I knew I would leave the beach when I was ready....
Well, yesterday, I knew I was ready. It took a while to finally say goodbye, exchange email addresses, and do everything (swim in the ocean/hug people/etc) one last time.. but eventually, I left.
I took the following:
30 min boat from Paradise beach to Gokarna Beach.
5 min auto rickshaw from Beach to Bus Stand.
30 min bus from Gokarna to Ankola.
3 hour bus from Ankola to Margao (Goa)
12 hour bus from Margao to Bombay/Mumbai
10 min ripoff cab from bus stop to backpacker-ghetto.
I stayed a total of about 15 minutes in Goa. After chilling out on my perfect ideal beach, I had no desire to visit the costa-del-sol like ambience that Goa has reportedly turned into. Loud techno parties and chemical-drugs are not my cup of tea, and so I was quite happy to move to Bombay as fast as possible.
Alas, it's xmas/new years, and so the trains between Goa and Bombay were solidly booked... Thus, I had to fork out 850 rupees (20 bucks) for a VIP A/C night-bus.. which had a booming DVD soundsystem, and an A/C system that made it far too cold, even with wool blankets, to sleep properly. Bloody VIP conveniences.
Anyhow. The plan now is to stay in Mumbai for a night, enjoy a few of the niceties (like fast internet, and cinemas), and then head out to Alahamabad tomorrow. I went to the train station first thing this morning, and booked a ticket using the tourist quota system (they reserve the last spots on all trains for foreigners).
Thus, i'm uploading pics as I type this... and then will head out for a bit of shopping (with a hopeful eye to sending the stuff off to the US tomorrow, inshalla).
My mind has been wandering a bit recently, and i'm semi-tempted to cross the Pakistani border (with the intent of heading to Iran). It's only a mild flirtation at the moment, and a trip to the various embassies later this afternoon will at least clear things up for me... more on this as it develops.
Oh, and Mumbai is expensive. There are no auto rickshaws - only taxis, and my cheap tiny room is costing me 400 rupees a night.