Monthly Archives: March 2014

Goodbye India….

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Well…I didn’t want to leave this time… but my visa was running out …..Canadians receive a 6 month tourist visa that starts the minute you get it…and are near impossible to extend, I’m told….

Before leaving, I booked a one week Ayurveda detox program called Paunchakarma at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute in Lonavalya….two hours  south of Mumbai.  My week there included two treatments/day…usually something involving alot of oil on my hair and body like massages, oil drips on the forehead (Shirodhara) , etc; plus yoga twice/day, 3 simple and delicious meals/day; and interesting talks in the evenings.india saui morocco 004

I came by overnight train from Goa to Mumbai, switched trains and headed two hours to Lonavalya, riding in Second Class Non-AC;  all that travelling for the grand total of approximately five dollars!

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The following week I went to Pune, a sizeable city four hours south of Mumbai.  I had an appointment to see a dentist there; and had a couple of days before leaving India.  As it happened, I was invited to stay at the Urban Ashram in a busy neighbourhood of central Pune.  It is the spacious home of Sheetal and Khushmita; six years ago they opened their home for community gatherings with a spiritual focus.

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Friends from home, David and Kathryn, were staying with Sheetal and Khushmita, having met them on their last Indian trip; that is how I received the invite to be there. While there, a workshop to build a cob oven and wall in their back yard was going on; and india saui morocco 055before leaving, a local artist was hanging her beautiful artwork for a show starting in a few days; she called her show a contemporary view of the god Shiva.  Just to give an example of the many varied and interesting events hosted there.india saui morocco 130

Back to Mumbai to get my flight; and a quick visit with my friend Jo who I stayed with when I arrived; and then my last tuk tuk drive through the busy streets to the airport.india saui morocco 146


I had found a cheap flight to Morocco from Mumbai…$177. cdn…with Saudi Arabia airlines…and it included a india saui morocco 17212 hour wait at Jeddah airport…which passed quickly as it was my first time in that country and I did alot of people watching…a small price to pay for the very affordable ticket price.

Morocco is next…


Beaches of Southern Goa…

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They are all lovely…..the south is much quieter than the north…and the beaches not as busy…that is why we like itIndia-goa 022… the main ones are Agonda, Palolem and Patnem beaches….with a number of smaller ones along the way.

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Palolem  beach is walking distance to Patnem…it has more things happening there…and thus busier and nosier at times…Agonda is about 20 km north and is also becoming quite popular….

The further south you go, the quieter it becomes….goa 018

My favourite beach is Turtle Beach…a sanctuary for the turtles to lay their eggs…and about a 20 minute 042scooter ride from Patnem. Each year a few new restaurants are there but because of the turtle sanctuary, there never will be a large hotel complex…hopefully…just a few new huts to stay in..  goa 016goa 032
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It is also possible to walk from Patnem and take a short boat ride across the river entrance…and then keep walking along the beach.011

and every beach has wonderful sunsets..every night different but always beautiful..India-goa 041

Chaudi…where we shop..etc

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Chaudi, a bustling town, where one can get a feeling of India without being too overwhelmed by it all, is about 2k m from Patnem Beach.  An easy bike road or scooter ride to get there…usually dodging a few bison or cows along the goa 080way.

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chaudi market day 016Saturdays are busy market day…with farmers coming from Karnataka, the state to the south. Local vegetable sellers are found every day, however, sitting along the roadside..chaudi market day 004India-goa 011

Goa is a huge fishing state..and the fish market in Chaudi usually has a great selection of fish if you get there early enough.

Besides shopping, Chaudi is also important for getting cash…with about five different banks to choose from.

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We also go there for the post office, hair cuts, a doctor or dentist, pharmacy, bus station or whatever else we may need.