So I’m on my way home and am currently resident in the business lounge at Mumbai airport (again – a pronounced contrast to much of my life for the past four weeks), availing myself of their free wireless. I’ve got so many topics about which I want to blog, not least about my time spent in Bangalore and with the children at Rainbow House, but have been profoundly hampered by limited wi-fi access – but I’ll get to it as soon as I’m home. Perhaps I can write off-line during my forthcoming ten hour flight …
Ahead of then, here’s my Top Ten list of things which have been really useful over the last month in Goa – in no particular order, may I offer up:
- A universal bath plug: a traveller’s cliché, to be sure, but it was very handy when doing the odd spot of hand washing – which leads me to:
- Laundry paper: a small plastic box of soap sheets which dissolve in either hot or cold water and are handy for freshening up swimsuits and the like; available from top kitchenware porn site, Lakeland;
- High factor suncream: mahogany’s the colour of a wooden table, not my skin and so I’ve been smothered in SPF 40 for the last 4 weeks. On the one hand, I don’t have much of a tan (leading to pitying comments from other Brits – “You’ve not got much of a colour love, have you just got here?” – last Friday …) ; on the other hand, my skin looks and feels really good. On one occasion, I dialled the SPF down to 25 and I burned, which just goes to show how deceptively strong the sun can be in Goa. If you visit, bring your own high SPF, as I didn’t see anything stronger than SPF 15 for sale; I also saw many tourists using pure coconut oil, but that’s a whole other post;
- As predicted – my own reading material. It had to be done – I saw many second-hand books for sale, but nothing that I wanted to read (cf previous posts on Dan Brown et al);
- Clothes pegs: useful for so many things: clipping errant bedroom curtains together, securing my sunhat to an umbrella spoke whilst sunbathing – as well as their primary use;
- My laptop – say no more. As well as for blogging, it’s also been a great conversation starter – what am I doing, why am I here, what am I writing etc. Great way to meet people and make friends;
- Boots Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum: I’ve gone through two tubes of this stuff; fabulous on sun parched skin.
- Lots of pairs of dark-coloured flips-flops: there’s no point in wearing actual shoes, because of the sand and dirt; and the soil here, due to the iron ore, is very red and it stains, so black/dark brown/navy footwear is the only way to go. Get rubber ones rather than fabric so that you can rinse off the crap under the shower.
- Linen/cotton trousers (full length): they may help to deter insect bites in the evening. Perhaps. And finally:
- Anti-bacterial handwash: for both your bathroom (none of my bathrooms over the past month have had soap provided, so it was useful to bring my own) and your bag. I use the dry type when I’m out and about (a tip for which I will always be grateful to Leisa) and I’m sure my rigorous, almost OCD-cum-Lady-Macbeth like sluicing of my hands a million times a day has kept me healthy whilst away.
There’ll be more about Goa once I’m home, but for now – my Jet Airways flight is being called. Jaldi, jaldi!