After China and returning to the UK where I stayed with good friends, tried to get out for some meals and coffees as much as possible with Becca and Jake between them working and finishing up university for Becca and just thinking about starting it next year for Jake, I was also able to meet up with my running club a few times and get out on some training runs with them as well as some Park runs and and couple of races which felt quite hard after the efforts in China.
It’s always nice to go back to the UK and see friends and family that are always very good to me and it’s hard to leave again but I do find myself getting itchy feet after about 6 weeks or so which has got worse since I retired and have the time to move around that I didn’t previously have.
It did take me a couple of trips to London whilst I was back to sort out my visa for India as I wanted to travel here for about 6 months and an E visa would not of covered it, on the first attempt I didn’t get past the guy on the front desk who spotted a mistake and promptly crossed it out and told me to apply again ( I felt like I was back at school and being told off ) so the first trip was a bit of a wasted journey and going back a week later after reapplying and approaching the same guy on the front desk I was a bit anxious about being turned away again but this time all was well and he gave me my number to wait in line to submit my application, and I must thank him actually as when I submitted it they increased the length of time I could stay to a year with multiple entries so probably saved me some work if I decide to go into Nepal whilst here, and whilst waiting I saw that he hadn’t singled me out as he turned multiple people away who had made mistakes on their applications as I sat and waited. I was quite pleased when my passport arrived in the post a few days later with my visa in it.
I have been trying my best to travel light as I would be moving around quite a bit but I still think I’ve probably got a lot to learn and I’m sure I will find that I’m carrying stuff that I don’t really need but the next six months should tell me, I’ve got one small bag that probably weighs about 8 kilos and a small backpack with me on this trip and expect to be using the trains here mostly to get around India.
I had booked my first couple of months accommodation here before I left the UK with the first month in Goa and decided on South Goa as it is supposed to be more chilled out ( suits my character more I think, to old for raves now ) and second month is booked for Kerala further south. The first hiccup came when I received a message from the host of the accommodation in Goa on the day before I traveled that there was a problem and he would have to offer an alternative, this set alarm bells ringing and I was a bit worried about arriving with no accommodation sorted but the plan was to meet him here to see what alternative accommodation he had found, immigration also seemed a bit concerned as well when I put my address down as Patnem beach but when I changed it to Micky’s bar and restaurant they seemed happy with that and waved me though.
After fairly straight forward flights here via Oman, I arrived in Goa at 0330 and didn’t see any point of leaving the airport yet as my only destination would be Patnem beach to sort out somewhere to stay, so I changed some sterling for rupees and tried to get a WiFi signal which was impossible so booking any accommodation from there was out.
On arranging a taxi from the airport I decided to just come to the only place I knew here which was Micky’s bar and close to where original accommodation was supposed to be.
I had heard all the stories about traffic in India and to be wary of some taxi drivers but knew Goa wasn’t going to bad on the roads but it still surprised me, even here it seemed to be about 1/3 cars and trucks 1/3 scooters and 1/3 animals on the road ( Cows and dogs ) there didn’t seem to be any rules of the road except Cows are king and seemed to be the only thing that was safe ( they really can lie in the middle of the road and everyone waits or drives around them )
On arrival at Patnem beach I got the taxi driver to drop me near where I thought I needed to be and went off in search of Micky’s ( hoping that it existed or was open as it is early in the tourist season here) but it wasn’t far and was open and even better had WiFi which they switched on for me so I used the opportunity to book some accommodation online that was supposed to be nearby but no sooner had I done that within a minute the host from the previous accommodation that was cancelled sent me a message via what’s app asking if I had arrived and literally 30 secs after saying I was in Micky’s bar he appeared next to me ( he had been building the beach huts ready for tourist season) and apologised for leaving it so late to cancel the accommodation, saying he had made the mistake of not allowing bookings before November when the real tourist season starts here, so after an Indian breakfast of masala omelette lime pickle and aloo pathra ( love Indian food), Ajesh showed me around a room at the back of Micky’s which although I had reservations about had everything you really need when your living on the beach, so I agreed to make it home for the next month and so far so good, there are a few tourists arriving early, huts are being built, people are friendly, there’s a good menu here and I’m writing this from Micky’s bar using the WiFi after having vegetable vindaloo and aloo pathora for dinner
So after a uncertain start to my time in India I’m where I was hoping to be living on the beach with weather today being good, Sunny and hot but humid ( they said this is the first time they’ve had a dry day in weeks ) I will keep you all updated and post some pictures.
Speak to you soon
Love you all
(Going to post this as it late and will edit mistakes later )