On the move Upcountry – friday

We assemble in the foyer on cue at 7.30 for the flight to Goa. An hour and ten minutes later we are finally on board the coach ready to leave – what’s an hour here or there in India. We now hit Maximum City rush hour and get to the airport at 9.45. The flight is 11.20. The tour guide has not checked everyone in as promised and its starting to get a bit tight for offloading suitcases and getting through to Gateside. Plans to write up the blog long gone. I reach the boarding gate just as my batch is called up. Four people were initially told to step aside as the flight was overbooked. Happily an agent from another tour company – ours had slunk off- persuaded the check-in girl that leaving four of a group behind was a bad idea and we all got on.

Looking down on the city you can see the full extent of the smog that hangs over it.

Goa is hotter but drier and the air clearer. And the trees flashing past the window are a relief and a pleasure. Coconut palms, rice paddies, rivers not choked with plastic. It was definitely better this way round.

We are in a resort 100m from the beach. Usual pool, gym, lounge area. Attendants everywhere for every conceivable purpose.

Slight hiccup with the rooming arrangement but the double is fairly quickly turned into a twin.

A quick shower and head for the nearest beach shack. The theme is decidedly Caribbean. After spending time drinking in the Mumbai Hotel, everyone is happily shocked by the price of drinks here. The menu seems to offer the prospect of a decent supper.

And so it proves. Goan fish curry, good dal and veg, enormous G and T for £1.65. And so back to the hotel where England v Windies is in the television. Waking in the morning will bring the news of England scoring 290 or not.

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