11th Nov – 12th Nov 2016
Island of Diu
Getting to Diu was a super happy moment. Less people, less cars and there is the ocean. Will gets a beer or two, and some meat, and I get eggs….happy days. We are bouncing with joy. We’ll stay two nights and get our clothes washed properly, have a nice rest and top up with cash. Sounds easy enough, right? Did we forget we are in India? Did we forget things don’t work the same anywhere in India? Yep! So first of all, beer was no problem, and it was cold. We had fish and chicken for dinner, which was nice. But to get the laundry done, we’d have to stay another night. Drop it at reception by 10am, get it back 24hrs later. This we can do, what’s another day, drinking beer on the beach with seafood?
Beers here, but beach is down the road, maybe tomorrow, we have work to do.
After a rough night, I was not going well. The Man Flu had got to my sinuses, and things were getting dire. So we slept in a bit, had a nice Marsala (mixed veg, spice) omelet, some fruit salad and toast, then got ourselves sorted for the following jobs. Get laundry done (clothes and money) find an ATM to get some “legal” Ghandi’s (as Will calls them), find a bank to exchange the colourful (and not too absorbent) toilet papers, fuel up me bike ( her name is L1SY), and find a pharmacy ( medical store, here). The first bit of laundry was deposited with reception, I hope we get it back tomorrow, or we’ll have nothing to wear.
The Black Money saga! Now no businesses will take our big Ghandi’s, we need a bank.
Finding an ATM took us on a bit of a tour around the island, which was not all bad. Showing us the less touristy, more working side of Diu. We got lost in the old town, and rode our noisy Enfield, Lisy, through the market….oops. Oh did I mention, that my bike clothes are getting laundered, and I have had to ride in full Bali mode, as a pillion? Well almost, I did wear my helmet, so I could use Google Maps to help find the ATM. Waist of time, Google was how we ended up in the market. So we rode back to Nagoa beach, where the hotel guys said there was one. Couldn’t find it, so stopped to ask a guard, still couldn’t find it, so started to head towards the big town, and spotted the ATM….did a U-turn, and went full Indian, riding down the wrong side of the road to get back to it. We had to wait in line, and when it was finally our turn, we could only get 2000IR at once (like forty bucks), so we each used two different cards and managed to get 8000 brand new, shiny, ironed Ghandi’s.
A couple of sights, before success. Brand new Good Ghandi’s.
Two jobs down, now to the big city of Diu, with less than 25,000 people, to find a bank, some fuel and medical supplies. It was very nice being pillion for a change, and I enjoyed the scenery and trying to act as GoPro and SatNav all in one. Will enjoyed riding Lisy, as she is better than Himo (The Himalayan), just saying! Ha ha ha! The first stop, because it came along first, was fuel. Bloody chaos. Bikes, cars and Tuk Tuks all coming in at different directions, and parking on top of each other. I got off so Will could push in, and while Ewan McGregor (Will) got swarmed with fans wanting selfies (no kidding), I was waved over to a car, so I could “please say” hello to their cute little 3yr old, who was trying to become invisible. Still can’t get used to this. We stand out for so many reasons, but they treat us like VIP’s most of the time, sometimes like a freak show. I asked about the Medical shop, which just happened to be next door. Now that was easy, just a short game of charades and less than $3, and I had some pills. They better work. So we are up to getting some legal Ghandi’s, and Bam, a bank next to the medical shop. A huge line, but Will discovered it was only for the ATM. So in he goes, waits, waits, then is told NO! They won’t do it! Too hard to figure out why, we head off to find another bank.
The line into the first bank that said NO!
Down a busy little street, we spot one, and decide to park the bike and walk if we have to, traffic was too much for our days off. So we head into the very crowded bank (all the shops are super small, so not hard to get crowded) and again, we stand out (like dogs….well you know). Will is a head taller than everyone, and he is going full Iceman. He has “The Face” going, his travel beard, bike gear, black t-shirt, and before long he is taken out of the line and given some forms to fill out, and told to get copies of our passports! Okay team Wiljen, this is where we work well. Will took off to some Xerox shop he’d spotted, while I filled out the forms. Name, ID, what notes, how many…blah, blah, blah! Wait a bit, Will’s back, and in line again. Bam, celebrity status, gets him rushed through, and out he comes with three massive bundles of 10IR and 20IR notes. It was the equivalent of handing over $90 and getting it back in 20 cent pieces. What a debacle! Just imagine if Australia decided to cancel the $100 and $50 notes, and you all had under two months to hand them in and swap them for lower denominations? Some elderly people would be sleeping on firmer mattresses hey?
The second bank gave us stars some small legal Ghandi’s. Yay!
So, all laundry successfully completed (hope our clothes come back) and our other jobs too, we spot “Joy Bar” and believe it is a reward for our perseverance. In we go for a beer. It was cold, and was less than $3 for two. Now we can head back to Hoka Villas and relax. I’m taking a pill and a nap, Will is going to enjoy a few cold beers, while he can. Tomorrow we will sight see.
End the day with a nice cold beer, and Will is a happy fella!
Saturday morning, I still feel shit, bloody hell pills, come on! Another sleep in and eggs for breakie. I also got a hot Lemon Honey and Ginger drink, that should help. Two sights we are checking out today, the Naida Caves and Diu Fort. Again, we use Lisy, and I’m still in Bali mode, with helmet. Traffic was a little lighter, and we found the caves no worries. To our surprise, we didn’t have to pay, and there weren’t too many people there. They were amazing, and we discovered they were actually made when constructing the fort, and date back about 400yrs.
The caves were great, and a real photographer could enjoy the different light and areas.
It wasn’t long before the Indian paparazzi discovered us, and the whole “Sir, sir, just one photo?” I was slightly jealous, but after a while grateful it wasn’t me. As we were heading out, more and more locals were coming in, and wanting selfies with Will. Talk about uncomfortable, he couldn’t get on the bike quick enough….ha ha ha….Will….!
Some nice colourful homes, and those ratted, pimped, alien trikes.
To the Fort, taking the scenic route, through the old area of town, with lots of colourful homes and Government buildings. We discovered that this part has a lot of Portuguese influence, due to the fact that they were the ones who built the Fort. After many unsuccessful attempts to establish an outpost, they were eventually invited, in 1535 by the Sultan of Gujarat, to form a defensive alliance against the Mughal emperor, Humayun. That guy was trouble. So the fort is over 53,000sqmtrs, with underground escapes, canons and all the necessary defensive tools. It is well over 400 years old, and quite impressive. We only saw a small amount of it, as both of us were getting swamped by the “Paps” for selfies, pics with the family, little chats about where we are from….”America?” Some guys asked, “Australia” we replied, ” much better, we are good at cricket”, “oh, yes, yes” smiling with added bobble heads. They really are not sure about our sense of humour….but funny. Anyway, it was all getting too much, so we decided to do runner! I don’t know how the real celebs deal with this every day.
The fort was cool, wish we could have seen more, but We Are Freaks, so only allowed out for short periods.
I really don’t like all the people looking at me, imagine if I was blonde with blue eyes?
So the afternoon was spent napping, doing bike maintenance, and hiding out in an upstairs sitting area, they obviously don’t use much. It was a bit dusty, but peaceful, and directly above the reception, so best chance of getting any Wifi action. A few beers for Will, and Soda for me, we are done here. Oh, and our laundry returned in good order. Yay, I can ride safely tomorrow. Well as safe as India will allow.
Last Note: We thought we should go to the beach to watch a sunset over the Arabian Sea……what a couple of numpties. Here are some pics to show you the result of that Tom-Foolery. Oh and we didn’t see the sunset either.