Fell lucky with the 2 weeks we have just had, seeing and hearing the reports of the snow here in the UK, but on landing back this afternoon in the cold and piles of the white stuff still around here in Leeds, made us want to get back on that plane..
Stayed at Greenpeace in Candolim again, and for the 1st time we went without A/C, my other half thinking she would cope with the heat better, I wasn't too sure but things were fine and we coped great with just the ceiling fans and a good breezy balcony.
As all us Goa lovers know what 'basic' means for apartments in Goa, you can't go wrong with this place. A few 'niggly' things that would make things a bit better, like curtains that cover the whole window and a kettle (had one last year..) and we also had a sofa last year - 2 uncomfy armchairs this time. Still it's a spacious place which we prefer to a room only and for 900rps a day it's worth it.
We had friends from Ganesh shack also taking an apartment each and all on the top floor, which soon become known as Coronation Street (thanks Maz !)
The weather was hot as usual but very windy every day on the beach, the evenings were never humid and a breeze every night kept it pleasant to enjoy.
Mentioning the windy sea breeze did cause problems for many swimmers, and kept the lifeguards very busy, whistling the Indians out of the sea and on to another area for safety. I'm not sure if the Indians think they are being picked on, but they can't swim, they don't listen, and sadly 3 were pulled out at Sinquerim, one of them dying later + another dying around the Baga area.
Not too happy with the food at some places this year, we returned to old favourites, but weren't overly impressed.
Jazz House, Friends, Top Nosh, Cecilia's, Tony's, The Curry House, Wok & Roll, Delhi Darbar, FlambÃ©, Patricks.
Out of the above - for the best Indian was The Curry House at Sinquerim, for Thai food it has to be Wok & Roll at Sinquerim (can't fault the food/service/set-up), for steak it was Friends, and Fish&Chips - Patrick's in Candolim.
Shack food at Ganesh's was spot on again, great sea food and a good curry. Very busy everyday in here, with us 2 and 12 regular faces we meet each year, we were out numbered by Russians and Indians.
We enjoyed as a group another good night at Mackies market, Steve who was with us asked about a day out round Panjim as he had never been (nor on a local bus) so off we went one morning just the 2 of us - to say he enjoyed his-self is an understatment - his words were ''wow, didn't know there was so much to this place'' After doing the history part of Panjim, it is now tradition to call in at the watering holes I know, Steve was expecting dirty little bars, but again was surprised to what I led him to + a new one to book mark called Cafe Mojo http://cafemojo.in/locations/india/goa/panjim/
Five of us went to the Mandovi night cruise & then the Delhi Darbar - the night cruise was very poor, not being able to get tickets for the boat we usually go on + the car park not being in use and the road works made it an unpleasant trip. Far too busy and messy there at the moment, so until they sort things out better we are going to give it a miss for a while.
Candolim was the busiest I have seen, lots of Indians and Russians much more traffic (could this soon become like Calangute ?) We did spend more time around the Fort Aguada Road, Sinquerim - even this area was the busiest I have seen, with lots of more in restaurants than ever.
Dabolim was busy in and out but we seemed to get through easy without problems, fingers crossed it will be even better with the new terminal due to open later.
The exchange rate was averaging 81.50 each day, so that was good on the pocket and the best rate we have ever had.
Thanks to all who turned up at the 'meet' on the Wednesday, had a good chat and a laugh (sorry Dragon - missed you again! speak next year !!)
A good 2 weeks we had, and not long before I start looking for next years flights, right now electric under blanket is on ready for some much needed kip.
Spike & Dee