Sunday, March 3, 2013

Go Goa

 I went and ran the Goa Half Marathon.  Goa was the reason, running was the excuse.  A colleague from Goa accompanied me.  This is my third visit to Goa in the last three years.  I have always stayed in Panaji. This time near the start of the race ( Campal Grounds) at Viva Goa International.  This hotel was a bit rundown. But at one time someone lovingly had decorated it with brightly painted ceramic tiles.  Wrought iron work. The rooms were large and opened into a small balcony.   My balcony looked onto the rear of another building and it was bristling with TV dish antennae and other stuff people don’t want seen in the front.   The shower head in the bright and spacious bathroom was the size of a steering wheel.   But years of hardwater had choked it limiting the flow it to about twenty holes still open against the odds.

Hotel Viva Goa 

The run was good.  Started at 6:00 am. I loved running on the causeway to old Goa as daylight broke.  Mangroves along the bank.  Early birds heading out over the river. On these predawn runs I hear bird cries and song. Crows sometimes dominate mixed with the sound of footfalls and breathing.  The light changes ever so subtly over the water.  Pink and orange streaks, blue greys, misty whites all evaporate as the sun comes up.  Even in early Feb the sun is harsh by 8:30 am.  21.2 km in 2 hours fifteen.

State Bank of India, Mandovi.
 After the race I had breakfast with my colleague who had run the 5 km “Dream run”.  In the afternoon I wandered around Panjim market,  Fontainhas,  and along Mandovi river.  At about 2:00pm took a break at Mandovi Hotel.  Sat and drew the bright blue colored building that houses the State Bank of India across from it.

Nice trip.  Later that evening met a schoolmate and his wife after many years.  We attended a monthly Quiz at the International Center where I have stayed on my past visits.  It was a lot of fun.  At about 8:30pm went back to Panaji Bus Stand and took a “Sleeper” bus. We reached Pune early next morning.

Paddle boat casino on the Mandovi river.