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Thought I would write a short review for reference to others planning a trip 2011/12.

Left on 2nd March for first trip back in six years, and arrived 6am on the 3rd. Airport still ridiculously beaurocratic, but through relatively quickly as we were the only flight to arrive, and plane was only about 2/3 full. Same story with overly eager porters grabbing cases. Told them no, I will carry them, but as usual this was ignored, as was my telling them I had no money. So I let him take it, and when he demanded payment I reminded him I had said no, and didn't pay. If enough do this, hopefully they will one day get the message that no means no!

Cab drive was fine, no other traffic so went smoothly, but no one at guesat house to open the villa for over two hours, so I had to wait. So a little note here, if you are using a guest house and have an early arrival, check to see that you will have access to your room/villa. Nothing was open until around 8am so I just wandered about familiarising myself after such a long time.

Stayed in Luisa By The Sea in Cavelossim. I paid £400 a week for a lovely detached bungalow: two double bedrooms (both air conditioned), each with ensuite bathroom and shower, a kitchen and a living room. Easily sleep 4, so if you are planning a small group, check this place. Very quiet and comfortable, villas cleaned every day except Sunday. Only drawback is the lack of lighting around the pool at night. It is very dark, and you cannot see so a torch is an idea just in case. The odd dog wandering around, but apart from one night when there was a little howling, no problems with them.

All the shacks were there, and the food was up to standard, and as before for me, I was not ill once. Took all the sensible precautions, and ate in the same place most times, so they knew me, and I made sure salads were washed in bottled water, and avoided ice cream and all other cold food except pineapple.

I travelled very late (early March), and would advise against going this late. It was almost unbearably hot and humid, and very few other English there. A few Russians (who were fine, no trouble at all), but the beaches were very quiet, even the hawkers were slowing down! Even the locals were complaining about the heat and humidity. As there were so few people there I didn't get to know many, although I do know some locals from previos trips, so I had people to chat to.

I looked at Mikes place and Casa de Chris (or whatever its called) and if you plan staying there they look very pleasant, but I did not see the rooms.

I did hear some horror stories about Russians up in the north, but I had no problems. however if you are going to the North, be warned that there can be problems, especially in some of the bars up there (threats, rudeness and even physical violence I was told had occurred from people I got to know at the airport while we waited the endless hours for our flight home). Taxi drivers told me that generally they had one or two problems with Russians, but that the main issues were in the North, the South visiting Russians seem to be of a higher quality!

The flight out was fine (Thomson) the flight back was a disaster, but was outside the control of the operator, and I have written a post about this so will not repeat myself here. (See my post in this forum Thomson Flight Delay)

I have read other reports about filth and rubbish. Well in Cavelossim there is no such issue. The odd piece of paper, and I saw one discarded bottle on the beach in two weeks. To be frank, English towns have more rubbish on the streets than Cavelossim!

No issues with taxi drivers either. I only used three, and prices were agreed and were reasonably compared to my last time in Goa (also in the south). From what I read, it seems that as the North becomes more crowded, so the bad points rise. I do so hope the South does not go the same way. The sellers are less aggressive in the South relative to my memories of them when I stayed in Calungute. A few problems with out of state Indians, many of whom have a serious attitude problem and believe themselves to be better than everyone else, and treat Europeans and locals with contempt and rudeness. Locals are lovely though, friendly and helpful as always.

To summarise, if you want total quiet, and do not mind exceessive heat and humidity, then March is ok, but I suggest not leaving this late, and concentrate more on November to early February for a normal 2/3 week holiday.

If I think of anything to add I will edit accordingly.
Thanks for the report and please give us more details about the flight delay and how Thomson handled it.

Papa

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