Palolem Beach Bums !

27/11/16 to 1/12/16,

The Struggle to Obtain Currency Continues

By Will.

Total Motorbike Kilometres on wiljen’s India Bike Tour 3357kms, plus the 1680kms during the Nevermind Rajasthan 10 day Tour. Ride Total = 5037kms (plus about 50kms of riding around 2-up on the Himalayan Bike).

The Speedo Reading on Jenny’s RE Bullet before leaving Jaipur & the after reading at Verna.

Quick Overview: Team wiljen, spend our days at Palolem Beach, Goa, resting, going on walks along the beach, fishing, eating, drinking, cleaning our gear & more resting. Occasionally we go in search of ATM’s & Money Exchangers for the elusive “Gandhi’s” with limited success. These Gandhi’s are becoming rarer then tigers.

Jenny also puts in a bit of effort making the arrangements for ours & the bikes return trips to Delhi. Plus preparation for our final trip home.
It has actually been very relaxing here, the D’Costa Beach Huts & Restaurant initially seemed a little rough around the edges. That has turned out to be a positive & the staff has let us “hock” everything up on to separate Tabs, accommodation & food/drinks.
Unfortunately they don’t operate an EFTPOS machine so eventually, we’ll have to figure out some payment option. Big thank you to the two Rupesh’s, Ravi, Sam & all the other staff for your help !

We make a new friendship with Ravi. Who runs the D’Costa Bar/Restaurant.

So below are my dot points for our week of Beach Bumming around !

*27/11/16 Sunday, Palolem Beach, Goa. No riding today. I got up at 6.30am & went out fishing on a Outrigger style boat with 4 others & 2 crew, I only caught eels, but between everyone we caught about 6 snapper. Next was breakfast on the beach, which included bacon. Then we walked to the Market area in search of cash, no luck there. Afternoon siesta, drinks & more dinner on the beach.

Not to often have I experienced a sunrise on our tour. We leave nice and early 6.45am to catch some fish ?

Bochello & his partner Amanda are from Sydney, they have been back packing the world for the past 9 months. Check out the fishing gear, we all laughed .

Our haul of fish after 2 hours, I asked if there is a size limit & our Indian Skipper said ” Yes, the big ones are for grilling & the small ones are for fish curry”…righto?

*28/11/16 Monday, Palolem Beach, Goa, took Himo into the next town about 3kms away called Choudi, checked out 6 seperate ATM’s & they were all shut & out of cash. Back to Palolem to rest, eat & drink beer.

The driveway to the Beach Huts is just a sand track, here is the parking arrangements.
D’Costa Beach Huts. Our cosy home for the 6 days, just simple & basic.

*29/11/16 Tuesday. Palolem Beach, Goa. Got up at 7.30am & walked along the beach with Jen. Then breakfast at D’Costa Restaurant, where we are running a TAB , next up I head into Choudi/Canacona & only find one operating ATM at the State Bank India. After lining up for an hour I use our 4 separate credit cards & finally acquire 8500 Rupees ($170 aud). Meanwhile Jenny blogs. I fix up our Tab for our food & drinks. We then head off for an afternoon walk during the low tide to a nearby Island, millions of small sand crabs…

Angry Sand Crab, there were millions of them.

On our return we try out another Restaurant/Bar, not as good as “ours” so head back to our new local !

Interesting Bamboo & Shipping Pallet Bridge that crosses the river at the northern end of the beach.
Along with everyone else, I line up patiently to get some “Gandhi’s”.

*30/11/16 Wednesday, Palolem Beach, Goa. Few strange looks from other guests this morning, probably because of our beach hut was getting a bit shakey during the night. Oh well, we had fun…..
Late breakfast, then over to the nearby Palolem Market area to book our train from Delhi to Agra as both online sites wouldn’t accept our international credit card. Rupesh from D’Costa Beach Huts was at the money exchange and said if I changed my 4 remaining Little Aussie Battler $50’s to now unloved 500IR notes he would accept them as payment for our weeks stay in the Beach Hut. Which reluctantly I did & promptly handed 7000IR worth of them to him.
Now I have 5 x 500IR to dispose of, which I will convert into food & drinks at their Restaurant /Bar .
The currency crisis is biting so hard that local economies have moved back to using 500IR notes, though no one will have anything to do with the old 1000IR notes.
As it turns out it was a waste of time and effort converting our 4500IR of 500’s into lower denominations back at the Bank in Diu. Just have to scratch it off as an “Experience “.
The locals & tourists have until the 30th of December to rid themselves of those dirty little 500 Rupee notes. What a PITA it has turned into.
It has certainly put a stop to Jenny & I purchasing anything or unnecessary hiring taxis, kayaks, massages, haircuts, waxing, Tee Shirts, etc.
Only rooms, food, drinks & petrol for the bikes is all we’ll spend our limited Rupees on, if they won’t accept our credit card.
We check our latest “Hard Currency” balance sheet, now that the majority of out Tabs are paid for & it’s not looking too bad.
7 Pinky’s (14000IR), 56 Bluey’s (5600IR), 5 Dirty Little Unloved 500’s (which I’ll dispose of tonight). That leaves us with 19600 Gandhi’s, which in Straya Lingo is nearly $400.

Our typical breakfast vista in the morning.

*1/12/16, Thursday, Palolem Beach, Goa. 35kms. Yet another lazy start to our day, tried out the nearby Spice of Life Cafe, for breakfast, it was fine, 2 full brekkies, coffees & juices for the equivalent of $10. Then back to the Beach Hut, too reluctantly gear up for a Bike ride down to Turtle Beach. It’s hot & humid, we seem to be the only tourists who ride around in full safety gear. Still it’s just another form of insurance & way of mitigating risk I guess. We took both bikes, while riding through Choudi I noticed the only working ATM in town had a line up of people, I’d guess the wait time would be 2hrs, it appeared worse when we past by about 2 hours later.
The Turtle Beach was nice enough but nothing special the ride through the back roads was tops. After about 35kms riding we found ourselves back at “home”.

Ride out to Turtle Beach, we only take a few photos, lots of Christian Churches in Goa.

Very late in the afternoon, we received an email from a Lalli Singh in Delhi (the nice gentleman we purchased the bikes off), advising that the bikes need to be at the Gati Trucking Company in the Verna Industrial area by Friday, uh oh this means tomorrow !
So we have to cut our Beach Bumming days short and after breakfast tomorrow head about 50kms north along the now infamous NH66. Google Maps, says it will take us 1 hour 20 minutes to ride the 50 clicks… the only real catch being that we have to do it with our fuel tanks nearly empty, so there isn’t to much petrol to drain out at the Gati Freight Company.

We advise both the D’Costa Restaurant & Accommodation Managers of our change in plan & reassure them that we will finalise our now large food/drink bill prior to riding off.

While enjoying the afternoon view, we discover via email that our bikes need to be taken to Verna tomorrow, oh well “all good things must come to an end”.

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