Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Goan Goan Gone

Our bus to Hampi was an all nighter leaving Panjin, the capital of Goa, at 8pm. Reading that Panjin was a nice strolling town along an sea inlet and flanked by a couple rivers, we took off to check it out early afternoon following breakfast at Pete's shack.

The bus ticket we tried to get went awry forcing me to take the public bus back form Panjin to Candolim to collect and then bounce back to meet Asiana where I left her reading and watching televised cricket at a cafe near the bus depot. It seems like when making these deals here you always find out later - "there was a bit of confusion" or "there was a problem". The confusion in transactions are always occur between the locals and not the tourist.

In this case sleeper beds in the coach bus were already sold out and we had to take seats for the nine hour ride. My run back and fourth was to collect 300 rupees for the difference of cost downgrading our comfort.

Panjin had a nice charm to it. Portuguese colonial style went well with the tropical feel. Walking around the town for five hours may have been a wonderful way to wait for a bus unless you have all your belongings on your back and it's a bit sweltering. We spent more time popping into shops for some tea or a beer than we did getting around the capital.

They may boast having a very reliable train transportation system in India, but I don't think people say the same for busses. Our bus was a couple hours late to pick us up. We were a part of a gaggle of foreigners clustered together in the middle of a hectic bus bazaar along the highway. There were mostly Korean with a handful of French and a few Israelis. It was kind of fun. Being in the center of mass chaos and confusion can be good sport. At least when you know everything will be fine. I knew that bus would show up.

We stopped a few times throughout the night collecting more westerners on their pilgrimage to Hampi. They looked even more weary waiting for a progressively later bus than we had while boarding at rediculas hours of the night. The progressive lateness stretched a 9 hour ride to just beyond 12. Outside of the schedule, I would say it was a reletivly nice journey. We will consider taking another long bus to the closest international airport when before heading back to Thailand. I'd really like a sleeper and I would want to give it a huge buffer time.

Location:Panjin Goa India

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