Monday, 2 April 2018

Goa March 2018 Part 1.

We hadn't visited Goa for 8 years and to be honest didn't have much intention of doing so either, our impressions from our last visit was that the north was getting too busy and over commercialised, the south too expensive. I can't comment on the north but the our concept of the south couldn't have been further from the truth.
So why did we return?
Two fold really. We were already due to have a five night visit to the north of India when I booked and I expected that my VISA could be put to a more cost effective use. A bit of warped logic really especially as I ended up applying for the online VISA but as the first had a limited time use I had to re-apply for the second visit anyway!
The second reason for going was quite simply the price! A bargain 2 weeks package deal for under £1200 with guaranteed winter sun and some birding for me. Perfect.
As the departure day approached it became apparent we were escaping some really wintery weather in just the nick of time. The day we left , a rather unsociable 3.30am, we narrowly missed getting caught in a snow storm over the hills of North Wales . The roads were starting to get a decent covering as we left but fortunately eased as we headed through to Manchester airport.
Phew! Made it!
Well, there was a 3 hour delay after we had boarded the plane as we had to wait for our turn to be defrosted.
De-icing the planes Manchester
It's pretty slow process and I presume there are not enough de-icers available for the number of planes needing them.
De-icing the planes Manchester
Still we made an hour back during the flight but it was still an ungodly hour by the time we reached our hotel in Goa, somewhere in the region of 2.30 am.We had been travelling for 18 hours.
If you haven't been to India before it's not an unusual sight to see hotel and restaurant staff asleep on floors, tables and any other place they can find. Our hotel was no different, it was after all only a 3 star which basically is a a 2 star in most other places.
I had read Trip Advisor reports so I was prepared for what we found but it was still with a little trepidation we headed up the narrow staircase as we were then led down the narrow corridor to what was our allocated room.
The rooms are basic,
but spotlessly clean. Storage space is minimal
The bed pretty hard but do you know what. When you wake up to the sun streaming through the window any concerns seem to melt away with it!
You wander down to the breakfast area and are met by the very friendly staff
and yes, the hotel is a bit tired, the mattresses on the sun loungers might be a bit damaged here and there
But who cares!
Micky Mouse place you might think and you\'d be right, we went up to our room one day to see they had replaced the bed cover.
but I have nothing bad to say about the place. The staff were lovely, so too our fellow guests.
You can stay in a 5 star hotel and no one speaks to each other, here everyone was very friendly.
No, for us the important thing is stretching our holiday funds to maximise the amount of time we go away and as long as everything is clean, the weather is an improvement on home and there is the availability of good food and drink, we are happy.
This place certainly ticked all the necessary boxes.
I don't spend much time in a hotel room anyway and most of that is asleep. I have seen incredibly expensive safari camping trips were the accommodation is more basic than this place was.
Oh, then of course you have to consider location and I had chosen this one for the reason it was out of town, semi rural and most likely very quiet.
That it proved to be. Claire could relax by the pool as she like to do and I could go wandering with my camera.
That's what our holidays are often about but some of my birding happens to be slightly more enjoyable than the rest.

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