I've been trying to write this post for about three days.
It's just not easy to look at a computer screen for long when your head is pounding and you feel like shit because you have the mother of all colds.
I think my body is trying to tell me that it wants to be back in the sun.
I haven't slept well either, it's been impossible to get comfortable, and a couple of nights ago I managed to convince myself that I just might have malaria.
Or course after worrying myself silly in the middle of the night sense kicked in come the morning and I realised that it's probably just flu.
I'm not someone who usually keeps a diary - well not since my Mum found the one I had when I was a teenager - but whenever I go on holiday I do, so I have been reading back through the one I kept in India. And it's a good job too because there were some things in there that I had forgotten about already, just about the little interactions I had with people and things I saw.
However my favourite story is one I have no problem remembering.
In our apartment was a guide book for Goa which I was reading and it mentioned snakes. It said that when walking about, especially at night and in the country, to take a flashlight with you.
From the gate to our complex you could walk two ways, one way was well lit and took about five minutes to get to a very busy part of the town, but if you walked the other way it was about 10 minutes of dark country lane before you hit the main road. This particular night we went the country lane way, I'm in front with one friend, the rest are walking behind us, and I have my torch.
My mate asked me why I had the torch, so I explained what I had read in the book and said I was on "snake watch".
She started to take the piss, saying it was hardly a country lane and laughing at me. About a second after this a car coming towards us stopped and in it's headlights crossing the lane was a fucking HUGE python. It had clearly just eaten as there was a large lump in its middle.
Normally at the sight of this I would've freaked.
But in view of the conversation I just stood there pointing at the snake and feeling very vindicated.
Because if I hadn't had my torch and that car hadn't come up the road. . . . .
After that if we went anywhere at night nobody took the piss out of me for being on snake watch.
I had a few animal encounters in India, although that was the only bad one. As well as the monkeys I've already spoke about I got up close with a couple of elephants. We went to a place where they let us get in the stream with one and wash it, and you can then climb on it's back and have an elephant shower from its trunk.
You'll have to excuse the blanked out bits, we had my friends granddaughters with us in this picture and I don't think it's right to put them on here. But that is me, I'm nearest to her head.
Cows are everywhere, Goa is a Hindu state and they are considered holy and allowed to roam free wherever they want. It's quite bizarre though, not just seeing them on the beach, but you will see a crowd of people walking down the road and there will be a few cows in the middle of them. Sometimes they are in small groups, especially where there is food to be had. In the middle of the main street where we were there is a statue surrounded by plants, and we often saw a couple of cows tucking in to them.
A bunch of pretty flowers to impress the visitors to your town or a snack spot for the local herd.
There are also stray dogs everywhere you go. Everyone says not to touch them, because of parasites and mange, and although many do look the worse for wear they don't look as if they are starving. The advice is that if you are bitten by one you need to have a rabies shot, but I have to say my impression is that they are generally quite docile. I guess they know that people will feed them, I gave our leftover lunch to one that came and sat by us on the beach but then the cheeky git went and cocked it's leg on my sunbed !
This ungrateful dog !
The Indian crows are quite cheeky too, and will approach you if they think they are going to get fed, but not too close. Although I took this picture walking up the lane by our apartment, at first he was halfway up the tree and as I stopped and got my camera out he came and sat on a lower branch and was about two foot away from me. Fucking poser.
We found this HUGE caterpillar one evening.
Not surprising really, as we also saw some beautiful and HUGE butterflies although despite my best efforts I could not get a picture of any of them.
And this little lizard was on the wall of our roof terrace every night, sometimes he brought a friend along too. I tried to entice it to come closer with fruit, but I guess there's more then enough insects in India to keep a lizard happy. Most nights he hung around near the wall light, so he was well fed.
I have one more post about India that I want to write and I promise that will be the last one, this must be getting a bit boring for you lot now. Of course I can't promise to never mention it again, the place affected me in a way I've struggled to explain to the few people I've spoke about it to.
But I'm going to try in the next post.
And share a few of the stories from my diary.
And after that normal service will be resumed.