>Travel Pictures


Goa 2010 - page 2

back to page 1

After our parasailing adventure, we decided to go out on a dolphin-watching tour one morning. The boats came straight up to the beach, we loaded up, and then we were off!

And there they were! Splashing around a bit, a small group of them swam off every time we (and other tourists' boats) came up close to them. 

Susan kept a sharp eye out for dolphins (above), while our guides utilized the latest in high - tech gear to track down the playful mammals (below)

We were able to enjoy seeing them, but from a distance (and not really jumping out of the water or doing anything fancy). But, a pleasant morning out on the water!

Our dolphin morning was followed by an equally pleasant (and very lazy) day in the sun. The evening entertainment was provided by some of the locals playing cricket as the sun sank below the waves...

Heading off one morning to do our "tourist visits that were not beach related," we first headed to the Braganza House. This palatial estate of one of Goa's old ruling family is over 350 years old, and holds many of the kitchy artifacts that the family collected during its time in power. One of the first things that caught Susan's eye, however, were the widows covered with semi-translucent shells (right).

While the gardens outside were expansive, it was the decor inside that was the family's pride. The house, still a residence, is divided into 2 wings, each owned by a brother. On one side we weren't allowed to take photos; on the other side a chain smoking watchman practically begged us to do so.

Remnants of grandeur were everywhere, including chandeliers, poster beds, and human-powered carrying carts (below).

After the house, we headed out to a spice farm nearby, to take a highly-organized tour along a small portion of the working plantation. We were please by the bright greenery that surrounded us, although the still air beneath the trees was pretty warm.
Upon entering the farm, we were greeted by a group of dancing and singing women (left) and were given garlands and bindis (above). Our tour was with a group, so we waited in an enclosure, sipping ginger tea, snacking on cashews, and reading all about various miraculous cures that herbs can provide for various ailments.
As we proceeded through the plantation, not only did we see and learn about all sorts of spices, we also came across some fascinating wildlife as well, including a kingfisher and wood spider.
Breck decided along the way to try some of the chili peppers growing along the path. Our guide explained that these are exceptionally spicy, but that he was welcome to give it a go. Like a trooped, he popped one in his mouth and chewed it up.

And then started to sweat and spit an swear!! His eyes watered up and he hopped around until we could get a water bottle to him.

He drank it down and spat it out several times, finally rinsing his mouth out enough to continue - but it was pretty darn funny to watch!
Upon our return, we were offered a celebratory drink (made out of the root of something or other
Down the hatch

Back at the beach, one of the interesting sub-plots of our week was watching the beach 'warden' try to keep sellers from plying their wares. There are usually lots of people going around selling everything from DVDs to sarongs to massages to fruit, but apparently there had been a change this year on several of the beaches. Previously, the 'mafia' boss of each beach would collect about 200 rupees from sellers to be allowed to work his stretch of beach. This year, the restaurants in the area got together and offered him more to keep the sellers off the beach. So we got to see a big game of 'hide and seek' between the "boss" and the crafty salespeople.
When these guys with the sticks walked down the beach (or rode up on their scooters), all the sellers would flee to the village. Sometimes, however, they did get caught, like the guy above. The big boss (the dude with the yellow scarf) confiscated all these copied DVDs and CDs; we saw this happen to this same seller twice!

The kids drank their fill of fresh lime soda, and dad ate as much seafood as he could!

Our vacation continued on, however, as we enjoyed the sun, sand, and cold drinks.
Breck made it his mission to rescue wayward cows that were harassed by the local dogs, and we even were treated to the sight of dolphins swimming right off the shore one morning (ironically enough, just past a fishing net wadded up on the beach).
So, between the full moons and gorgeous sunsets, by the end of our week we were rested and rejuvenated for the second semester. Thanks, Goa, for providing us with some beautiful memories!

back to page 1 of Goa 2010

To the main India page
To the Stutz's Welcome Page