Got friendly with a waiter in the hotel restaurant, and on his day off he took us, in a taxi, (which cost me approximately £10 UK for the whole day!), around a lot of local interesting places, including three Hindu temples, (local and a very humbling experience), a spice plantation where his friend worked doing tours, (we had a free tour included!), and various other sites. A fantastic day.
If you go to any place in the world, the best tip I could give you is talk to the local people. I have made so many friends in far away places, and it changes a holiday into a more rewarding experience. E-mail keeps you in touch with the remotest places these days. No excuses for losing touch!
On our day off from the beach, while in panaji, we met Anita. It was 19th Dec, Goa liberation Day and she had put up a stall near 18 June road.
This institution run by Anita, a british lady, has four Children's Homes with 200 or more children. They also have a nite shelter and day care center in panjim which provides food, clothes, and all essential needs for children who live on the streets. So anyone who wants to wash off some of your sins can make a donation. hey they need shoes, clothes and strong toys for the kids aswell.
We took a cruise on the River Mandovi and ended up spending a couple of hours in a village called Pomburpa.
The Mandovi River has its origin at Bhimgad in the Sahyadri range of mountains. This river enters Goa from the north via the Sattari taluka. Before merging with the Arabian Sea at Cabo Aguada, the Mandovi flows through Cumbarjua, Divadi and Chodne. In Goa, the Mandovi has a length of 77 kilometres. Panaji, the present state capital as well as Old Goa, the ancient capital of Goa, are both situated on the left bank of this river.
The most popular cruise on the river Mandovi is Santa Monica. Want something more special, you can also cruise on a houseboat, converted from a traditional fishing boat. You can also take a St. Monica Night Cruise, for an hour long journey during which there are dance performances on the deck as the launch cruises along on the quiet waters of the River Mandovi.
One good road trip is to visit the different mansions all across Goa. There are multiple houses that were build by rich Portuguese throughout the centuries. Some are renovated and available for visit, other are now private houses or rentals. Some other are left abandonned unfortunately, too expensive to maintain.
There are specialized tour organized specifically for the Portuguese mansions
On the way from mapusa, a small town away from panjim, to anjuna beach u will find lotsa old portugese style houses built about 200 to 250 years ago. have a look at them, they have beautiful architecture. Here is one we found out our way. The owner was kind enuf to pose with us.
While I stayed in palolem Beach, the local fishermen used to go out early in the morning in their wooden boats. By midmorning they came back to the beach and spread all their catches on a net at the hot sand. They let the fish drying there for quite a while, as a way to mantain if, as they don’t have freezers here as we do in Europe.
It was a nice view, all those little fishes spread at the sand...
On the roads of Goa you can find many interesting travellers, mostly backpackers.
I met this audtrian guy on the way to Panjim and we met again in Candolim Beach, by chance. Then we decided to share a taxi to Palolem in the south and stayed there a week, after which each one followed his route again...
Over night camp, Tiger spotting and bathing the elephants we even visited a newly discovered native settlement deep in the jungle, brilliant !
Something i would never get done, but something which is very creatively done. All kinda snakes, faces and what not. Get tatoooe'd at Aquila Art Gallery, Calangute
Feel like having fun, want to spend some brain energy ?
Go play chess at Taj Aguada...I played against myself and lost...