After a walk on the beach, I give the stuff I don’t want from my backpack to the old lady in the guesthouse, and head down to the taxi stand. Typically a guy approaches me and asks if I want a taxi. He has a small van which is better than the auto rickshaw I was thinking of taking. I ask about the price and he says INR1,200. I say it’s way too much and suggest INR400. He eventually comes down to INR700, which is still too much. I decline and walk away, he comes after me and says he will do it for INR600 if I stop buy at a gift shop, as he gets a voucher if he brings people. I decide to go with it.

In the taxi we chat for a while, he is a nice guy. He shows me the voucher he gets from the gift shop. He has 10 at the moment, and he gets a free tyre for his van when he reaches 12.

We get to the gift shop, which has some wonderful things in. Lots of traditional Indian furniture, which I’m told is less than 100 years old, as it is illegal to sell to non-Indians otherwise. They also have some nik-naks. I see some Tibetan chimes which have a lovely sound. I haggle with the guy and get them for INR550, I could probably have got them for less (as always) but they are lovely and will go with my Tibetan singing bowl a treat. I have only bought these two items in 2 months of traveling.

Back in the taxi we head towards Palolem. The guy wants to take me to another gift shop, for another voucher, I say no, I’ve done my dead for the day. He says the minimum price for the trip is INR800, so I’ve done quite well. I’m not sure if it’s true, but I remember that a taxi ride from Margoa to Anjuna is INR900, so I think this is right. I day we had a deal, and he seems happy enough. So in retrospect I did quite well out of the deal today.

The landscape is typically stunning, palm trees, rice paddies and some small towns. The area is hilly, and the taxi driver rightly points out that the trip in an auto rickshaw would have been rough.

Posted by theDar

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