With Panjim closing around our throats and a minor incident with bad food... we made an escape to Candolim to see what all the fuss was about. Sorry to say we don't see it.
It's not a pretty place; the beach is no way the picturesque cliche you might imagine. Instead, it is a barren, baked stretch of copper sand that is washed by a rough and dirty sea. The rusting hulk of an oil tanker lies just out at sea - Candolim's idea of sightseeing??? Behind the beach is simply the Costa Del India; sports bars, the ubiquitous foreigners restaurants and shops selling exactly the same thing in each one. The saving grace for us has come in our accommodation; it is a large second floor apartment with living area, kitchenette, bedroom, bathroom and two balconies. All for the grand price of 300 Rupees (about 4 pounds and 20 pence) per night. Lovely!
It's here in Candolim that we have met a suprising person. A travel agent called Rahul who is probably only the second or third genuinely nice person we've met in Mumbai or Goa. He gave us an honest assessment of travel in India, the costs, etc and allowed us to make our own decision. And so here's the big suprise:
Tomorrow we fly to Bangkok. We will arrive there just in time for my birthday and in our opinion, not a moment too soon. India has shown that it doesn't want to reveal itself to us right now. It has done its best to keep us in Goa. As much as Lisa and I both want to explore India more (particularly the north) we can't justify the time and money involved in travelling here. So we're moving on to Thailand, somewhere we know well and will feel reliably welcome. Sorry to Ritwick who will be bitterly disappointed we didn't see his beloved Calcutta and Darjeeling. However, we both hope to go there at some point in the future.
So that's it for now. Next time we write, we will be in Thailand. Crazy huh? Such is the life we lead ...