Well, we finally made it to Goa, after a 15 hour overnight train to Bombay/Mumbai, and then a 12 hour daytime train to Goa from there. The day stopove in bombay was quite interesting. The city basically looks like London, with loads of Victorian style architecture, the only diffeence is that the piles of sht on the pavements anre slightly bigge in Bombay.
To put it quite simply, Goa fucking rocks, its my idea of heaven basically. i can ge up at dawn, spend a few hours birdingm, spend the middle of the day on the beach, bird for a few hours before dusk, and then stuff my face my face with quality cheap food and then down a load of kingfisher beers, also at ery reasonable cost, and then start over again the next day, pure bliss.
I've only doen that for one day so far though (we've only been here for one) and i'm afraid that the cheap beers may have an affect on the early morning birding. Though strangely i have been a proper insomniac this trip, waking up about half an hour before dawn every day, maybe its the excitement of birding in a new area.
In a simialr outline of the above, our first full day in Goa , having arrived late last night went something like this:
Out birding about half an hour before dawn, unsurprisingly, saw fuck all for the first half hour. From then the birds were smply queuing up. A walk up the coat path to Anjuna provided cracking Black-capped and Stork-billed Kingfishers, White-browed Bulbul, Pallid harrier, Blue Rock-thrush, Green Warbler and more. Came back for a breakfast (absurdly cheap).
Having spent the last 5 weeks living like total tramps, we decided to pamper ourselves. I opted for a ahircut and a porfessional wet shave from a barbers, while JP, much to my amusement, got his back waxed, the big tart. We spent the middle of the day burning on the beaches of Baga, my god it was hot out there, and bloody lovely. The sea was awesonme too, bathtub warm, a nice bit of surf and White-bellied Sea-Eagles, Osprey and Brahminy Kite fishing jsut a hundred metres out from the beach, ace!
Towards the end of the afternoon we settled for a beer at the Beira Mar hotel, which by some amazing coincidence, happened to look out over a rather god marshland, what luck!! We (or rather, I) soon got onto a male Painted Snipe hidden in the grass. After a while, it came out into the open and was joined by 3 more males and one stonking female, what a bird!!
A Chestnut-tailed Starling in the middle of a 300=strong flock of Rosy Starlings was another lifer, as was a beast of Clamorous Reed-Warbler, thrashign around the reeds just metres below the balcony. A Cinammon Bittern in the darkness in the pools below us rounded off the evening nicely and we headed to a restaraunt in town for a mungus Tuna Steak meal, with chips and veg, and a 650ml bottle of Kingfisher, all for jsut over 2 quid each, awesome!
and now, just lettign the meal go down nicely in an internet cafe before retiring to one of the pubs for more beer and to enjoy listening to some proper music. Oneof the best things about Goa is that the pubs actually play current English chart musci, which, when you've spent the last 5 weeks listening onyl to shite Asio-pop bollocks, is utter heaven.
Goa certainly isnt the real india, and bascially is just typical pacakge holiday junk, but we bloody love it, and after the squalor we've put up with for the whole of trip so far, i think we deserve it!!