Saturday, November 30, 2013

A New Tandem Paragliding Season Begins

Another season of tandem paragliding has begun at Arambol Beach in Goa.  So far I've had 30+ flights, a bit slower start to the season than last year but that is in part due to a late leaving monsoon this season.

If you or anyone you know is going to be in Arambol this year, come on out for a flight!

You can find more details at:


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pausing, Playing & Pizzas in Palolem

Sept. 12th-20th, 2013

Similar as to how we had arrived in Hampi, we had an early morning train back to Goa leaving from Hospet.  Since the little ferry boats crossing the river don’t start early enough for us to catch the train, we arranged to take a rickshaw the long way around to Hospet, about an hour’s drive.  The afternoon before we left, the river level rose a lot due to recent rains and the ferry boats had stopped.  Later we realized that we could be trapped by the water so we quickly packed up and went down to the normally dry crossing by the old aqueduct.  Just hours before we had driven this route on the bike coming back from Huligi but now a boat would be required to cross the 30-40 feet of water.  Luckily the resourceful locals arranged a coracle boat to paddle us across by flashlight for 100 rupees.  We were dropped at a modern looking hotel in Hospet, modern if the year was still 1974.  Oh well, we’d only be spending 7 hours there.

Since we arrived back in Margao, which is near the south of Goa, we decided to head to Palolem Beach for at least a week before traveling up to Arambol for the remainder of Naomi’s vacation.  We opted for the same guesthouse the “Soul Mate” that we had stayed at last year.  Almost immediately we began to run into the same Israelis that we had shared Rosh Hashanah dinner with, starting with Ron, Yael and their two sons, Bar and Shaked.  This isn’t uncommon as many backpackers, especially Israelis, follow the same general paths in their travels.

Almost every late morning we had brunch at the Cafe Inn, a busy hive for the many Israelis, and man could they make a good roast beef sandwich!  The weather still had a taste of monsoon in it so we did experience some rain mixed with sun.  Our days were mainly on the beach, walking, sitting in Fernandes Restaurant playing cards or Candy Crush (damn addictive game), or playing some Matkot.  Matkot is an Israeli beach game somewhat akin to tennis.  Naomi kindly brought a set for me from Israel with the two wooden rackets and a squash ball.  The idea is just to keep hitting it back and forth as long as possible.  It’s supposedly quite the rage on Israeli beaches and I can see why.  We played a few of our games with an interesting and energetic Israeli guy Nadav, and I was most impressed by Dror’s ability, he made everyone look like better players.

Making some new four legged friends:

I guess he's wondering if they serve beef in this restaurant:

Nice Indian man with his best friends:

Cute little Leo:

Nadav and Naomi playing Matkot:

Some rainy weather:

With our favourite waitress in the Cafe Inn:

One day we rented a scooter to cruise to the rustic Cola Beach, another location we’d visited last year but worth a second look.  The only other few souls on the quiet beautiful beach were lifeguards and a fisherman.  The weather was a bit odd though with sun shining and yet a sprinkling of rain from wispy clouds that had already passed by.

Some water buffaloes were taking advantage of a cool pond by the road on the way to Cola Beach:

And it's hard to see, but frogs were taking advantage of the buffalo's head for a dry spot to sit:

Who doesn't like to pet a cow?

Leo throwing it down with another puppy in the Cafe Inn:

Many of our dinners were at one of two Italian restaurants located a stone’s throw it was pizza pizza pizza for me.

A sunset battle - head to head:

Even nicer without the cows in the way...

Okay, after 9 days it was time to head on to Arambol.  We hired a taxi to take 6 of us across rainy Goa for 2200 rupees, hopefully the weather will be better there.