The sun gave rise to shades of Ochre and Gray. The watchmen of the highway, transformed slowly from omnipresent figures to swaying beings full of life. The subtle hues of Citrus and Crimson drifted with the clouds as Lilac skies bathed through the window. The journey was almost at an end… we were nearing Margao.
The 23:45 bus was delayed. Reports from the office staff, conductors and street chai vendors differed from one to three hours. Thankfully it was only delayed by two hours. Settled in as best as possible to our bunk bed – with Katherine praying that the window didn’t pop outwards on to the road and myself contorting my body in various poses and angles during the night to secure on to the metal arms of the bed and not fall out. Simply put, it was a painful journey and would compare to Bodh Gaya to Kolkata, with the added sting of being extortionately priced.
Got a bus with relative ease from Margao to Varca and walked from there. We needed to stretch out muscles from almost 24hrs in various uncomfortable positions and we’d be far too early to check in to the guest house. Had a lovely breakfast on the beach and strolled up the road to check in. Not the most accommodating of hosts, he asked for a tip when he showed us in to the room. Not offering to carry a single bag and pushing the wrong buttons on someone severely sleep deprived for who knows how long, I said no. Katherine was in agreement. Showered and refreshed, albeit in desperate need of sleep, we walked up the road to catch yet another bus that apparently would be on strike and we should be getting taxis everywhere. Hopeless! Katherine had this idea that you should receive coloured bangles or bracelets from the police station based on how long you spent in the country and this would show them (like an officers uniform) that there’s no point in trying to kid us.
In Margao again, we stocked up on supplies for our five days in our simple apartment. The priority of course, the most time spent deliberating was… dark or white rum for 170 INR Rps. £1.70 on rum, £0.80 on a big bottle of Coke… New Years Eve sorted.
We planned on just letting the Indian Ocean lap about our ankles for a brief respite and then head to a restaurant back up the road. Alas, only one beer later and I’m stumbling on the sand to stay upright for a photo, writing this blog saying it’s Christmas Eve and so on and so forth. We’ve just had Carbonara, Sweet n’ Sour Chicken and polished off Kingfisher Beer #3 at the beach side restaurant. The sounds of the waves crashing. The easy listening country western music coming from the restaurant behind us. The star patterns gently shifting across the night sky. We’ve completely forgotten about our original plans and have lost ourselves in blissful solitude. A welcome respite from three months hard travelling.
Thursday 31st December 2015