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Elephant bath

Up at 5am and sat out on the porch in the dark catching up on emails. Just on dawn at 6.30am the mossies were insane. I nearly got carried away and got bitten several times before re- deeting! Kerryn & I wandered back up towards the beach to have breakfast at the same place we went yesterday. It was 8.55am and had a board slightly covering the entrance. All the staff were sitting inside and I went in to ask if we could sit down and wait until they opened. They did not seem happy about it but let us in. Some other people soon arrived seeing us sitting there and came in too. It was now after 9am and still no one was wanting to come and serve us. After seeing some flowers arrive we realised they then started working because they hadn't had them to complete their morning ritualistic prayers for good luck for the day!!!

After brekkie of pancakes with lemon & sugar which cost 30 rupees (about 70c!!!) I had a hair wash over the road for 250 rupees. We were meeting up with Leigh & Mitch around 11.30am before going to meet Beena & Martin so we decided to fill in an hour by hiring moto drivers & driving north to Vagator Beach and Chapowra Fort. We walked along the beach where there was a group of Indians all swimming fully clothed as they do in Cambodia. We drove as far as we could on the road to the ruined hilltop fort and then walked up a steep stony path the last few hundred metres. It was hot and behind us was a guy carrying a big esky full of drinks to sell up there. We felt very sorry for him and bought some drinks to help him out.

On the rocky headland separating Vagator from Chapora sits a ruined portugese fort dating back from 1617. The old fort occupied between 1500 up to 1961 when Goa was handed back to India. This fort was ruined but the wall was intact all the way around and was HUGE. The views were amazing from all sides as the fort occupied the top of a large headland that overlooked beaches north and south and a large river mouth.

Back to Calunte to meet up with Leigh & Mitch where we were picked up by Martin & Beena the pastors of a local church who had 3 homes for children of mostly HIV mums and sex workers. None of these children had HIV. They took us to Panjim the old capital of Goa where their church is and we had lunch in a lovely restaurant in a little alley in the old Portuguese part of town that was full of some lovely old colonial buildings, many which were in disrepair. The Portuguese churches , of which there are many from small to large are all white and their homes and public buildings are brightly colourd with blue or yellow being the most popular colours

After lunch we headed to the children home which house 140 children. First off to the girls home where we had fun dancing and playing games and listening to the girls sing.

At the boys home Mitch did all the entertaining while we sat back and laughed at his antics!

Visited the Portuguese Aguada Fort built in 1612 as protection against the Dutch before heading to the Dudhsagar Spice plantain to have an elephant shower. The force of the water spraying in your face was hilarious! A once in a lifetime experience!

Afterwards we headed off to Martin & Beenas home to have dinner with them. It was a lovely not too hot Indian meal which I enjoyed!! Impression of India:

Busy with lots of people. Mumbai has 22million – the population of Australia

Hindu religion is very involved with hundreds of gods that rule and dictate their lives

Goa has a large catholic population form the portugese having been here

Still has the caste system as well as the dowry for women on marriage, which even though it illegal even still happens amongst the Christians – so ingrained in their culture. Sad that the dowry system is responsible for most of the atrocities that happen to girls here. From birth a baby girl is seen as a financial burden not worth investing in, as they know they will need to pay a large dowry on her marriage. Many baby girls in India are killed before 5 years of age and not taken to to the doctor when sick so that they die. Marriages are arranged by the families & dowries pad to the family of the husband. This is why sons are so valued as his family lives off the dowry money they receive. After marriage girl goes to live the in-laws and is almost a domestic slave for the mother in law at times.

If dowry is not paid in full or not enough often she will be killed or burnt to death.

You often see little girls with back Dots on their faces or black under their eyes. This is to make them unattractive because if they are pretty and someone has said that, the family make her unattractive so as not to bring bad luck. To say someone s beautiful is almost tempting fate for something bad to happen…how sad is that!!

There are so many rituals, including the red dot on the forehead, not serving you in stores until the morning offerings have been completed to beng good luck for the day. Many I don't know much about but to see the lack of freedom in their lives and that they are bound by the rules as well as the inequality of women is hard to see. HIV is huge here as so many men go to brothels. Goa was not like Cambodia or Thailand where you see the western men with girls or beer bars with all the girls. Defiately nothing obvious here at all but apparently there are even Russian girls trafficked here. So many russian tourists - they seen to be the most common

Panjim

Panjim


Panjim

Panjim


Panjim

Panjim


Lunch restaurant

Lunch restaurant


Panjim - portugese style

Panjim - portugese style


Mitch at the boys home

Mitch at the boys home


Mitch proving the entertainment

Mitch proving the entertainment


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Sunset in Goa

Sunset in Goa


Sunset Bar - sitting with feet in the sand

Sunset Bar - sitting with feet in the sand


Portugese church in Panjim

Portugese church in Panjim


Beena and Kerryn

Beena and Kerryn


Martin and Mitch at lunch

Martin and Mitch at lunch


At the Girls Orphanage

At the Girls Orphanage


At the Girls Orphanage

At the Girls Orphanage


Dudhsagar Spice Plantation

Dudhsagar Spice Plantation


Dudhsagar Spice Plantation

Dudhsagar Spice Plantation


Dudhsagar Spice Plantation - Mitch

Dudhsagar Spice Plantation - Mitch


Mitch elephant shower

Mitch elephant shower


Kerryn elephant shower

Kerryn elephant shower


Me elephant shower

Me elephant shower


elephant shower

elephant shower


elephant shower

elephant shower


Leigh

Leigh


Mitch on elephant ride

Mitch on elephant ride


Sunset

Sunset


Candolin Beach

Candolin Beach


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort - built 1612

Aguada Fort - built 1612


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort


Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in India

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