We never need a reason for a new suit while we’re in India. Our tailor in Panjim (which is so full of material it’s difficult to find space to stand!) does us proud every year. Doug ended up with two suits …….
…… while Cris and James were satisfied with just the one.
Doug’s birthday celebrations carried on for more than a week with various events, Champagne parties on our veranda and the works. One such event was an afternoon of waterborne sporting activities (or drinking a lot of sea water more precisely!). First it was paragliding and here's , Bev and Wayne ……
…. our friend Pundalik, (who we took along as he’d not done anything like it before) and James ……..
……. and Cris and Doug. (no pic of John and Louise here)
Soon up and ready for hoisting aloft were Pundalik and James.
After James and Pundalik’s “flight” it was Linzi and Wayne’s turn ……
…… then Cris and Doug to be sent skyward …….
……. and then given a serious dunking!
After their dunking it was up, up and away!
Finally time for Louise and John – once coupled up to the hoist there’s no going back. You’re dragged gently, but firmly, backwards – the boat disappears from under your feet and you’re flying!
There was a good dunking for John and Louise as well!
After paragliding came the Bumperboard. This is not for the faint hearted! Here’s Doug and Cris about to shoot very unceremoniously into the Arabian Sea for a seriously bumpy ride!
Next came James and Louise. Getting on and holding on is the name of the game but it far from the easiest thing …….
……. Louise and James had a very wet and bumpy ride with Louise just managing to stay on until we reached the safety of the beach.
Pundalik and John held on well with (strongman) John still maintaining his grip even when trying to fling them off at the beach.
Next on the agenda was the Banana Boat ride. In two groups we were bounced around and flung off a couple of times but we all survived ……..
……. to enjoy the last excursion on the Jet Ski. Doug and Cris went first …..
……. for a very rapid lap of the bay …….
……. and finished by heading for the beach at an alarming speed!
Next it was Wayne and Linzi’s turn. It took six helpers to hold the jet ski still again the waves pounding the beach.
Here’s Linzie and Wayne going for it! The driver was in the middle of the two riders and the rear rider had to lean forward and hold tightly onto the buoyancy jacket of the front rider.
Great pic of Wayne and Linzi just about to land on the beach.
Next were John and Louise ……
…….. doing a few flying passes.
Last, but not least, were James and Pundalik. A great deal of fun was had by all and a great deal of seawater was drunk by some!
One evening, towards the end of our stay, we asked Pundalik at Kingfisher Shack to complete the birthday celebrations with a firework and bonfire evening for all those friends who were still with us in Goa (and anyone else who wanted to join in). As we watched one of the last gorgeous Goan sunsets ……..
….. the evening got underway with food and drink. Here’s John, Cris, Doug, Louise and Masala Masala ……….
…….. and of the many others seem to be more interested in getting the bonfire lit than eating!
The fireworks came out – first with giant sparklers ……..
……… and then the big ones giving a splendid display over the beach.
As we’ve mentioned many times before, Indian’s aren’t much interested in Health and Safety! Big Roman Candles and firecrackers going off all over the place! But, as is quite normal, everybody had great fun ……
…….. and all ended safely. Here’s Louise and Pundalik with the last of the sparklers.
While we had a free afternoon we really felt we wanted to go back to see our friend (and ex P&O wine waiter) Julie and eight month old Samuel. As Cris was still with us he came too.
Cris seemed very much at home entertaining Samuel ………
…….. and, if we’re not mistaken, some paternal feelings were surfacing!!
The fun lasted right until the very end. With just an hour to go before the taxi took us to the airport Doug had one last thing to do. Before we came out he’d bought THE cow suit from the “Tipsy Cow” pub which closed last year in Blackpool. Promising to give ‘the cow’ some experience of world travel Cris (bless him) brought the suit out with him.
Doug wanted to show ‘the cow’ around Candolim and have some fun in the process! Here he is saying good bye to our barbers Talib and Javeed.
Leaving the barber boys it was “don’t spare the horses” down to ……….
……. Mikey’s Place to say good bye to our very dear friend Manju.
Then it was a quick sprint back up the road ……..
…….. and home to get the taxi!
Our stay in Candolim has been extra special with our apartment this year backing onto jungle and grassland. The wildlife has been quite spectacular and these few images give only a taste of the spectacle we enjoyed day after day as we ate breakfast or spent the evening with friends on the veranda. Mr and Mrs Peafowl were very regular visitors. The Peacock was forever showing off and it was an unforgettable sight watching them fly in to scratch around the grassland for food.
A couple of species of Kingfisher were often spotted. This is the more common one and is much bigger than the British ones we see along the canals.
Can’t recall this one but gorgeous plumage which stood out among the branches of the trees and shrubs.
The Drongos were very common and sat on the branches near the veranda quite happily and gave us a lot of time to enjoy their beauty.
The sacred cattle, which wander wherever they please, would come onto the grassland ………..
…….. and the Mongoose would come to play on a pile of brushwood.
This must be ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ as they were quite often together. Spring was certainly in the air for them!
The Water Buffalo would also come and bathe in the pool, complete with their little Egrets.
Then they’d leave the cool waters of the pool and make their way through the scrub to graze on the grassland.
Our 100 days in Goa had come to an end. It was a social whirl from beginning to end with local Indian friends as well as visiting friends from the UK. Our trip to Maharashtra to meet Manju’s parents was a particular and unique pleasure. Kerala, and our visit to the the hill station of Munnar in the Western Ghats, was amazing. Having two wheeled transport at our disposal this time made a great difference and we were able to travel out and around Goa a great deal. But, eventually, we had to say farewell to many lovely friends – some have become part of our family, and we have of theirs. We’ve been, we’ve seen and we’ve learnt so much again but to England we’ve now returned for a short while to get our breath back before further adventures.