A 7am start, probably my earliest ever for a boxing day. After breakfast I rented a scooter and headed north towards Anjuna, where on a Wednesday the flea market is held.
The roads are furious and hectic, but quite fun. The roadsigns are reasonably good, and enough to get me near to Mapusa, from where I head to Baja beach, which I noticed was the only beach in India with a surf report on the MagicSeaWeed website. This is either because this is best surf here (although I have read that Patnem has the biggest waves), or because it is the only beach with a bouy reading they can use on the website.
It’s probably the later, as when I arrive at Baja beach the wave is no different to that of Patnem. But boy are there a lot of people there. There are so many sun loungers and people that I have to weave my wave through them to see the sea. This is exaclty the sort of place I don’t like – wall to wall tourists, surprisingly many of them are Indian tourists. I thought they would long for somewhere quieter. I need a break from the scooter, which has given me a numb bum, and rest with a banana lassi and my first sandwich on the trip, and quit possible the strangest toasted sandwich I have ever had. There was barely enough filling to qualify it as a sandwich. Any less and it would have been toast. But it only cost 50 pence, and always remember, when in rome….
Onward then to Anjuna. After deciding not to go down what I though was the lane for market, I end up at the beach and walk a few kilometers to the market through the sweltering heat. I pass through little settlements that, as always in India, as quite interesting. There are a lot of rooms available for rent.
As if by magic the lads I met on Elephanta Island pop up and ask if I am famous again. We chat briefly, they are looking for rooms.
Eventually I see the market in the distance, which is huge, and walk in.
Unfortaunately the market seems to be filled with only the few different types of stall one finds in Indian tourist places ( jewlery, clothes, music and food) and they all seem to be selling the same stuff at seemingly infalted prices. I guess this is a very tourist zone with tourists spending money, so what else would one expect?
My girlfriend’s sister (Becky) asked me to buy her some India jewelery parts so that she can make some necklaces and other things. I was expecting things to costs around 50 pence per item. When I ask they cost around £6, which would obviously come down a lot with bartering, but this seems way to expensive. It then dawns on me that I know nothing about Jewelery, silver, (which all the jewelery seems to be made from) or really what Becky wants. I decide, even after coming all of this way, that I shouldn’t risk wasting her money. I am sure there will be similar things for sale in Southeast Asia and my girlfriend can buy them for Becky with sisterly love (and advanced jewelery knowledge).
Absolutely parched I down a bottle of water, and a couple of samosas. I’m tired after the 2 hours scooter ride, and decide not to do anything else today, which is quite unlike me. I jump on the scooter and make the almost painful 2 hour ride back to the Patnem, where upon arrival, my very friendly landlord Ranmath serves me a wonderful banana lassi, and I go for a swim.