Arrived at Margao station and got a prepaid taxi to theAroma hotel at Panjim, where we then had to wait some time for a room as it was naother hotel with the confusing 24 hour checkins. Worth the wait as the rooms were very nice and overlooked the lovely gardens opposite. Breakfast at Cafe Coffee Day then changed some money and bought yummy cakes. Walked across the park to the Church of our Lady, a glorious white building up a wedding cake staircase. Walked through the cute old Portuguese town, then split up for dinner, with Dylan and I satisfying our thali cravings at the Shiv Sagar and the others going italian.
Next day caught the bus to Candolim beach which was a bit of a surprise as there were hundreds of tourists all over the beach. Rented a set of beach chairs and an umbrella and were well looked after by Francis from Joshua’s beach hut restaurant. Had a nice lunch at Frank Zappa’s on the beach too. Had a relaxing day (apart from Aidan dislocating his shoulder again, thankfully it popped back in) in the water and reading on the beach and watching the fat white tourists getting their sun fix before going back to Europe. Could see the fort from where we were and the famous stranded ship. Watched Australia play South Korea in a bar before an ordinary dinner in a tourist restaurant. Many restaurants had Russian menus and signs. Got a taxi back as buses had finished for the night.
Slept in a bit before eventually getting down to the chaotic bus station and a bus to Old Goa. Nice trip along the river. Hopped off at Old Goa and first walked down to the river and watched the ferry that goes to the island, then looked at the impressive archway with its Vasco Da Gama statue. Looked at the pretty interior of St Cajetan’s church, then massive fortress like St Francis church, the biggest in Asia. Main chapel was very decorated but other parts quite dark. Crossed the road to the Bom Jesus church to see the preserved remains of Francis Xavier but can’t see much of him. Bus back to town then later caught a bus to Miramar beach to watch the sunset, enjoyable time watching the locals enjoying a bit of down time. Finished off with a splendid buffet at the Marriott hotel, all for only 900 rupees! Ate a lot.
Spent the morning souvenir shopping before getting a driver to drop us down to Majorda beach near Margao. Majorda beach much quieter and prettier than Candolim but still lots of Russians. Set up at the friendly Mishma’s restaurant and spent the afternoon swimming, eating and boozing. Went for a walk and strolled through the fancy Kenilworths hotel which was totally set up for Russians, swam in the pool with enormous fat Russian men and their hot and sometimes topless wives. After dinner at sunset on the sand caught taxi to Margao station. Really enjoyed Goa this time, will have to come back for sure.