After a few hectic, shop til ya drop days in Mumbai, and a hellish 15 hour train journey, I arrived in Panaji Goa last evening, very tired, congested with a cold, but none the less looking forward to a new place and new adventures. I always like visiting somewhere new each trip to the sub continent, and so this was the choice, and if first impressions are true, a good choice it was!
My taxi driver, Antonio (good omen already - my dad was Anthony)took me to my hotel, and when I offered him a tip he questioned, "Why madam, you already paid?" Was I still in India where so often a tip or donation is scoffed at, always too little? Other than a very rude westerner when I arrived at the Panjim Inn, nothing has disappointed. My room, just a standard, is DIVINE, the food is amazing - I had calamari in a spicy sauce - I was thinking I have died and gone to heaven! Oh and two Kingfishers to wash it down, a necessity - I have a cold, and therefore for medicinal purposes only! The little hotel is an historic old Portuguese home, and it is truely lovely. In fact I think I want to stay, so if I am still on the train wait list to Mysore, another night may be in order.
This morning I was chatting to the chef, John, after praising his culinary skills, so he took me on a tour of the kitchen. It was soooooo clean and he and it will be starring in a few photos, not to mention his recipes being recreated on my return.
So another day of adventures, I'm off to old Goa to visit some churches, and maybe tomorrow to a spice farm with another traveller! And most of all I am looking forward to dinner tonight, John is cooking me a fish dinner, freshly caught this morning. Who would have known I was going to like Goa this much!