With our final leg of our 6 month trip we can have a look back at the best bits of India!
Day 163 168 – 12:30am flight to Goa
We arrived to our Goan hostel around 4am and had a free night stay in a non-AC 6 person dorm. Turns out the only other inhabitants of the dorm were mosquitos… luckily we had booked a private AC room for the next 5 nights so we checked into our room around midday.
Unfortunately for our avid readers the next 5 days were relatively boring (for you!). We had a great time relaxing, going to the beach, hitting the gym, eating some lovely food and watching Netflix in bed. The hostel included breakfast so we had daily samosas, omelette, toast and coffee. One of the days we hired a scooter (300 rupees for the day, £4ish!) and explored nearby beaches. And that’s about it! Goa was as beautiful as promised, although as it was coming out of monsoon season it was very quiet, and some of the shops and restaurants were still closed up (covered in blue tarpaulin), but we got the idea!
Day 169 – 173
4 days of Yoga. Having never done yoga before I didn’t know what to expect. Turns out Yoga is hard! Well, 5.5 hours a day of Yoga is hard anyway. Add 30 minutes of Pranayama (breathing techniques), 30 minutes of meditation, amazing spreads for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we had 4 full, healthy, active days! We even had a little bit of time for some sunbathing between Yoga sessions. Vibes, energy, chakras, sanskrit, unnatural bending, achy limbs and we were ready to head to North Goa for our final 5 days!
Day 174 – the end!
Arrived in North Goa on Friday evening, still feeling very zen… until we were shown to our bedroom in the hostel. The bed was a small square of harm foam on top of wooden pallets! Serves us right for picking the cheapest we could find, and we couldn’t be bothered to find anywhere else that night so we had dinner and some beers out (already undoing our hard yoga-ing!) and then bedded down for the worst night sleep of the entire trip! The banging techno bass from the club next door really took it to the next level!
The next day we sought out a nice posh hotel to treat ourselves for our final four days, and found one up in Vagator (old hippy hangout), and it had a pool and everything! We checked out the sun set over Vagator beach and had a few cocktails, some food and a shisha! And we identified a bar which shows English football games ready for… Sunday! We lay around most of the day then headed out to watch Wolves V Man City – Chris wore his lucky wolves top (they haven’t lost when he’s been wearing it!) but he said he’d be happy if Wolves don’t concede more than 3 goals… It was a very tense 90 minutes and Chris drank through his nerves, but his lucky top struck again! 2 nil win! We went to a psytrance rave to celebrate (Chris still in his Wolves shirt), where a few people congratulated Chris which made him even happier! And to top it off we the trance rave saw in Chris’ birthday!
The next few days involved nursing hangovers, souvenir shopping and trying to sunbathe (monsoon season wasn’t quite finished). We’d had a turbulent time in India and we were excited to be coming home.
We got up early and joined our hotel receptionist Nikhil who had invited us along for his tour of the local temples that he does most days – the best one was the monkey temple, we thought it was called this because there are monkeys running around (which there were) but it is actually all about the God that looks like a monkey – Hanuman. There was a lot of singing and playing instruments in that temple, it seemed quite upbeat! And one of the rituals there is to paint red onto the walls, so there is a lot of bright paint strokes covering the outside and inside of the temple – no photos though!
After a leisurely breakfast we were told we could checkout late as our taxi to the airport was at noon – lovely jubbly – some more chilled aircon time!
A decent flight to Mumbai and a quick taxi to our hostel, which was 15 minutes from the airport. We went for a cheap room in a nice hostel, a shared 10 bed non-AC dorm! Luckily there was only 2 other people in there, who were both lovely and hardly there. The hostel had a load of recommendations for food (including some special offers for delivery food…) so a couple of cheese toasties, garlic bread, spaghetti, and chips, married with 2 big beers, delivered to our roof and then we were ready for bed!
The first thing I noticed about Mumbai was that there was no cows on the road! Thus, cleaner roads and a nicer smell! After an admin laden morning (snoozing, washing, blogging, workout on the roof!) we got on a local train down to Churchgate for some breakfast. After some spicy egg we had what can only be described as the best thing ever for breakfast desert, a 7 layered cookie! Warm, gooey, chocolatey, nutty, caramel, crunchy and with a side of ice cream! And yes, breakfast desert is a thing.
We headed down to the Gateway of India, which is a huge arch-monument, erected to commemorate the landing of British monarchy in 1911, and it was probably one of the cleanest and most well built structures we’d seen across India! Opposite was the ‘Taj Palace’, a huge fancy hotel. We had a walk around a bazaar and found our way to Leopold cafe, a cafe which had been in the same place since the late 1800s and had some of the most expensive cocktails (London prices!) but they were delicious!
We then headed over to sunset point, a long wall by the coast where we can watch the sunset. Surprisingly, we could see the sun, but unfortunately not all the way to the horizon so the sunset kinda petered out… so off to another bar for a cocktail (2 each this time actually as it turned out it was happy hour – buy one get one free!). And free nibbles and refills!
Then to another restaurant on Jess’ map, turns out it was a meat heavy menu so we had the only 2 veggy curries on the menu! They weren’t too shabby though and seemed to be fine for our guts! Then an Uber home and bed!