Peggy Smith, India and the Commons Jan-Feb 2011 travel blog

On the sleeper bus to Goa, struggling with a migraine and too...

The pool at the Highland Beach Resort, Candolim

The travelling companions Sharon and Wendy--hard to believe we ended up in...

Enjoying a rare glass of wine

Friends since the 70s

Garbage just off the path to the beach--there's garbage everywhere in India,...

Bumper-to-bumper beach chairs on a fairly quiet mid-week morning

A quieter piece of beach

Favourite store

January 20-22, 2011, Candolim, Goa

Sitting at the Gato Loco finishing breakfast. Splurged on a cappuccino and had a "mini breakfast" of two poached eggs, baked beans and home fries. Main tourists here are the British and Russians, so the local restaurants cater to their tastes. It's bizarre that in the restaurants, walking the beach or strolling down the road the only Indians you see are the people waiting on you--serving food, selling wares or peddling beach chairs. The tourists are mainly retired, wandering about half-baked and half-naked with boobs, butts and bellies hanging out.

We met up yesterday about noon with Sharon and Wendy Smith (Mary Alice went to school at Lakeview with her and she's been living in Vancouver since 1974). They had rented an apartment that is part of the Highland Beach Resort from a British owner who sublets. Very pleasant place with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a swimming pool in the courtyard. We were able to buy groceries from a supermarket just round the corner on the main drag. There were lots of shops and restaurants (and we did shop...).

Sharon guided Lynn and I down to the beach the next day. We stopped along the way to book a foot massage and pedicure for noon. Lynn and I then took a long walk on the beach. Garbage festoons the path to the beach and then there are miles of beach chairs. This morning their weren't too many people yet. Sharon and Wendy went to the beach on Sunday and Sharon described it as a "gong show" with the smell of urine along the path overwhelming. They haven't been back to the beach since, preferring the quiet and cleanliness of their hotel pool (we swam there yesterday afternoon and did the same today). We walked south along the beach and finally the people, canteens and beach chairs thinned out and we were walking along a fairly deserted beach. There were guys all along the beach trying to sell beach chairs and water taxis. In the distance you could see the shipping traffic lanes of the West Arabian Sea--seemed like hundreds of ships in a long line across the horizon. There was also an old tanker sitting close to the shore. We waked for a couple of hours before heading for breakfast.

We returned back to the apartment and picked up Sharon for our pedicure/foot massage. It was in a little hole-in-the-wall on the 2nd floor. We sat out on the balcony in plastic chairs. One young woman, Sitah, gave Sharon a foot bath and pedicure while the other woman, Mudhra, gave me the reflexology treatment. Since my reflexology treatment in Bangalore, my leg, which has been cramping with exercise for the last year, is no longer hurting. We expanded our stay to take in a head-shoulder massage. My toes are now in fine shape and I also had my eyebrows "threaded" for the first time ever. I'm feeling in fine shape.

Sharon and I shopped after our treatment and then headed home for relaxation and a swim. It's been getting progressively hotter every day so that it's now 30+ at the hottest part of the day, and much more humid than Bangalore. We have air conditioning so cool down the bedroom before going to sleep.

Headed to the main road when sun was setting for more shopping and dinner at the Gato Loco. I had a mixed Greek plate with pita, tabouleh, hummus, tzaziki and baba ganoush. We shared a dish of ice cream with berries, perfect ending to the day.

The next morning we were up and packing to leave by 11 am. I had a flight at 1:40 from Panjim to Nagpur via Mumbai. Lynn found a place to stay an extra night only 4 km from the airport. She flies back to Hyderabad for her flight home on the 24th. My flight was delayed in Mumbai, but finally arrived in Nagpur about 6. Rucha had sent a driver to pick me up. Was so glad to get to her comfortable home where I have my own room and bathroom.

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