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Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy to leave, but, missing it on arrival: India the land of the organized chaos

It all started with a "what are your plans for Christmas/New Year's?. Portugal with the family and then I want to get some sun and just relax! Want to go to Goa?"

And so it started the discussion, ending up with a decision. Two weeks in India, Goa and Kerala on the plan. I was in North Goa in 2009 so we decided to go to South Goa. And as for Kerala, everyone sayd amazing things about it, so that was an easy choice to do something more productive than only drinking kingfisher the whole day in front of a amazing blue ocean!

But as soon as the plan was announced, other friends got interested! And friends from friends. So, from the initial 2 we ended up being 5 in Palolem in Goa! Amazing croud, everyone totally different from one another, and that was the beauty of it! That and the shack (or the slumbs as we afectuatelly called our "resort": Green Park Palolém Beach Resort; and the beach; and the crazy partying; and the card games; and the fishing (I got a fish!!!)! Fantastic. This was a perfect relaxing and energizing week!

The Palolem Beach Resort

We arrived pretty late. There was fog in New Delhi when I was supposed to land, all flights were delayed and that delayed the flights in the whole country! Yeap, welcome to India, land where the unexpected always happens :). I met Vasco and Zão at Mumbai airport. They had a "More than Classy" 2 days jump start at the insane metropole of Mumbai. I was there in 2009 and don't keep many good memories of it, so I skipped it and decided to spend a couple more days with the family in Portugal.

But we arrived like at 3 am in the resort. It was closed. Some people were still at the bar and that meant.... That the bar actually only closed when everyone one went to bed! Yes, that's the good part of India, particularly Goa: you are treated like a King.! The huts (each one of us got one hut, spoilt backpackers :D) were, how should I put this... a bit shaky but quite stable. 20 meters from "our" private beach. What else could you ask for?

We missed the famous silent parties, that only happen on Thursdays (we arrived too late and left on Wednesday) and Saturdays (it was New Years's eve so there was license to make noise!). But we left with a lot of stories and expressions (and wounds, but that story is only funny in person :D), that only those who experienced it will understand :)

4 big kingfishers and a small one
Begoo begoo
I don't want this fish.....
(and the boat almost flips over!)
Fresh fish sir fresh fish sir (in the end, the there was steam coming off the fish that had just been taken from the freezer). This fresh, that one not fresh sir...
Come see my shop!


Kerala

Kerala was backwaters, was Varkala, was Kochim. Bathing after partying. Relaxing. Getting tanned, buying spices in Kochim. Well, it was the perfect ending for a great trip.

It's always great to leave India, but once you arrive, you miss it. It's such a contrasting country, but it's well worth visiting. I will probably go back, but first there are some more places to visit.


Thank you Vasco, Zão, Andy and Simon for the fantastic company!

And thanks all the others that shared some moments with us! :)
___________

I think the next trip will be to the Americas, but we will see :)

ps: no pictures... my lens broke on the first day and I didn't take the other lens with me... :( this was the biggest frustration of this trip!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The LANDMANNALAUGAR trek and the 2nd week with Sammy

Many months later, patience to write and upload the pictures never arrived! I'm very happy with the new lens I bought for the camera.

The trek was amazing. 4 days, 4 distinct landscapes. Day one, golden mountains covered here and there in snow, ending with a 1-2 hours hike in the snow. Met a really nice Scottish couple who were my hiking companions for the rest of the trip.

Day two, the green valley and the lake where the shelter was located. Simply amazing.

Day three, the ashes desert (and sharing the treks with the adventure marathon!)

Day four, the glaciers and returning to Reykjavik.

The second week I met a colleague from work and we went on a road trip north, to the fjords, bird watching and whale watching.

In the end, a fantastic party weekend in Reykjavik!

Conclusion, I love Iceland :)