28 Aug 2013

Catching Up: Goa, Goa, Gone! The One Where Maddy's Parents Come to Visit

This post was originally sent out in March by email.

This is part 2 of our adventures in Goa, you can read part 1 here. 

Dearest lovelies, 

So in the last three or four weeks since sending you an instalment of our adventures you will be relieved to hear that no more pig castrations have been witnessed, but lots of deluxe food has been consumed, Madeleine’s parents have been to see us for ten days…

…and we have said our goodbyes to Goa with a tear in our eye. 
So what have we been up to? With Kate & Robert (Maddy’s parents) we visited a spice plantation in the Goa backwaters…

…where Simon just had to try the seventh hottest chili in the world, the piri piri, where he chewed on it without breaking into a sweat (though it did remind him of a rather tempestuous chicken phal he once had in a north London curry house in ’97). We drank fenny out of coconut shells (fermented cashew fruit, hold on to the top of your heads, it’s that strong!)...

…we almost rode an elephant until we realised the ride would be through the car park rather than the plantation, and stocked up on natural oils for Kate and her massage clients. Robert took photos of snakes, and Kate tried not to freak out about the snakes given she was already being terribly brave standing on a bridge with gaps in a la Indiana Jones. We took the ferry over the Tiracol river just north of Arambol...

…and visited Fort Tiracol, drank lime sodas, marvelled at the majestic eagles soaring overhead (Simon counted 16 at one time), enjoyed the beauty of the waves breaking over the barely submerged sandbars that appear at low tide. 

Robert brought his “small” camera to snap away… 

 …whilst Kate and Maddy sat outside St Anthony’s chapel within the fort and reminisced about school days (they went to the same convent school) Kate taught Madeleine this rhyme which you were supposed to say at school whenever you had lost something: 

 “St Anthony, St Anthony, you’re a very holy man, please help me find my (insert lost object) as fast as you can” 

We’ve been to Old Goa which used to be Goa’s capital when the Portuguese still ruled, so think plenty of old churches full of churchy things...

 …and visited 10 rupee museums, filled with huge portraits of stern-looking European men trying not to laugh having just gotten away with pillaging half the local towns. We also learnt what a hero stone was, which was simply a carved bit of stone depicting well, heroic sort of things. Either that or it was depicting a group love-in. Taking a photo in these museums meant a six month stretch in a Goan prison (not for the sensitive souls) so no photo evidence we’re afraid. 

We watched the sun go down over many a gin and tonic in a beachside restaurant, where Robert and Simon calculated that one Goan gin was the equivalent of five UK measures, which explains a lot really... 

We’ve been chilling/clinging in the hammocks at their resort Yab Yum, where Kate & Robert had originally booked into a cottage but after Simon had shown Kate round the cool eco-pods on offer and had reassured her that there were no bugs, they moved in and the hammock clinging could begin… 

We’ve been swimming in the sea, whilst being attacked every which way by strong waves, the shrieks of laughter from Kate and Madeleine could be heard by most of Goa. 

We took Kate & Robert to a Balanced View meeting and everyone was super lovely to them of course, which we think put their minds at ease. The pointed hoods, white robes and virgin sacrifice were saved for another day ;o) They also joined a Community Movie Night where we watched Life of Pi under the stars – an amazing film. 

We’ve eaten amazing food at La Plage (thank you to Jen and Gordon who bought this as a wedding present for us!) – mango and beetroot carpaccio, goat cheese bubbles, tomato crumble, potato ravioli with tomato coulis were all sampled with great relish – yum. 
Maddy's favourite: mango and beetroot carpaccio with goats cheese!

We took them to the now renowned Laughing Buddha for banana lassis and dinner where after a round of musical chairs trying to escape the drunk Americans, Kate tried the infamous Brinjal Rogan Josh having seen us mention it once or twice on this blog – we’re not sure she was as big a fan of it as Simon, so it may be a little while before Waitrose adds this particular curry to their “Foods around the world” section. Madeleine took Kate shopping to the local market – haggling for beautiful fabrics and blinged up edging so Kate can make some dresses when she gets back to the UK. 

After we waved a sad goodbye to Kate & Robert, we immersed ourselves in volunteering at the Balanced View centre. Madeleine got up at 6.30am to juice, blend and chop in the kitchen, surprising all and sundry, not least her husband who had yet to witness such a monumental event, whilst Simon donned his sublime figure-hugging rose printed apron and rubber clogs once more to help prep delicious brunches. 

As we write this (and we assure you, contrary to some opinions, we both write this blog for you all to enjoy), we are on a hot and sticky train heading north to Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. 

We will be travelling for about 40 hours but by the time we send this out to you we will have arrived safely in Rishikesh. So now to the “real” India, no more medium rare rump steak with Roquefort sauce nestling beside a crispy Laotian salad and wasabi mash, washed down with a cheeky Sauvignon. 

It is now to £1 thalis, skipping hastily between cow poos and monkeys on the road, chai so sweet it makes your fillings dissolve, and beggars dressed in orange thrusting their shaky bowls at you. 

Until next time… 

With much love as always Maddy and Paddy xxx

1 comment:

  1. Great post, hope you had good time in Goa.