The food, however, blends the best of both Indian and Portuguese cuisine - curried fish goes well with pastries from the bakery.
We spent one day walking around town where we saw an interesting Hindu temple and a few smaller churches.
The next day we tried to take a cooking course, but unfortunately found our instructor as knowledgeable about Indian cuisine as we were. Fortunately though the extra time that day gave us the opportunity to update blogs and get in touch with loved ones.
The next morning we headed to the bus station and spent the morning on two buses, heading towards the beaches. We arrived in Palolem slightly after noon and walked through a few local's back yards before finding our hotel. The word hotel is somewhat relative as there are no real hotels, at least in the western sense, only a few people renting out bamboo shacks.
The town caters largely to tourists but there is still a local fisherman population that's not entirely tourism related. Aside from one or two businesses, there are no two storey buildings to be seen and most businesses and hotels are strictly made of bamboo.
We spent two days on the beach and one exploring nearby Patnam beach. The two beaches are nearly identical in that they are both about 2km long and crescent shaped with brilliant white sand. One of the few identifying features is the small island just at the north of Palolem right next to our hotel (see photo above), while Patnam had less defined, rocky outcroppings at both ends. Unfortunately I didn't bring my camera out until sunset at the very last night so please excuse these not so clear pictures of Palolem.
The few days in Palolem and Patnam were a great way to unwind from the sensory overload that is India. Unfortunately we couldn't leave straight from the beach and had to take a bus then a bus then a taxi then a train then a taxi then a plane before we arrived in our final destination, Livingstone, Zambia more than 50 hours later. One upside of the trip was that we had enough time in Bombay to enjoy a few glasses of chai tea and dinner in our favorite restaurant before leaving the country.