Hello India

Namaste friends! We have now been in Goa for 8 days and really loving it so far.

It’s almost a month ago that we left London, our flat and jobs to follow our dream of travelling the world for a year. We spent xmas and NYE with family & friends in Norway, where we had an amazing time and ate like little piggies. Was so good to see everyone! Then left for India January 10th.

I have to admit that I was a bit scared. I’ve only ever backpacked through Europe, so didn’t really know what to expect. It was also really strange to leave my job. I love what I do, will I be any good at it when I come back? Not to mention, not seeing my family and friends for a whole year seemed a bit more than I could handle at times.

We flew from Oslo, through Paris to Mumbai, then Dabolim Airport in Goa as final destination. The trip lasted 18 hours in total. Thinking of it now, it didn’t seem too long. I slept through most of it (despite the child screaming in front of me for 8 hours 40 mintes), but do remember being totally out of it whe we arrived.

We’ve been staying in a beach hut on Patnam beach called Casa Fiesta. The huts are quite basic and in fact are taken down during the monsoons, but the staff are super friendly and make sure we’re well fed and watered at all times. We’ve also had some really interesting chats with these guys. Mat will share more about that. I really like this place and would definitely come back.

Patnam beach is pretty relaxed, with beach huts, restaurants, shops, yoga and ayuvreda places scattered around. Not too much and not too little, just perfect actually. It’s not crowded, but we’re surrounded by English people so can at times feel like being back in UK (if you close your eyes and pretend UK is hot, doesn’t rain and is a country in which you can get a tan). We’ve decided to stay vegetarian while we’re here and also have been doing yoga pretty much every day which actually feels really good, I hope we’ll be able to continue this. After all, we’re meant to do a trek in Nepal so have to be in somewhat shape.

As Goa for us is meant to be a place to chill out and plan next steps, we haven’t really travelled much around yet, but we did venture into Margao one day to buy a tablet and a few other bits. We also got an Indian SIM card, which was definitely an adventure. First you need a copy of your passport, two passport sized photos and two hours to spare. You attach the details onto your completed registration form, sign 5 times and send off for registration. Then you wait for 3 -5 days while praying for Ganesha to remove all obstacles so the registration goes through. When all this is done you call the SIM provider to confirm your registration. Et voila, 6 days later you have an Indian phone number!

Unfortunately for Mat, his five signatures were inconsistent so he had to repeat some of the process. Bosnian beurocracy ain’t got nothing on this 🙂

In other news, I’ve already contracted my first stomach bug. I can confirm that a Delhi (or Goan) belly is no fun affair and I thank my lucky star that we brought a medicine bag big enough to heal a small country, at the end what seems to work best is charcoal tablets and apple cider vinegar.

So much from Patnem, in a few days we’ll be taking the train to Mysore. It’s a pretty long ride – 15 hours, but the route should be quite scenic so looking forward to sleep through that as well. The gopro will love it though! Anyone been to Mysore? Recommendations and advice are always welcome

Big x

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