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Chapora Fort and the Wednesday Market

March 7, 2011

Because we had about 10 too many items on our initial India agenda, we’d initially scheduled only two days in Goa: a Monday and a Tuesday. But when we found out there was a big market in Anjuna on Wednesdays, we were more than happy to stay an extra day (and delay another bout with public transportation that much longer). As our 24-hours with the motorbike weren’t up until noon-ish (not that there was any documentation or collateral at stake), Wayne and I seized the opportunity to scoot out to Mapusa in the morning. It was from here that we would head out on the night bus to Hampi that evening, and we needed to get tickets. On the way back we stopped by the old Portuguese Chapora Fort. As a good fort should, it afforded some nice views of the surrounding territory.

all kinds of roadside fauna in india!

real people

After our little gallivant we met back up with Laura and headed off to the market on foot, taking a route that our Kiwi neighbors had recommended so as to see this striking orange Hindu temple juxtaposed with a 17th century (?) Portuguese church. Other attractions along the way: the White Negro resort? I’m not sure what that means but it makes me feel awkward.

Anyway the market was all we had hoped for and more. It was an excellent gift-buying opportunity and exercise in haggling (though it would seem that me trying to get 10 scarves for the equivalent of $12 was actually an unreasonable thing to do). There were stalls upon stalls of just about everything you could imagine, from art to clothing to food to musical instruments to household items. The sights, sounds, and smells were a lot to take in (in a good way) and it all existed in a blur of vibrant colors that really tied everything together. I’d mark it as one of the highlights of the trip.

goa in a nutshell

spice stand

vendor presides over the spice stand

We left with just enough time to pick up some pizzas for the road (we knew we probably wouldn’t have another opportunity to indulge in Western fare as we’d been doing for out time in Goa) before piling into our taxi and heading off to Mapusa once more. We found ourselves on the nicest sleeper bus you could imagine with clean, soft beds where we were able to make ourselves quite comfortable– when stationary in the parking lot. The 12-hour ride to Hampi was treacherous and full of what we’re sure were near-death experiences. And, unsurprisingly, honking. Lots of honking. Needless to say, not the best night of sleep any of us got on the journey (though admittedly, not the worst).

believe me, the smiles didn’t last.

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