08 January 2009

CYCLING INDIA - Arambol to Agonda

25- 27th November
Arambol


As our shack was made of woven palm leaves, we just hoped we would not get any rain. One could also easily see both in and out, so not a great deal of privacy. Arambol is so different from the rest of India that one can hardly believe you are in this country. Coming from the more conservative parts it was quite a shock to see ageing foreign men jogging on the beach with only a G-string!! What a sight - drooping backsides swinging from side to side!! Remind me never to run in a G-string!! The place was packed with Europeans, all on holiday thinking they are old time hippies. Therefore, you see the weirdest people in the weirdest outfits. Each one doing their own thing, from morning exercises to yoga. Even Amanda and I invested in bathing suites.

We stayed and stared, ate, drank and swam until it was time for us to move on.

28th and 29th November
Armbol - Anjuna
30km

We cycled along to Anjuna, another touristy beach. This time we stayed in a real room at Mary’s. Not on the beach, but a short walk to the beach. We continued with our lazy existence, walking along the beach, swimming and eating. At night we went to one of the local restaurants where we could also watch movies, so it’s about the most popular place in the village.

30 November
Anjuna - Panaji
20km

It was a shorter ride than expected into the Goa state capital, and what a surprise. This is where one can clearly see the Portuguese influence. We found a room in an old Portuguese house for 300 rp. Amanda was not at all impressed with it and was becoming fed up with rooms not smelling like roses.

As one wanders though the streets a person can easily think you are in Portugal instead of India. The narrow alleys are lined with colourful houses decorated with mosaic and shells. That night we even took a cruise on the river.

1st December
Panaji

We spent the day, firstly trying to find a decent derailleur for Amanda’s bike, but although there is a Firefox bike shop branch in Panaji it would have taken 10 days to order the part, it so we gave it up. My brand new ipod, which I bought in Cape Town, packed up after just one day of music pleasure!! Fortunately there was an Apple store in Panaji and they kindly offered to order me a new one. As that would also take a few days I was not going to wait for it. So I decided to rather come back to pick it up at a later stage. My new little laptop was also virus infected and I tried to sort that out but not very successfully.

2nd December
Panaji - Colva.
36km


We were in a habit of getting on the road early in order to escape most of the midday heat. By 8h00 we were on our bikes and followed the main road, but after a few km’s the traffic became too much for us. Amanda once again claimed that she was going to pack it in. Therefore, at the first opportunity we turned off the main road and followed the coastal road to Colva. What a beautiful ride it was as well. We arrived at around 12h00 and found a room outside the main tourist area but still on the beach.

The remainder of the day was spent on the beach (nothing like a swim after a sweaty ride) a quick shower and then back to the beach for supper. It started raining in the evening, cooling things to near perfection.

3rd December
Colva to Agonda
40km

It was a “pushing up the hill” day again for Amanda. She also had her first flat tyre and shortly afterwards the derailleur gave problems again. Everyone coming past wanted to help, and after a while they organized a lift for us to Agonda. There we found a bike repair shop where they fixed the problem. We found a fantastic place to stay right on the beach, and we sat chatting to our neighbours for the rest of the evening. Agonda is one of the nicer beaches as there were very few tourists, most of them long-term travelers.

4th December
Agonda

We changed our plans again and decided to book a train trip to Hampi, which is about 300km inland, to go and see the famous ruins.

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