Beach Getaway in Goa
For our first free weekend my group mates and I chose to travel to Goa, a small state North of Karnataka (the state Manipal is located in). That Friday night the crazy journey began with our first overnight train ride. By living in India we have discovered that people and services often do not operate on time, so we were not surprised to find out our train was delayed. While awaiting our train we actually befriended another student who we spent the remaining hour playing Uno cards with. This student unfortunately missed his train as he was having too much fun with our group! Soon after our train arrived, the six of us were frantically running up and down the platform trying to find our cart number. We were afraid the train would leave us behind, so we hopped on a free cart with other students. Our group remained on this cart until we reached the next stop, quickly dashing off to find our correct cart. Unfortunately while running down the empty platform we realized that almost all of the doors were LOCKED! Panicked we finally found an open sleeper cart, and ended up sharing two beds amongst the six of us. Eventually we reached our station in Goa early that morning, and quickly made our way to the beach. Walking along the beach we could feel several differences in the local community in comparison to our life in Manipal. Goa attracts a variety of people including local and nonlocal Indians, Europeans, Americans, and in general many hippies. This state is also more "free" in regards to what you can wear and do. It was nice to spend the entire day enjoying the beach and swimming in the warm water, something that I as a New England girl am not used too! Our group appreciated the hot climate on the beach much more than we do walking around Manipal! While lying on the beach women would continuously approach us to buy their goods, including jewelry, fruit, and henna artwork. We could only escape them by going in the ocean!
All and all this relaxing beach weekend was needed after a crazy first few weeks. Our train ride on the way home went surprisingly very smoothly, which was a relief to us all. I think the only reason this train ride went accordingly was because it was my birthday!
Although we paid to sit in the AC carts I am really happy we ended up in the non-AC compartments. In these compartments we enjoyed open windows and an incredible view of the surrounding landscapes. I am truly learning to enjoy all that doesn't go to plan here in India!