We’ve been in Goa for two weeks now, and it’s not too bad now that we’re used to it… We spent the first few days in North Goa, a place called Baga. Its got plenty of tourists, both Indian and foreign, and also full of people pestering you on the beach to buy something from them. It was ok spending a few days there. Hiring a moped is the best way to look around. It’s really cheap – 150 ruppees per day – thats about 2 quid. We explored most of North Goa within a day. Our Lonely Planet book made South Goa sound much nicer, so we made our way to Colva Beach in the South. We intended to stay for just a few days and then head further south, but it’s been so nice that we’re still here. We’re staying in a government tourist hotel – which is really nice – much better than most other hotel rooms we’ve been in. And it’s a whopping great big 2.89 quid each per night – and that’s splashing out compared to costs in the rest of India! The restaurant is directly below us, and from the balcony you can see the seafront. The beach is clean, there’s not too many people and there’s plenty of choice of beach bars. We’ve spent many afternoons sitting in the shade, looking out to sea, with a cold drink and playing cards or chess. It’s nice to come here if you want a cheap relaxing holiday. Meals are rarely costing more than a couple of quid. Drinks are about 30p. One of the highlights of this place is going fishing. We headed out to sea at about 7am and fished for four hours. Our catch was Lumberjack fish, one of them was massive, the rest were big enough to make fishfingers. Very relaxing and peaceful…The water’s not clear anywhere in Goa, and there’s no white sand anywhere either. Travel books say that Palolem is clear water and picture perfect white sand – I wanted to go there for my birthday. So we hired mopeds and left early in the morning. The ride there was up and down several hills on rough, stony coastal roads. The views from the top of the cliffs were fantastic. When we got to Palolem, it was a big let down…a dirty beach full of cigarette butts, black/brown dirty looking sand, a few beach shacks and lots of touts harrassing us for boat trips. We found out about a nicer beach, about 13 km North. That was virtually deserted and had golden sand, nothing spectacular, but much nicer than Palolem. For Mike’s birthday, we went to Dudsaghar waterfalls. It’s four stops away on the train, just 40 miles away, but it takes an hour and a half as the train stops at each station for ages… From the station we took a jeep over rocky streams and round to the top of a mountain. The last 15 minutes is done by walk. There are plenty of cute and friendly monkeys on the way. I hand fed one with nuts and other people had bananas. The waterfall fell into a large pool of icy cold fresh water. There were fishes that would come up to the surface if you threw in bits of food. We dipped our feet in. Too cold to bear even on your feet. Then a couple of girls went in. They must have been freezing, but they seemed to be enjoying it. When they got back out, they dried up in the sun in no time. So I thought I’d give it a try. Mike thought it was too cold and wouldn’t go in but I went in and it was lovely. We’ve also explored most of South Goa on mopeds. Been to a really nice restaurant called Martin’s Corner – definately worth a visit. We wanted to go there one more time before we leave Goa but it’s unlikely as my friend Michelle has become ill, just two days before she’s due to fly back to England. The opticians here are very cheap – an eye test is free when you buy glasses. Mike’s just bought a new pair – the frames plus scratch free lenses are under fifty quid – we ordered them yesterday – and we’re off now to pick them up.