Goa II

We have still yet to make a decision of what we are going to do with respect to India, as we are weighing in our options. While we are in the great place (call Goa), we thought we would check out some of the sites. We went to the government run tourist office and got some pamphlets.

From the pamphlets we decided to go on a South Goa Tour. All giddy with excitement and anticipation, we went to the hotel where we could sign up for the 8 hour tour and paid our dues. We got onto the bus and we were off, to see Old Goa…or so we thought. Old Goa is a really neat looking place, except 10 days a year, when the festival for the saint is held, which end on December 3rd. The tour guide told us, in broken English, that we will not waste our time here,both Tanya and I were relieved as we watched thousands of people all trying to jam into the Christian churches.
The bus continued on its way to a temple. There really isn’t too much to see at temples, unless you are really into them.

We continued on our tour, seeing another Hindu Temple and then we went to an old Portuguese Settlement. It was pretty cool to see the old house, and how people used to live back in the day. They lived pretty good, and the tour was good. Having a tour guide makes these sites so much more enjoyable and meaningful.

After this we went to the Beach. The beach was nice. Sand as far as the eye can see, palm trees on the edge of the beach, trying to move closer and close to the ocean. We walked through the palm tree forest (of course, I am a forester). For those that know about the SBSmk1, it was like walking through a sparsely tree’d 03, with no dead pine trees, but coconut trees. It was crazy, very cool. We couldn’t stay in the treed area though, the sand was getting in our sandals, and it is so difficult to walk in sand, so we returned to the un-treed area and walked on the compacted sand back to the bus. The high winds on the beach made the +33 weather more bearable. It is really hot here, both Tanya and I sweet through every pore all day long and consume about 3L of water a day each (and we don’t do any extraneous activity).

At the end of the day, we were exhausted, and ready to go back to our hotel. It was really interesting, we were the only non-Indian people on the tour, this tour was targeted towards Indians from other part of the country. As a result, the price of the trip was very cheap.

India is a country of too many languages, something like 80, but people from different areas don’t all speak the same languages. Most Indians can speak three languages, their local tongue, Hindi and English. The odd thing is (but very convenient for a couple of mono-tongued Anglophones), most Indians from different parts of the country all speak English to each other. This makes India such an easy place to get around.

Posted from Rumbrem, Goa, India
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Goa

This post was originally written on Nov 29th, but the internet was very slow, it didn’t get posted until today.

We are currently in Goa, an old Portugese settlement. It is pretty cool here, lots of European style houses. It is pretty laid back here, nothing like the big cities in India.

It is hard to believe that we have only been gone for 4 days. The first three days seem to take for every, the flights alone took a long time, Edmonton – Toronto – Frankfurt – Mumbai – Delhi – Mumbai – Goa. In those three days, we didn’t get any useful sleep, we did some sleeping while on the plane, and we spent one night (about 12 hours) in an airport. Yesterday we got to Panjim, went to a hotel at 7:30am (and luckily got a room at 9am), had some breakfast and slept until 5pm. It felt great, we got up, got some dinner and then we went back to bed. We both were wide awake at 4am, tired to go back to bed, but couldn’t.

We feel a lot more rested now are wanting to start enjoying ourselves….but wait, there were terrorist attacks in Mumbai, and we don’t know what we are going to do yet. We looked at our options, and it doesn’t look good, the only other reasonable place to go is Thailand, but if you are up to date with your news, that Bangkok international airport is shut down due to protests. Another option would be to land in Malaysia and see SE Asia, however with most of the area too much rain, and the route to thailand isn’t all that safe for non-muslims (this was our original plan but we decide India would be more safe). I would like to say that the we have not yet made up our mind what we are going to do, we are weighing in the options of what we can do. I would like to say that the parts of India that we have planned to see do not have a travel advisory warning. The southern part of India is very rural, and miles away from Mumbai (in so many ways).

Posted from Rumbrem, Goa, India
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An Update

Hey everyone, I don’t know what the media coverage is over there, by Mumbai (Bombay) was hit with terrorist attacks on the 26th and 27th of November. The Mumbai airport was shut down as a precaution, (there were no events in the airport) about 2 hours before we were to land in Mumbai. As a result we were re-routed to Delhi for the night.

We had to take a flight back to Mumbai today, and we are sitting at the airport (it is 8pm), we will spend the night here in the airport and make a decision on where we will go tomorrow.

Sorry no pictures yet. I could take some, but it would only be of airports and planes.

Posted from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
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Packing??

One day left in PG, and this is what our living room looks like…apparently we need to get our carpet cleaned.

Yep, that is all our possessions, sitting there, waiting to be packed, trashed, donated or shipped to storage. Exciting times. Tanya has been off for a day now, and my last day is tomorrow. Friday we drive to Edmonton, on Tuesday we head to Mumbai. I passed my RPF exam, it is a good feeling, so is the feeling knowing that we are going to be leaving for a year, on an adventure. It will be like Indiana Jones, or Lord of the Rings. The only difference being that there is no ring, I am not a hobbit, there is no archeological article to find and we will be on our bicycles. Its going to be sweet, I can’t wait.

We have about 20 hours of airplane travel ahead of us, which makes me think about what Al Gore said once:

Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.

Posted from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
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Duct Tape Day

Not only is today duct tape day, but it my first post ever on this blog…or any blog.

It was also a day filled with surprises…a newly found gas leak in our car in need of repair…timing couldn’t be more exceptional.

There were some real highlights today though…Kelly’s co-worker took our pink and green hand-me-down early 90’s couch with no legs from us…he even picked it up and gave us beer!!

We gave away a lot of stuff today, if you were around it you have got some off it.The t.v. and its stand, lamps, clothes, old winter toques and gloves (yes!!), and more.

But like good consumers we purchased (almost) as much as we gave away…a new compass, some reflective tape, hand sanitizer, a token Canadian flag for the bike trailer, and Taco Del Mar to keep us going.But the best part of the day was watching Kelly transform our flashy, shiny bikes to bikes covered in black duct tape and magic marker!!Now they are slick touring machines as you will see from the before and after photos.

Posted from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
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New Design

After a long time and three different designs I have finally completed the design of my blog. Although it is not perfect, it is pretty close to how I wanted it. I could estimate the number of hours that I spent trying to make this design, but I don’t want it to seem like I don’t have a life. It looks best if you view it in Firefox, some things don’t work with IE. Now I have to shift my attention. Continue reading

Anticipation

Last week our visas came back from the Indian Consulate in Vancouver. It is an exciting time, as this is one of the last hurdles that must be jumped before we can go. We have out plane tickets, we have a route planned out, we have a hotel in Mumbia picket out, we are ready. All we have to do now is survive the last three weeks of our jobs. It is pretty exciting, I can’t wait to go.

The past summer was one to remember. This past summer I studied for the RPF exam (I don’t know if I have passed as of yet). That took up most of my time (except for one backpacking trip to Mt Robson and a week long holiday in the Kootneys and Okanagon). I got offered a permanent job (which I turned down to go traveling), found work both rewarding and challenging. Now I hope that the snow doesn’t fall until the day after I leave and start to think of what it is going to be like abroad. Tanya and I often talk about what we are going to do when we are abroad. We are going to be in India for 5 months, with that there are a lot of options. We don’t plan to cycle every road in India, but we do plan to see a big portion of it.

We are going to be cycling through India. We both thought that cycling would give us the best experience. We both like to ride our bikes and we are both looking forward to seeing the world pass a slower rate, riding through rural India, immersing ourselves completely in the culture. This is going to be an adventure, one without the creature comforts of home (a nice bed, familiar food, toilets, mosquitoes without diseases). However if one wants to go for a year, one has to make choices and figure out what their priorities are. For us it is to travel as long as we can and see a place the best way possible.

Posted from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
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