I'm starting to think I really am a changed woman.
Something happened at the week-end that pissed me off. . . for about five minutes. Then I found myself thinking "so what, no big deal, let it go".
And I did.
Pre- India Cowgirl probably would've wrote a scathing blog post about it and other related times when similar things had happened, but instead I just decided that getting annoyed was a waste of energy. Life's too short and all that.
Guess I really did chill right out on those beaches.
Well who wouldn't ? Just look at it.
Speaking of which.. .
Fucking amazing, every single one.
The beaches I went to are in North Goa and all are golden sands and border the Arabian Sea. It's quite tidal - you have to be wary of strong currents if you go out too far or when the tide is right out, but the waves are great for airbed surfing (my
Every beach has it's own shacks, and you can get drinks and food from them. Tell them you want to have lunch when you arrive and they come round with fresh fish for you to choose from, which they will cook for you and either bring to you on your sunbed or serve in the shack.
Along the shore line there are lots of tiny shells, some with the fish still in them. At Ashwem there were so many crabs it was a bit off putting, especially when we saw the size of some that were in the sea. But I have never seen a real star fish before so that was quite incredible. As the tide went out they were everywhere.
There are always people walking up and down the beaches selling things, clothing, jewellery, drums and various souvenir items. To be honest at times they can be a nuisance, there I am trying to tan myself and constantly being asked if I want to buy a sarong. But at the same time I got some real bargains by haggling (they expect it) with them. And it's worth buying stuff because then they will sit and chat to you, and we had some very entertaining times with them. I also got a real insight into their lives. These people have to have a licence (which costs more then most of them can earn in a season) to be able to sell on the beach. If they are caught they are usually made to pay 5000 rupees, which is a bribe (Goa police are well known for being corrupt) not a fine ! That's about 60 UK pounds, but an awful lot in India and as one girl told me they don't really sell very much and generally only make about 10 - 20 rupees per item.
And all of those that I spoke to are just trying to support their families.
Some of the women also offer pedicures and manicures and I had my legs and eyebrows threaded for a couple of pounds.
There are also masseurs that have their own shacks on the beaches - no wonder I chilled out.
My favourite beach was Vagator. It's reached by climbing down steps that have been built into the side of the cliff . . .
. . . but when you get there. Oh. My. God.
The beach is best known for being one of the favourites of the hippies that first went to Goa, and is the site of the famous carving of Shiva into the rocks.
He's looking a bit worn now, and half of him is buried in the sand, but for me this carving (I have many friends who have been there and taken pictures) has always represented Goa. And finally I was there.
I met this Hindu holy man standing next to the carving. It is customary to give them a small donation, which I did, and received a blessing as thanks. But I also noticed that he had six toes on each foot !
It's quite strange to see a cow on a beach. Not something you might expect, even in India where they roam the streets freely, but this picture kind of sums the place up for me.
We even had one on that came and ate our left over lunch, let Pete tickle under it's chin and then laid down behind our sunbeds. And it was a bull, apparently they are not known for being congenial to humans and will butt you away, but this one obviously thought he found a kindred spirit.
And this . . .
is the sun setting for the last time on 2011 at Morjim Beach.
What a way to end the year.
Of course I took way more pictures of those beaches then I have posted, links to some more are below.
I'm still trying to catch up on reading the blogs I follow, but I'm beginning to realise that that's never going to happen. I've been trying to do so as each of you write a new post but I was away for so long it's been taking me ages. Apologies if I appear to be ignoring you - I'm not.
I just need a few days holiday to catch up on the reading, and that's not going to happen.
And don't worry, despite what I said at the start of this post I'm sure it's only a matter of time before normal ranting angry Cowgirl returns.
Sooner or later someone/thing is bound to wind me up.