Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Goa, Goa, gone...

Tuesday (3/18): Time to go to Goa! It is an amazingly short distance, well- I am still getting used to the distances here in India, not being familiar with kilometers and being somewhat disoriented by how long it takes to get anywhere in Bangalore, but Goa is a short, barely 1 hour flight away. So we arrived, got settled into our “villa” (they had upgraded us from our two rooms we had booked) and settled in for some relaxation and downtime.

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

Goa is mostly a Catholic state and was a Portuguese colony for many years. So these temples are said to have architectural influences from the Christian buildings in the state. I really can't make a good comparison myself as we have only visited the ISKCON temple in Bangalore which is a very modern style of architecture. Still, they were interesting to see.

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!


Rima said...

Wooohooo! Goa! Good to know that you had a good time, and that you look like a lobster ;) Great pictures.

tiggerr said...

Nice pictures. I'm really enjoying your blog and adventures.
Sorry about the sun burn.

Maya said...

Better a lobster than, say, a sea urchin!

Sounds like mucho fun.


Sonia aka ssri17 said...

Did you get to try the twowheeler taxis in Goa? Apparently, its a must do while in Goa

Jean said...

Wow, Goa looks beautiful! Sorry about the sunburn. Can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip. Misadventure? I'm intrigued.

Emily said...

That sounds like such a fun trip-- I am super jealous!!
In Brazil people drink the juice of the cashew fruit-- i tried it and it was not that exciting. I heard that some parts of the cashew plant can give you a rash because it is related to the poison ivy, and thats why you never see cashews in the shell-- it that true?
I have so many questions... ;)