My week in the state of Goa was fantastic. What a place. The closest thing to hedonism there is I think. It is 100km of beach and all along there are small villages which the local beaches are named after. So there is Baga Beach and Calungute, Arambol, Vagator, Anjuna, Colva, Palalem etc. I got up every morning and walked to the beach to have a swim. My hotel was on a quiet road the ran along a small river. There were some small shops selling typical beach stuff and some very good cafes and restaurants. So a bit quiet compared to the hussle / bussle of the beach and the local town - Baga. Each evening the thing to do is go to the beach, grab a chair, order a drink and watch the sun go down. Everyone here rides a scooter or motorcycle to get around. They are very cheap to rent and I drove all over the place on one.
Got to go to a full moon party Dec. 15 which is one of the things Goa is famous for. I think the venue had past its real prime and the true partiers are in places no one can find but it was still fun. Stayed up till 5:30 a.m. Haven't done that in the past 20 years. The place was built into a cliff and had many levels. Lots of techno music and the locals set up small stalls within the complex and sell an array of things - food mostly but also paraphanelia that helps with the partying. To sit and watch the full moon over the Arabian Sea, talk to people from all over the world, drink Indian chai (which is tea with a lot of milk and spices) is truly like a dream.
Had a blast at the local weekly flea market in Anjuna Beach on Wednesday. It is very famous, very big and incredible. Ended up in a beach bar with many strange people and some not so strange, just a very weird mix and there was live music. This group called Kundalini Airport played this sort of techno/jazz/fusion stuff with sitar, drums and an Australian diggerdoo (sp?) and a singer and it was hypnotic and amazing. Watched the sun set, kids play, people smoke pot, drink beer, listen to this stuff in a beach shack and it was like being in another world.
So now I am in Delhi and it is cold, grey and smoky. I'm staying in an area called Karol Bagh and it's really quite a nice place. I went to a local market today and it was great because all the locals shop there, so vendors leave you alone, there are no beggars, and you can just blend in.
Well this is the end of my trip. Hope you have enjoyed reading all about it. I've had a great two months and plan to return to India as soon as I can and take a motorcycle to Kashmir, Jammu, Darjeeling and Sikkim (all in northern India). Have to start saving my pennies for the next trek.