Eliot and I came to Goa on saturday the 6th and have stayed here ever since. for two nights with stayed Horrible Harold the landlord at the Comfort Inn. The place was amazing, and the manager wasn't sooo bad, just really gruff and weird. He looked just like Chuck Hughes, for those in the know. lots of cool pictures of frank frazetta-esque female araby around. pretty great, actually.
on monday morning, i awoke at 7:00 from the most recent in a strange series of dreams i've been having with the resolve to lay the past to rest, and ride my nards off biking and working hard to explore this wonderful country. we set (not sail. wheels?) for the north beaches which are an old hippy strong hold that apparently went the way of the club / dance scene and then collapsed leaving ... well, accounts vary. we went to investigate.
passing the festival of something-or-other in several small towns along the way, we came a beautiful beach in an area called (i kid you not) "Disco Valley." don't let the name fool you - the beaches were pristine, the fort on the cliff was impressive, and the accomdation prices were gringo-riffic but there was no boogie-oogie-oogie happin' here. in fact, all the little beach communities in the north were dominated by, as eliot put it, "a scene." i called them "no-good doped up smelly hippies." take your pick.
tarnation, but there were hippies everywhere. and not the cool, lord of rings reading, plastic-fantastic fightin', fun loving ex-hippies of yesteryear. ooooh no, these were the nappy-dreaded, "like whoah, man," euro-trashy hippies that haunt beaches and forested music venues like plauge rats on a galley. we were bit off-put, as you may be able to gleam from my description, especially since our previous experiences revolved around locals, cheap eats, good conversation and exploration. we just didn't feel like settling down into an established tourist scene and "passing the doobie on the left side" you know?
so we biked back to panaji only to find our room had been taken. shucks! we looked around and found an almost-equally as good room right around the corner. we rested up.
today we took a self-destructive 80+km roundtrip to margao to buy train tickets to go to bangalore on thursday. that will take us deep into the heart of the country to the "silicon valley of India." should be interesting! not only do we have a family to stay with for a few days (thanks so much Samuel, Danny and Soya!) but our buddy seth arrives in the wee hours of saturday to join us! soon we will be a trio, and we'll be ditching the bikes when he arrives so look for more adventures by foot, boat and (fingers crossed) jet-propelled rocket pack.
until then, we are resolved to day trip out of the city, seeing beaches and wildlife preserves while we soak up the sun and eat well in panaji. our accomadations are excellent, the tourist trade through the town drives food prices down and we can bike away from the city to some of the most untouched stretches of beach in asia. it's been a nice break and definetite change of pace from "MUST GO SOUTH" all the time. still, sedentiary is not our style, as today's massive bike journey proved, but day trips keep the exploration in while giving us "home base" or a place we know we can return to at night.
keep peddling, ghost-followers.