Wednesday (3/19): I should know better. We spent the day relaxing by the pool because Anna had a lot of studying to do (she has mid-terms next week!) Now sometimes, occasionally, once in a while, I over-estimate my body’s ability to absorb the sun’s rays. I really do tan fairly easily, but I sometimes forget that I don’t spend a lot of time in the sun these days. So- I think you can guess the rest. Yes- I resemble a lobster. You know it’s bad when you are applying blush to the non sunburned areas so that they blend more. I think I will recuperate fairly quickly, but at the moment?- Not pleasant.
Thursday (3/20): today we wanted to get out a little. (we won't mention that I was wholly incapable of "lounging by the pool") So we hired a taxi for the day and headed to Sahakari Spice Farm. This was about a 45 minute drive from where we were staying and they grow… spices; vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc.... We took a tour and learned about all of the spices that they cultivate as well as medicinal uses for most of them. It was actually pretty interesting. We also saw how they harvest some of the fruits that are up high in the trees.
Best left to professionals
One courageous visitor even gave it a go himself. Suffice it to say that he showed how hard it really is. I did learn something new as well. See this...These are cashews! The cashew is the little part at the end and the rest is what they call the "apple". They use it to make Cashew Feni, one of the local alcohols- they also make a palm feni and a coconut feni. We tried a bit, it is quite warming.
After the spice farm we asked to visit a couple of the Hindu temples in the area. We were interested in seeing them because they are a bit different from most Hindu temples.
Shri Mahalasa Temple
Then we paid our respects to the Christian God by visiting the Bom Jesus Basilica in Panjim.
Now if you are paying attention you will notice that we were doing all of this on Maundy Thursday. So, basilica closed. Fine, we had actually had a little bit of a hard time finding a driver for the day because they all go to church for big Maundy Thursday services. That’s okay, we saw a bit and then headed in to Panjim itself to have a bit of a look around.
Tomorrow I will tell you about the rest of our stay and the little misadventures we had!