuesday to Panaji and old goa then off to Hampi on saturday. Wednesday we go to the famous Anjuna markets, they are supposed to be amazing.