Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 3 : Galgibag

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A remote beach further than Talpona, one of the last beaches of South Goa, it is also a turtle nesting beach. Lined with fir and pine trees, the beach stretches long. As usual, only visitors other than the locals were foreigners.
I really don’t know how we got there. But the drive/ride to Galgibag beach is beautiful. Past green hills, winding roads, paddy fields, old Goan villas, rivers and more rivers. If you wish to get there, ask the foreigners you meet on Patnem, or the boho ones speeding on bikes. Most know. Locals might blank out.
The access road to the beach is narrow; we whir past tons of foreign tourists who seemed at home. It is a small village, with rustic old Goan homes, few hutments, churches, bungalows with large courtyards and tall towering coconut trees. I spot scores of foreign nationals lounging, walking with cloth bags, peeking from houses, eating and sipping tea at chai shops and ambling along. Most are long terms tourists, who come often, living on months at a stretch and some are even permanent residents. There are no shacks on the beach. Apparently not allowed. We spot some Russian sign boards. The locals still serve food to the visitors. Picnic tables are set under the fir trees. It is picturesque.
MEET NIELS, a German dog trainer and criminal (he introduced himself like that) and Rachel – a New Zealander teacher and ardent cyclist.
We got talking with Niels and soon both Niels and Rachel joined us on our table.
Niels has been coming to Goa past 8 years. In November 2009, he was involved in an accident. An accident where three Indians were injured and Niels had half his face, from forehead to the nose cut. I also noticed deep scars on his thighs. Stuck at the government hospital in Goa, Niels describes the doctor treating him nothing less than a butcher.
Passport impounded, money over, insurance cover gone, Niels is stuck in heaven under hellish conditions. Yet we couldn’t help but laugh at his situation.
‘You could be stuck at a worse place you know’ I couldn’t help but philosophize with him. He laughs, so says everyone I meet. A dog trainer by profession, Niels and I talk for a while, about dogs, about my dog Elsa, and some more. A good looking guy, the scars on his face only add to his enigma. I found myself enamored. J .
Rachel is a teacher from New Zealand. Loves to cycle. Travelling alone, the initial impression of a shy demure girl soon evaporates when Rachel relates her travelling tales. She has bicycled through Indonesia and another country I can’t quite remember (must be eyeing Niels that time…sigh). Her cycle was parked outside, as she checked the position of sun to determine the time she had to bicycle back to Agonda. She wants to travel north now, maybe Leh. We express our reservation as she’s alone, she smiles, I find friends, she says smiling at Niels.
We bid good bye to the pretty people. Wished Niels the very best of luck. His court hearing was in 3 days. I thought that’ll be the last of them I’ll ever see, little did I know.
The water in Galgibag is magnificent. The sea bed is flat, the flat beach extends deep into the water. If lucky, you might spot the Olive Ridley turtle. As the gentle waves crashed against my body, I found myself floating into oblivion, wishing time would just still, as I watched the top of the fir trees gently sway in the breeze, nirvana seemed close by.
Further down the beach another site treated me, the Galgi River meets the sea. The patch is slightly rocky, the backdrop lined with green hills and coconut trees. The salt water lagoon rests on one side of the beach and the sea on the other side. The beach stretches till the union of the water bodies. On either side I see people lounging in water, some liketh the sea, and some the lagoon. It was unbelievable to be at such a spot, I marveled at my day, of how things collaborated through the day –the people, the food and goodness so that I could finally dip my body in the lagoon and float, while listening to the waves crashing on the other side. .

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