Just a postscript first to the train trip…..for the second night we had the jackpot, parents and baby got on about 6 pm and the baby screamed till midnight, they were in the berth just opposite us. We were immune by then…
Temperature in my berth was 28C and up on Terry’s he was freezing- air con just above him. Still we managed it and maybe we will not do the Trans Siberian after all.
Chorao Island is a small island in the middle of the Mandovi River in the state of Goa. I always thought Goa was a city- wrong! It is Indias smallest state, only 1.3 million people and became a state 48 years ago, wresting itself out of Portuguese hands.
Lots and lots of Portuguese architecture around, all very pretty and decaying. Think backstreets of Lisbon and that is what the capital, Panaji is like.
However, maybe the Portuguese influence, there is very little begging, the streets are cleaner and the men do not just stop and piddle as the inclination takes them. Plus there are very cows about which is one less thing to have to dodge.
Back to Chorao, only access is by vehicular ferry, free to foot and motor cyclist travellers and a small chatge for cars, subsidised of course. takes us about 10 minutes to walk to the ferry, 3 minute to get across then about half an hour by local bus (4 rupees)to Panaji. We have also been to Calungute Beach by bus, will not go back there, awful beach, real lowest common denomator stuff. Apparently there are better beaches but we will stick to the pool at the resort.
We are staying at the only resort on the island, has about 10 villas and 12 apartments plus four converted garden sheds! We are in a converted garden shed, however it is more comfortable than our cottage at home and is very quiet. We have air con which we have never used- we feel it cool at night when it hits 23C but over 28c at night and sleeping gets a bit steamy. Been overcast this week , bet much to the holiday makes chagrin, and has only reached about 30C during the day, first week here it went to 34C.
The owner of the resort is an Indian entrepeneur hence the garden shed conversion, think it is to avaoid, Te Tari Taake.
The people who have bought into the resort are suffering though, that is the poms who have been here for several years, are having strife with proposed visa changes, from five years to 4 months is something of a drastic change then have to stay out for two months.
Maybe a warning for us against buying anywhere in the islands, not that we were going to.
Yesterday we had a nice walk up to the islands large Catholic church, (40% Catholic in Goa), planned to walk to the high point on the island, when across our path slithered a 1 1/2 metre creamy coloured snake about 20cms round! We walked back to the resort in the middle of the road leaping at every rustle in the grass verge.
So we have walked, bussed and swum for nearly two weeks and have recovered our sense of humour, our stomachs are not quite as jittery but still a little nervous , nearly ready for the final onslaught of hurtling along bumpy roads in a small car, been promised a bigger one for the next leg down south. I will believe it when I see it.
So, Chorao Island has been a real success for us, we would have hated one of the bech resorts as hordes of people swarm into Goa over the holidays. Apparently much like Nelson, and the Mount get overrun. Guess Chorao is the equivalent of Pahoia!
Happy New Year, we are going to a bbq at one of the’ permanent’ residents tonight.