>Travel Pictures


Goa 2008

I'll be back...

That may be Arnold's signature line, but it applied to all of us after our Goa vacation last year. We liked things so much we returned for another Goa-round, albeit just for a 4-day weekend.

We stayed at the same hotel (Villa Anjuna, which we would recommend to anyone!) and even had another teaching couple staying right next door! Alea was a little unsure at first, since one of them was her math teacher, but after going to dinner a few times with them, playing cards with them, and running into them on the beach on afternoon, she was sold on the idea that it was ok!

All in all, it was another perfect getaway time that sent us back to Mumbai rested and ready for the crazy month of October.

Of course the big attraction for us was the beach, and we wasted no time at all in going in. We ran and splashed and swam - figuring our which waves were "bobbers" versus "riders" took up a lot of our time.
Given that we were visiting almost a month earlier than last year, and before the tourist season really started, we were lucky to have the vast beaches all to ourselves at times. 

The really challenging part about have so much pre-season shutdown still going on was having to actually walk more than 5 steps to a shack for a beer, but we still managed to take care of our rehydration needs!

The beaches weren't entirely deserted, and our hotel was actually full. One of the first groups of people we ran into was this enthusiastic group of kids playing cricket.

It was tough for the ball to get any kind of bounce off the sand, but they didn't seem to mind too much!

The cricketers weren't the only ones using the beaches. One night we were in dinner discussion at the Sunset resturant (our running joke, since it seems like every other place in Anjuna is named 'Sunset') when suddenly there was a huge commotion on the sand in front of us. This guy hauled in a flapping, flopping fish on a pitch-black night!

We followed him to the next door resturant, where we got this crazy-looking fish on film, and then went back to our place to try to figure out what was going on.

Our waiter said that men would strap on flippers and then swim 3-4 kilometers out in the ocean, bait hooks with fish meat, and then swim back to shore with the lines in hand. Someone else on the shore would then pull in the lines, hoping that somehing was caught.

He said they usually got sharks that way, and I'm wondering if that thing is some type of shark. The tail looks sharky, but I haven't got that face figured out yet.

And of course other shopping opportunities were all around us, although nowhere close to the saturation level that they reach during the real high season. We were pretty glad to note that the kids' favorite phrase had now been made into an actual store name!

And besides the shark fisherman, others brought in baskets full of prawns and were willing to make a sale on the beach as well! While we didn't buy any from this guy, we ate our fair share of seafood during the weekend (OK, Dave ate his fair share).

One of the more amusing incidents of the trip took place when we'd holed up for the afternoon on Vagator beach. Getting ready to leave, Dave went down and announced his interest in buying some of the beach shirts sold everywhere in Goa. He was mobbed by sellers and so began to make some trying- and buying- decisions.

The fruit sellers ply their trade on the beach and in established stalls...
Helped out by Breck, who held the shirts that Dave tried, he finally picked out the ones he wanted, and started bargaining. Well, the women wouldn't come down in price to what he wanted to pay. He tried, and tried, and finally was told by Susan that it was time to leave. As they walked away, 2 of the women did follow him and accept his price, but many others let it go. That's how he knew he had the right price! And the next morning, he visited other stands (including this one where a schoolgirl was doing her homework while waiting for a sale) and bought the shirts for the price he wanted!

Speaking of Vagator, we were pleased to note that the cow lifeguards were still on duty, and Breck still had the magic touch when in came to making friends with them.

I don't think he could pick off and eat the bugs infesting their fur, however...

He was our animal boy, adopting and petting every stray dog, cat, cow, goat, and crab he could get his hands on! This picture is actually from our last night in town, and the next morning on the way out he stopped to check in on a litter of street puppies we'd discovered in an alley.

Evenings would find us strolling past the various cricket fields and cafes

Breck loved being the master of the crashing waves... 

and out onto the rocks to enjoy the cool breezes.

and the lovely sunsets reminded us that we were in Indian heaven!

While Susan and Alea check out another...

The moon poking through in the early evening...

Breck contemplates one of those sunsets...

A solitary rock on the wave swept beach...

and Breck throwing palm bark into the darkened ocean.

So many good times, so much relaxation, so many pictures. We have a few random others posted on the next page.

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