|Arriving in Goa
|After staying overnight at the Obnoxious-Service Hotel in Delhi, we made our way to the Delhi Domestic Airport. We
were anticipating something else going wrong - Delhi seems to be the capital of misadventures. And true to form,
upon our arrival at the airport, Sahara Air told us that they had dropped their direct flights from Delhi to Goa. About
a month prior, and about the same time we purchased the ticket. Coincidence? The airline offered to fly us the next
day thru Mumbai, and be wait listed for the flight from Mumbai to Goa. And if we didn't get on that flight, they could
route us thru Hyderabad the following day. Needless to say, Evelyn and I were getting pissed about how Sahara Air
ran their airline. Why were we not told about the change? Why were they not able to accommodate us in Business
class? Where they going to put us in a hotel for the night? Luckily, one of the few competent managers realized
that we and several others had the same plight.
We had already spent over an hour complaining to the Sahara Air personnel about our plight of flight. Were we
lucky to arrive at the airport an hour early??? I don't know. That whole hour of padding was spent spinning our
wheels with the minions of Sahara Hell, until the Uber-Manager arrived.
This manager grabbed us quickly and ran us over to the Jet Airways desk. Rather, Evelyn ran over to the desk
while I slowly maneuvered our 100 kilos of luggage on a cart slowly after them. This manager had organized to have
all the bumped passengers from Delhi to Goa to be on the Delhi-Mumbai-Goa flight on Jet Airways, traded our
Sahara Air tickets for Jet Airways boarding passes for a flight that was departing five minutes prior. She had the
flight held up 10 minutes just for us. She told us to leave the luggage with her, and to expect the luggage to arrive
the next day in Goa. She followed us through security checks, and onto the tarmac, rushing us through every step.
We made it onto the plane, sitting in the only two available seats. We had boarding passes for the Mumbai-Goa
flight in our sticky little hands; so, we knew that we'd be sleeping in Goa that night! But, with only the backpacks on
our shoulders. The Mumbai-Goa leg was nice, too. Business class with great service and food. This was my first
meal in nearly a month that I was able to eat (Nepali and Tibetan food did not agree with me). The flight served an
excellent vegetable curry, rice, and dessert. And while connecting in Mumbai, we checked on our luggage. We
were wondering what time the next day the bags would be arriving in Goa. Surprisingly, we were told that the
luggage was on our flight. I still don't know how they were able to re-run our bags through security again, then run
the bags out to the plane in the less than 5 minutes that it took us to run through security checks and onto the
plane. On my next visit to Delhi airport, I plan to make every effort to find this miracle worker of the airport. And,
hopefully finding a way of thanking her enough.
|First Night in Goa
|Our first night in Goa was spent in the town of Condolim soaking in the hotel pool until sunset with our luggage and
sanity still intact. Of course, the hotel was not one of our first choices. We arrived at our first hotel choice to find
everything under construction. The pool was closed for renovation, air conditioning did not work, and we were the
only tenants - the last were a tour group from the UK that had left a week prior. At R850/night too! We thought we
had shaken the bad Delhi karma, but it seemed to follow us to Goa. Seems that we were in Goa at the end of the
season, and most of the hotels were closing up already. We quickly started walking around the neighborhood
looking for an alternative hotel. After wandering for half an hour, we found a hotel to our liking. The hotel next to
our first choice (at R600/night!). With a two minute walk carrying our luggage, we were checked into our new hotel
with aircon and a swimming pool. Looks like the good Goa karma is now our destiny.
Holiday Beach Resort had a friendly owner, but the area was a little too quiet for us and we needed internet access
and good restaurants in walking distance from our hotel, so we decided to look for a new location further north along
the coast in Calangut. This part of Goa is densly populated during the peak season, but we found it to be just right
for us now in May, the shoulder season, just before the monsoons start.
|Weeks 1-3 in Goa
|The good Goa karma continues to flow. We found an amazing Hotel: Varma Beach Resort (800 Rupees/night)
that we call Paradise Found.
We now spent our days having Papaya for breakfast, having fresh fruit drinks down by the beach during the
day, swimming at dusk, and having a fabulous seafood meal at one of Goa's many great restaurants.
|Our room is just 10 feet from
|Hotel Varma is guarded by a mean looking, but extremely friendly bulldog named Beauty. The dog is one year
old and has all the energy and playfullness of any child. She will chase you while swimming in the pool, play
with your shoes while you are walking around, or try to sneak into your room if given half a chance. Evelyn's
gift to Beauty was a brand new tennis ball - a wonderful toy, but like toys for all kids, discarded after a couple
days and replaced with new distractions.
|Three weeks at this Indian oasis
gave us plenty of time to see a few
historical sights, relax in our AC
room, and surf the Internet. This is
the first time in our travels that we
have stayed in one place for so long.
This has given us the opportunity to
become good friends with a few of
the locals. In particular, Mr. Varma,
the owner of our hotel.
|The End ?
|TALL WORLD TALES