Our Christmas holidays at the beach

After our hectic month traveling around India it was time to head towards the south to start our Xmas holidays (yes, I’m calling it holidays!). When we were planning our trip, both of us dreamed about the possibility of spending Xmas at the beach, so we organized our itinerary in a way that would make it possible. Palolem was the chosen destination!

On the night of the 21st of December we caught in Mumbay the train that was going to take us all the way to Madgaon (Goa). In the morning of the 22nd we arrived to Madgaon, but our destination was still a good few km away, so we took a pre-paid taxi to Palolem (around 800 INR). Taking a taxi might sound a little bit posh when traveling low cost, but we were tired and it was by far the easiest option to get to the beach. During the hour long taxi ride we were able to perceive the influence the Portuguese had in Goa, which was Portuguese until 1961, the architecture was colonial and we spotted many churches.

Finding accommodation in Palolem was easy peasy, just ten minutes after getting there we already had our hut at the beach. Not super fancy, but perfect for a few days. We were a bit worried about not having booked anything in advanced, Xmas is high season and we thought everything would be almost fully booked, but there were tons of beach huts and we had no problems at all. So after settling in and with our swimming suits on we went to explore the beach and its surroundings.

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Our visit to Rajesh

We did not want to leave India without visiting my former colleague and friend Rajesh, who is living with his family in the outskirts of Delhi, Gurgaon, so before heading to Agra and Rajasthan we decided to pay him a visit.

We were very excited to spend a weekend with an Indian family, and we were not disappointed at all. Rajesh’s wife, Beena, was lovely and great host, she made us feel welcomed from the very first moment and she cooked many delicious Indian dishes for us. Rajesh’s kid, Ankit, shy at first, ended up calling us bhaiya and didi, elder brother and sister. Every day from the moment he woke up he was ready to play with us. Though he normally likes playing cricket, we got him a small football and I was able to teach him how to kick it, maybe in a few years we’ll see him playing football and not only cricket. Aside games, he loves watching Doraemon and Shin Chan, and he has become the boss of the TV, so now all the family have to watch it, which was not a problem for us as we like those too!

For two days, I had time to catch up with Rajesh while Marta learned from Beena many aspects of an Indian family. Of course, both of them were always making sure we had a cup of chai in our hands, definitely the best chai we have had in India!

Unaware as we are of the Indian customs, we were surprised when they gave us presents. It seems it is a tradition to give presents to your guests on their first visit. Beena got Marta a beautiful kurti (indian dress) and accessories, and Rajesh got me a nice kurta (indian shirt). We will happily wear them in and outside India.

Thanks Rajesh and Beena for making us feel at home for a couple of days, definitely we were treated as gods! We are looking forward to seeing you again, but next time in Spain!

Despedidas

Cuando tomas la decisión de dejar el trabajo y tomarte un año sabático para dar la vuelta al mundo es un gran momento, sientes una gran satisfacción personal porque sabes que uno de tus sueños por fin se va a hacer realidad, todo el mundo a tu alrededor te felicita y se muere de la envidia, sana por supuesto jeje. Pero cuando llega el momento de despedirse de tus compañeros de trabajo, que son amigos con los que has compartido viajes, aventuras, cañas, cafes, borracheras y sobre muchas risas, se hace duro decir adios y dejar atrás ese entorno que te ha rodeado durante los últimos 5 años. En mi caso he dejado el trabajo el 30 de septiembre con una excedencia, que me garantiza el derecho preferente de reingreso, dejando así las puertas abiertas para volver después del viaje si existiera la posibilidad.

Como no iba a ser excepción, hubo convite de despedida en la oficina con productos típicos de mi tierra, como embutido de Atienza, torreznos de Tendilla, bizcochos borrachos y vino de Mondejar. También salimos una noche por Madrid para despedirme más informalmente, o sea de cañas, tapas y copas, como marcan los buenos cánones. Me regalaron cosas muy chulas, como una sudadera del equipo de rugby de Nueva Zelanda (talla 186 que tuve que cambiar por una 168), una mosquitera (que por cierto ya me había comprado y tuve que devolver), y como no el libro de Jules Verne de La vuelta al mundo en ochenta días. Muchas gracias a tod@s por los regalos y queda dicho que nos volveremos a ver de cañas por Madrid!

Este fin de semana pasado también dije adios a mis antiguos compis del cole (es el segundo año seguido que nos juntamos después de muchos años sin vernos) y a mis primos, que por cierto me regalaron un móvil super chulo con el que voy a tener más facil estar en contacto. Ahora ya solo falta despedirse de los amigos y de la familia por un año.