Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A Goan Baptism.

We had the most amazing day as we joined our friend Agnel and his wife Melissa for the Christening of their new baby Chrisanne.


We arrived at the church of St Thomas, Candaulim early, so Agnel sent a member of his family to collect us to join them at their home before returning to the church for the service at 11 o’ clock.


The inside of the church was in complete contrast to the outside but, as it was explained, the monsoon period takes it’s toll on the fabric of any building.


There were prayers said outside the church entrance for the six babies to be baptised that day.


After a friendly talk to all the families by the priest each baby was taken up for his or her initiation. This is little Chrisanne at the moment of her baptism.


After the baptism service Agnel and Melissa took Chrisanne to the alter for photographs.


Then outside there were the customary family photos to be taken.


We were honoured to be invited for a special photo with the proud parents.


Chrisanne was then taken back to the family home where incense is used to welcome her into the home.


We then moved on to the venue for the celebrations where the children, and some of the adults (including ourselves!), were involved in party games. Then, after a splendid buffet meal there was the cutting of the “baby cake”.


As the knife was used to make the first slice, massive party poppers and fire crackers were let off.


A close family friend and priest gave a lovely speech and blessing (in Hindi) before the parents were asked to say something themselves.


In typical shy fashion, Agnel said a brief few words!


Beata, a proud and close family friend holds Chrisanne for some photos …….


……. and here’s the star of the show, Chrisanne at only 8 weeks old.


There were 200 people invited to the celebrations and we have to say we were so very well looked after. We had some lovely conversations with many of the family and friends amid the incredibly high temperature that day. We were not alone in finding the heat unbearable in the direct sun.


As the party ended we were asked for a final photo with parents Agnel and Melissa, baby Chrisanne and Melissa’s brother (and very kind personal host to us) Malcolm. Malcolm very kindly arranged for a taxi to take us back to Candolim.

We could not have enjoyed our day more with this wonderfully welcoming and caring family and we feel very privileged to have been invited to spend such a lovely time for a such a special family celebration.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Goa goes on …… out and about.

We’re so enjoying things that time has gone out of the window, more or less. Can’t be certain when any of the following actually happened!


Getting trade is all important here and anything seems to go just to sell a room!


Doug making friends with other holiday makers.


We get the same lovely service from our room steward in the hotel as we do on  cruise ships. This time it’s a Swan and a Lotus flower.


Chilling out in the barber’s – it wont make a lot of difference Doug!


A visitor to the barber’s shop while we were there.


We took the local bus from Candolim to the ferry on our return trip to Panjim to collect our suits. The ferry doesn’t have quite the same decorum as the one we use to the Isle of Wight ………


…….. nor does it have the same safety standards! Nevertheless, it’s great fun.


It rained while we were in the Taylor’s shop. 35 degrees and rain – it’s an odd combination to us! By the way, we’re told it’s hot by Goan standards for this time of year – it should be mid 20’s rather than mid 30’s!


This is the centre of Calangute at rush hour! There’s a roundabout in this picture somewhere and the cattle refused to be intimidated!


Nope. They just stood there!


The reason for our being in Calangute (and the advanced level of mayhem which constitutes the rush hour) was to meet up with two great guys. Originally from Bombay (they insist it should still be referred to as that) and now having lived in Goa for many years, Dev and Rajaa showed us some of the sights and sounds of the local market - and the inside of a locals bar! We had a brilliant evening with them and at the end of the evening Rajaa took us home, one by one, on the back of his scooter. Travelling on the roads is something which has to be experienced to be believed. If your not actually driving it’s best to sometimes close your eyes! However, Rajaa got us both home very safely, bless him.


Believe it or not, we haven’t spent a lot of time on the beach but, on this occasion, we had some four legged company all they seem to want was a head scratch!!P1040718

We think they like the music at Ryan’s Shack ………….


……. and it’s all very romantic as the sun goes down.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Goa Begins ……………

We’ve been in Goa for 3 days now and still haven’t got totally to grips with who’s tooting at who and for what reason. Our guess is that it’s a complete obsession and nobody takes any notice of anybody else – least of all the cattle!


We have a very good room on the top floor …..


……. with a balcony overlooking the pool.


On day 2 we had a bus trip (yes – a rocket bus!) to Panjim. A 40 minute journey for 15 pence (it’s shear robbery). Panjim is quite a large town with many lovely vistas and many more that are not so lovely.P1040413

On the bus we got talking to Sam, a commerce student who, as he had time to show us around the town and who became a real asset as it turned out. We had lunch with him in lovely first floor, open restaurant overlooking the river and the “Old Patto Bridge”. Built between 1632 & 1635 and called the Pont de Linhares this is the Panjin end of the longest causeway in Asia.


Perched on a wire across the river was this giant Kingfisher (?) about the size of a rook and very pretty.


Apart from sight seeing we went to Panjim to get some suits made. This lovely family run Taylors gave us drinks and seat to sit on and took a vast number of measurements. We await in anticipation for the results on Friday.


A sneak preview of something James fell in love with! It too has to be made to measure.


To reduce the length of the bus ride back to Candolim we took the free ferry across the river. As usual, packed with cars, scooters and people.


Once off the ferry we waited for the Candolim bus opposite a scooter “garage” (AA approved of course).


A number of commercial vehicles seem to invite people to toot at them!


Inside the Rocket bus back to Candolim.


Instead of seeing his girlfriend, Sam decided to spend the evening with us at Ryan’s Shack on the beach. Perhaps it was the free beer that swung the decision! It was the least we could do as he’d been such a great help during the day.


Children’s Corner at Ryan’s Shack!


This is what the moon looks like over the Arabian Sea from Ryan’s Shack …….

P1040477  …………  and this is what Ryan’s Shack looks like from the Arabian Sea.


Back to the Arabian Sea the next morning:  You might have the same initials but you look NOTHING like him – so stop trying!


Today (Wednesday) and it was back to the Rocket bus – this time to Baga, just north of Candolim. As there was no direct bus to Baga, we had to change and pay twice.  2 x 10p!!!! (each!)


This is Baga beach – very full of locals and ………..


……… this is Baga High Street. James must have chosen the split second when there was nothing around.


Moving up the coast to Anjuna, we popped in to have a look at a small hotel (for future reference) situated in the jungle environs behind Anjuna beach. Making it’s home on the owners car was this beautiful spider.


The hotel owner, Sumit Yardi, took us for a drink a few yards down the road at the German Bakery. Oh yes, another cow (or bullock to be precise).


Anjuna Beach is lovely, and full of shacks selling food and drink.


Jeet take Doug’s order – “Two beers please”.


This was our view of the Arabian Sea for an hour or so as the sun began to head towards the horizon.


Some people play ……………


……….. and some people work.


We took the boat back south from Anjuna to Baga beach …………. 


…….. watching the sun go down on the way.


People play right up to the last minute.


Getting off the boat at Baga (a shoes and socks off sort of job) we decided to take a seat at yet another shack and have a drink and some food, as we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. The kind local guy who offered to take this pic put his own artistic interpretation on the event!


Baga Beach, as the sun sets, gets ready for the evening trade.


As we had our meal we watched the final moments of the day’s sunshine – a whopping 34 degrees again today!


After a taxi ride back to Candolim we popped into a local Barber’s shop. Doug had a shave and a head back and arm massage and James had a hair cut, shave (beard, eyebrows), a head back and arm massage and full facial moisturise. A total of £7 for the two of us!


And James’ barber wanted to be in on the photos!