Week Eleven: April 6th-April 13th

It’s spring break!!

Half of us split the week between Goa and Rishikesh! The other half all had family coming to spend the break with them. We left for Goa Friday afternoon and arrived in the evening. It was about a 3-hour flight and the worst flight I’ve ever been on. The turbulence was so bad about a half hour into the flight, everybody started screaming on the plane. It was not fun, and I was very happy when we were on the ground.

Once we landed we had about an hour ride to our hostel and then went for dinner. Goa has a ton of restaurants and bars right on the beach. We stayed in North Goa right by Calangute beach. By the time we found the beach it was already very dark, but it was still so nice to be by water. After dinner, we checked out a few of the nearby bars and then headed back to our hostel.

Saturday morning, we found the cutest breakfast place and had some great food. After breakfast, we went to the very bottom of north Goa to check out Fort Aguada. It was a Portuguese fort that provided fresh water to ships passing by in the Arabian Sea in the seventeenth century. I thought this was really interesting since we will be in Brazil soon, which was colonized by the Portuguese. We headed to one of the many beautiful beaches in Goa, Candolim beach, afterwards and got some sun. Goa was so unbelievably hot! It was way hotter than both Delhi and Mumbai. I was covered in my own sweat pretty much the entire time (gross, I know).

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The lighthouse at Fort Aguada

We went to Baga beach for sunset and had dinner at this beautiful restaurant right on the beach. They had $3 tea-infused Martinis and hookah, I was very happy. There is a big Saturday night market in Goa, so we went to check it out. It was one of the best markets I’ve been to in India, they had so many different things, and it was a really cool set up. It was a good thing I had limited money on me. Goa is known for its partying, so we checked out this fancy club that was right on the water. Since we were all single ladies, we got in for free and with complimentary drinks. This place was poppin.

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Spices at the Saturday night market

Sunday morning, we packed up all our stuff and went for brunch. We went to the last of the 4 different beaches in North Goa, Anjuna beach. This beach was the most beautiful and relaxing, in my opinion and had a very different vibe from the other ones. We went for an early dinner and then headed to the airport. Because we booked our flights pretty late and we wanted to spend the least amount of money, we took a flight that had a 3 hour lay-over in Hyderabad. I slept on the floor in this airport, I do not recommend. We landed in Delhi early in the morning and then had a layover there for a few hours before we flew to Dehradun (airport closest to Rishikesh). We got to Rishikesh early afternoon and then took a cab for about an hour to get to our hostel. Rishikesh has two huge bridges and our hostel was on the other side of one, so we walked across with all of our stuff to get there.

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Anjuna beach in Goa

The hostel we stayed at was in the perfect location and was much nicer than the one we stayed at in Goa. The staff was so nice and fun and took us to do different activities all week. Two of them reminded me of two of my close friends from home which was really nice. Monday night, we went to a nice rooftop restaurant for dinner and I had some really yummy biriyani. After such a crazy day of traveling, we called it an early night.

Tuesday morning, we drove up to the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple and then got lunch on top of the mountain. This temple usually has a line that people wait in for hours to go in, but we were in and out pretty quickly. One of the guys that works at the hostel, Sandeep, went with us and explained everything that was going on inside the temple. We got lunch by the temple as well and had thali’s. On our way back down, we stopped and hiked up to a waterfall. I am very out of shape which is sad, but it was really nice to be hiking. We had chai at the top of the waterfall and it was some of the best chai I’ve had yet.

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The waterfall we hiked too

Rishikesh is right on the Ganges River and is surrounded by mountains. There are a ton of yoga retreats that happen here, and it definitely felt a bit like a hippy wonderland. Lots of people will go for a month or longer to do yoga.

Fire ceremonies take place every night before the sun sets on the water. We tried to go to one Tuesday night, but when we were on our way it started pouring. So, we just went for dinner instead. The hostel we stayed at has a rooftop room that overlooks the entire city, and everyone hangs out there in the evenings. This place had such good vibes.

Wednesday morning, we got breakfast and just chilled all day. We did lots of shopping. I bought so much stuff even though I told myself I wasn’t going too. We did some more hiking and grabbed dinner at a place that had a beautiful view of the river. I’m sad I only have a few days left of this food.

We headed back to Delhi Thursday evening, but I filmed a video of one of my favorite choreos from my Indian dance team on the rooftop of the hostel in the morning and then spent the day at the Beatles Ashram. The Beatles are one of my all time favorite bands and they wrote a lot of their white album while they stayed in Rishikesh. This place was soooo cool! The guys that work at the hostel came with us along with some other friends we made. It was a great way to end our time in Rishikesh.

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At the Beatles Ashram

We took a train back to Delhi and arrived shortly before midnight. Everyone stayed at the hotel we stayed at for the first two days we were in India. I was actually pretty sick the entire week we had break. I woke up with a fever the Sunday we were in Goa and it continued throughout the whole week. But, ibuprofen took good care of me and I didn’t let it stop me from exploring all week. I developed a really bad cough that was giving me extremely painful headaches and I still had a fever when we got back to Delhi, so I decided to go to the doctor Friday morning. They told me I had an upper respiratory infection and gave me a ridiculous amount of medication. They also told me I wasn’t fit to fly and wouldn’t write me a note that I was good to fly if I was tagged in the airport for having a coughing fit. We all thought this was funny and also just not an option. I ended up flying and feeling much better after I finally sat down and stopped moving for a while.

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The view from the bridge by our hostel in Rishikesh

I visited my homestay family to say goodbye during the day on Friday and then we had our farewell dinner and gave our Here We Come Brazil presentation at this really nice restaurant in a part of Delhi that we haven’t been to yet. We really had a wonderful team in India, so it was hard to say goodbye. I can’t put into words how much I loved India, and I will definitely be back!

Our flight to Brazil was at 430AM Saturday morning. I can’t believe we’re already headed to our last country!

Talk to you in Brazil!!

Paige

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