09.11.2014 - 09.11.2014
So there we were in Arambol, chilling on the sunloungers in Sweetwater Bay, enjoying our first 'relaxing' day since arriving in India. I use the term 'relaxing' pretty loosely as we were constantly interrupted with the likes of 'Madam you want massage?' (NO), 'Hello Madam, you want look my bracelets?' (NO), 'Madam-you-want-coconutpineapplepapayabananamango?!' (URGH), 'Oh, very nice! English?' (F**K OFF)...The best one however, was 'Madam you look like CHICKEN LOLLIPOP!!!' What the hell does that even mean?! (we would later find out). We also did however make a couple of sweet friends. Yvette was burying her face in her book trying to avoid eye contact with all human life after being violated by a horrible asshole who thought it was a subtle and otherwise okay gesture to stop next to her, hold a phone over her bikini-clad ass and take a photograph for his collection of random white girl ass shots. Sicko. Anyway, I was feeling rather spritely and good humoured and when we were approached by a couple of friendly local lads, I allowed them to bask in my conversational glory whilst I answered all of their questions and chatted away to them. They even revealed the real reason behind these horrible dickheads taking pictures of us; apparently we remind them of porn stars because we are white, young and female. I mean it's pretty understandable right? It's the same as all of us thinking all black guys are rappers - because they are aren't they? Idiots.
Anyway I continued talking to our new buddies, Kaku (ha!) and Santosh and promised them we'd be back for a drink the next day. Once we'd had enough, we went back to the hut, showered, and hit the town. We stopped at a beach bar for some drinks and were immediately approached by a black Caribbean couple who asked us a number of inane crappy questions whilst smiling crazily at us before whispering that they had drugs if we wanted them. After politely declining, we sat there awkwardly whilst the sky grew darker and darker. It was only about 5pm and big black thunder clouds began rolling in to blot out the remaining natural light. Eventually we heard the distant roll of thunder and purple lightening cracked its spidery fingers down to earth then big splodges of rain started to pelt us as we ducked inside the bar for shelter. It was a pretty heavy downpour and we decided to just get some food there before heading back. We stayed a while and as we were getting up to leave, some guy out of his skull on god-knows-what started randomly committing acts of violence towards glasses on people's tables and was subsequently surrounded by a massive horde of Indian dudes. We didnt stay to find out what happened to him, and started the walk along the unpopulated unlit ominous looking beach. I was working myself up worrying about the likes of gang rape and murder whereas Yvette was scared of treading in dog shit. Perspective.
The first night in the hut was okay but we woke up early to the crashing waves just a few feet beyond us and spent about 2 hours faffing uncontrollably with chargers, wifi and all manner of technology, the result being that Yvette had to eat 2 breakfasts (one normal and one guilty) - it probably didnt help the pooping situation either. Anyway we eventually got to the beach - we decided to go for the main beach to see if it was better than Sweetwater Bay but no sooner had we grabbed a couple of sun loungers, we were being obscenely harrassed and heckled by LITERALLY every person who walked past. There were about 20 bracelet-wallahs on the beach and each of them were persistently and intermittently trying to get us to even look interested. They wouldnt take no for an answer so we had to completely ignore them, which I hate doing, but honestly, it was really about every 5 minutes. They pretty much ruined our day, yet still made us feel like we were the ones being a-holes. We retreated up to the town area and did a bit of shopping. As an expert haggler, I got a few bloody brilliant deals and celebrated by letting a nice young man paint a purple dot on my forehead for shopping in his store. Unfortunately due to the heat and my unfeasably sweaty face, it melted down my nose and across my cheeks and was a bit of a bitch to get off, the sight of which was apparently hilarious given Yvette's reaction. Dammit.
We later met our little friends Kaku and Santosh for beers on Sweetwater, and shared a pleasant smelling hand rolled cigarette (yurp) before Yvette had her 10 second warning and leapt into the nearest toilet...We moved things up to a restaurant closer to our hut and invited the guys with us. We ordered some food, they ordered some beers, and then for some inexplicable reason they tried to turn off all the lights. Now I know what you're thinking...alarm bells should be ringing blah blah blah but frankly, I was more annoyed that I couldnt see my food. After we persuaded them to turn them back on, we finished our food and the guys ordered us another round of beers. By this point I was feeling a little uncomfortable from the beer and the knowledge that I probably needed to poop soon, and what these guys were really after, and we told them we would go after that beer. In their desperation, they ordered us more beer which we told them would DEFINITELY be our last. During that last round, my favourite one, Kaku (lol) started getting a bit handsy (literally) and kept stroking at and pawing at my hand. Yvette thought the entire thing was hilarious and didnt help me out at all, and simply laughed hysterically when the guy started trying to smooch me whilst I simultaneously pushed his face as far away from mine as possible. It couldnt have been any more awkward but because of Yvette's reaction, I couldn't not laugh about it so I was laughing my ass off as well. We threw 10,000 rupees on the table (£10) told the guys they could make up the rest (they wanted to go half way but we just wanted to get the hell outta there) and promptly left them looking a bit defeated...We would see them again though
Woke up pretty early and inexplicably with a bit of a cold; runny nose, fuzzy head, sinusey...and Yvette's toilet issues had somewhat worsened. We spent about an hour packing up our stuff and working out what we should do with our shit bucket which was absolutely stinking the place out (we decided to just leave it full of shitty tissues). After that, we went to say goodbye to Kaku (lol) and Santosh but we had to cut it short due to another stomach lurching bout of the shits (Yvette) and sympathy shits (Me) and head back to the hut.
We stopped in a cafe for breakfast and my nose, like Yvette's a-hole, became a tap of man-made liquid which caused us some anxiety for the hour long taxi back to Panjim. The taxi ride was possibly one of the worst I've ever taken; Yvette even had to emphasize our need to arrive alive with the absolute dick of a driver.
After another bout of obscene fannying in Panjim trying to work out how many buses it would take to get to Palolem, we decided to just pay the oh-my-god rate of £15 for a 1&a half hour taxi ride with an extremely desperate taxi driver with a hairy dashboard. When we finally arrived, we got a really nice room in a lovely guest house for a couple of nights. We were a little confused when we were finding it however and Yvette actually walked into some old man's house who responded by slamming the door in her face. Anyway the room was great...air conditioned paradise. By this point I really was full of a cold and Yvette was glued to the toilet. We decided on a walk along the beach, but I was feeling so crappy we had to stop in a restaurant to get out of the sun, and so I could order a hot honey & ginger drink. As I browsed the menu for some bar snacks, my eye was drawn to none other than the infamous 'Chicken Lollipop!' Well obviously I had to order it. But we were just left even more confused because whilst it did resemble a lollipop, it was also brown and crunchy with a bone sticking out. In what way did either me or Yvette look like one of these haggard things?! Someone please EXPLAIN!!! Pretty tasty though..
I was still feeling horrible so we went back to the room for a bit so we could each soil some more tissues...my nose was just streaming. Decided on a lonely planet cafe with western food as we had been dining on only spicy Indian food for a while now. Agreed we would both have eyebrows yet I dont think we took any pictures so it's probably a pretty redundant comment. After a great meal and some furious snotty nose blowing, I was ecstatic to find LOTR the 2 towers on tv so stayed up and watched that. :-D
Felt rotten again in the morning and ended up taking a rickshaw to the chemist to sort out my rapidly worsening cold, after which we went for lunch then hit the beach. The beach there was beautiful, just like the pictures you see in the travel brochures, and dotted with little boats and even smaller cows. I decided to swim in the bath-water hot sea...I was a little intimidated by some of the locals though and went fully clothed. It was really nice but the sun was making my head feel worse and I had to head back to the room. When I started to feel better, we agreed that enough was enough. I couldnt put this off any longer. I had to buy some rings, and ring shopping was now on the cards. I spent about an hour haggling over a number of rings and got a great deal. Back in the room, admiring my purchases, I discovered my camera was missing, and like a complete idiot I had left it somewhere. After a mad dash around the immediate area, I found it in a rooftop cafe. Is it just me this stuff happens to?? Jesus I am my own worst enemy sometimes.
The following morning we got up at 7:30am so that we could take a cab to a local Wildlife Sanctuary. The driver was going like a bastard and ran out of fuel and had to take a massive detour. He then helped us get our tickets and it become obvious that the santuary was massive and he would be driving us through it stopping at various points. When we finally got through the gates, the first thing I caught sight of was a fairly significant-sized animal carcass in the middle of the road. Well why wouldnt there be? I mean, this is India, one of the most backward countries I have ever visited. Of course there are dead animals in a wildlife sanctuary.
Anyway, we side stepped the carcass and continued up the road, revving and beeping merrily along the way pretty much eliminating any chances of us seeing any lions tigers or bears - oh my! He finally stopped and let us get out and walk unaided along a trail that lead up to a canopy platform. It was actually really nice and serene...no traffic noise, no people noise...just the intermittent sounds of my snotty sniffling. We saw all manner of jungle creatures. Everything ranging from blue jungle crabs, red jungle lizards, jungle monkeys, and possibly a flying jungle squirrel. We got to the canopy platform which was up a rusted-as-shit spindly ladder leading up into a tree some distance upwards. It looked pretty sketchy but I was determined to get up it and after about 15minutes of climbing, I made it. It was incredibly hot at the top and it became hard to see for all the sweat in my eyes so I made my way back down slowly...We didnt bother visiting the 'watering hole' which was depicted as a manky man made puddle in a concrete block, and instead got our driver to take us back.
Feeling pretty haggard again, we went to a cafe for more hot beverages and I fell asleep whilst Yvette played chess with a nice young fellow called Mantu. We literally jumped from cafe to cafe that afternoon, with the odd walk along the beach, then watched the sun go down before heading for dinner. After dinner, we grabbed our bags, dodged some young lads setting off firecrackers outside a church, and took a rickshaw to the bus stop ready for our overnight bus to Hampi, our next destination...
More to come next week