Calangute and Candolim

Ali woke me up at 5am asking me to look at a rash and I’m upset to see he is covered in bites. I spend ages looking for Piriton and by the time it’s found I’m wide awake and don’t manage to get back to sleep. I sit reading my book which is a fascinating story and get really absorbed in it and soon its 8.30 and I hear the alarm. We go and wake the kids and Maisie also has a similar rash. I’m sure it’s not an allergy and am convinced its bed bugs. The kids tell me it is really itchy and it looks very similar to the rash Ali had in Mumbai. That did clear up quickly so I hope this will too.

Simon goes to get the milk and again asks about our laundry. It was supposed to take a few hours but they have had it for 3 days and still no sign of it. I’m hoping they haven’t lost it and now especially want our sleep sheets.

We spend the morning doing some science the kids are really coming on now and I’m proud that they are coping with the high level of work I have set them. We finish the digestive system and start on the kidneys and they do really well.
I’m not giving them any break over Christmas as I don’t want to get behind our schedule and there seems to be so much to cover, I may let them off Christmas day!

Our laundry eventually turns up and we start to make plans for the day but the rashes they have now look awful and I am reluctant to let them go in the sun too much. They both shower and I apply some cream to their bites but we decide not to go to the beach after all.

Eventually we catch a bus to Panjim and from there get the bus to Candolim. The journey takes ages and the bus is packed. We all sit separately and it’s so hot, I feel really drowsy and nearly drift off to sleep whilst daydreaming. We arrive in Calangute and jump off and decide to head for a Chinese restaurant where we had some great food before. The service is excellent but the food isn’t very good and we are a bit disappointed.

We decide to walk to the beach and wander along the shoreline in bare feet for over a mile. The kids find Hermit crabs and as it’s a lovely walk we soon find ourselves in Candolim. I know we have arrived there as we reach The River Princess. This oil tanker broke free of its mooring out at sea around 10 years ago during the monsoon season and drifted inland until it eventually ran aground just off the beach. Apparently some efforts to refloat it were made but eventually everyone gave up and now it’s a part of the seascape.

We share a beer at one of the beach shacks and the kids play bat and ball with some little toddlers. It all makes for a laid back afternoon and we sit and watch the world go by. As the sun starts to set the stray dogs seem to take over and a large pack run around and play fight. I watch some paragliders gently drift down and I can hear a jet ski in the distance.

I love the beach at this time of day when it’s not scorching hot and it looks busier with people running and playing games. Some people of course just come to pose and we have a laugh at some fella marching along in his thong with that type of dark tan you can only get if you live here and spend all day lying in the sun.

For me though, wandering along the shoreline, carrying my sandals and admiring the sparkles that are caused by the low sun reflecting of the water is enough and I feel very happy and relaxed.

We decide to have dinner in a restaurant called The Bom Sucesso, we have been here before on Dad and Pauline’s recommendation and although it’s not the best food we have had in Goa it’s a really friendly place and the owner is nice. There is live music which is terrible and it makes us laugh listening to some well known songs being massacred.

Lastly we check our emails I have had an e card from one of my friends with a snowman on it and it reminds me that most people will break up from work tomorrow. I remember how pleased I was the last few years to have a week off, after working a crappy night shift on Christmas Eve for the past few just so I could be home on Christmas day exhausted having been up all night but at least there.

It makes me appreciate how lucky we are to be travelling this year and I’m definitely going to make the most of it.