Day 37 Goa India

After heading south throughout the night we arrived at the port of Mormugao or Goa. The landscape in this part of India is quite a contrast to what we saw in Mumbai. The port is situated in a sheltered harbour dotted with traditional fishing boats.

 The sandy shore line is crowded with villages set amongst coconut palms and it has a tropical feel about it.

Luke, Louise & the children had planned to visit the beach here and spend the day swimming but unfortunately the water was not looking the best so the kids decided they would rather stay aboard the ship and play with their friends.

On the dock Luke & Louise met another couple who were keen to share a cab for the day. It costs about $80 USD to hire the taxi for the entire day which makes it quite cheap when split 4 ways.

Once again it was a stinking hot humid day and our taxi was a Daihatsu mini, mini, mini van with no A/C and no seat belts. Luke drew the short straw and got the front seat and was given the responsibility of warning everyone of any likely collisions.

Fortunately there was only one when a moped ran up the back of us. We can now see where the Indian taxi drivers in Sydney have honed their skills. The constant horn blowing gives you a headache. Rather than just stay on the correct side of the road they blow their horn to let everyone know they are coming around a blind corner overtaking a bus.

We headed off in the direction of Goa’s capital – Panjim. Along the way was the Basilica of Bom Jesus which is home to the shrine of St Francis Xavier. The “boy saints” body is enshrined in a silver lined casket here.

From here we continued on into the heart of Panjim to the central fish, fruit & flower markets. It wasn’t hard to find the fish market as the stench (as Louise referred to it – i.e. “this stench is making me nauseous”) was quite powerful. Hundreds of women sit on the floor selling the catch from the men’s boats.

 Most of what we saw would be classed as undersized in Australia but they seem to sell everything here and if you are after a 5cm long snapper you can get one.

Shopping in the town was generally far less tourist focused than in Mumbai and it was good to walk through the narrow rows of stalls and look at the locals selling their wares.

It still didn’t take long for word to get out there were tourists in town and suddenly we were confronted with small children and adults begging.

From here we made our way around the coast and could see where old ships are run aground at high tide and then cut up for scrap metal. We also came across a film crew shooting a Bollywood movie in the middle of a busy street. After another long day taking in the many sights and smells of India we wearily headed back to the ship for a swim with the children.

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