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Day 3 of The Candid Odyssey

We are in a deep sleep even though it's our first train sleeping experience in the journey. The tea sellers and the train horns do wake us up early in the morning. It will surely, no matter how sleepy you are. The first thing we do is check if we lost any of our stuff. It's just not for today, we continue this ritual throughout the journey. Anyway, our first train sleeping experience was good. It's time for us to explore. Today, we are going to Goa. The train goes through many tunnels and it's really nice. Passing through tunnels always makes anyone happy, because we are sure that at the end of the darkness, there is light. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is a very satisfying experience even though that light was there before entering the tunnel. We only realize the presence of light when we go through the darkness. Same with life. It's filled with happiness. We realize it only after we go through the sorrow.

Our first stop in Goa is the Madgaon Railway Station. First, we need to go to a lodge to unpack. We are going to First In Travel Lodge for our stay today. For most of the journey, we will stay in dormitories and shared rooms because they were cheap. Anyway, for Goa, we have no plans. I knew that Goa is full of beaches. I also knew the basics of the Portuguese history of Goa. Normally, a tourist coming to Goa will go to a beach, play in the sea, visit some heritage sites, and then enjoy some wine and food. So, do you think we will do the same? Not exactly, we will try to see all the aspects of Goa. There are shuttle bus services that connect different places within Goa. It was electric too. So, we will be using the same to reach Panaji, the capital of Goa. The roadside view is full of short trees, we can't spot any buildings. Panaji is a small city, but busy with tourists and shoppers.

Nothing is interesting in Panaji until we go to Dona Paula via the Dayanand Bandodkar Marg. It's basically a road nearby the Mandovi River. The river is filled not with water, but with Casinos and Cruise boats. I don't think we can find that many casinos anywhere else in India. The roadside is filled not with trees, but with lots of cloth vendors and fashion shoppers. It's a market. Traveling through the inner streets also gave an inside look at the Goan lifestyle. Everything is colorful. In Dona Paula, there is a beach pavilion. It gives us a good view of Dona Paula Bay and the unending Arabian Sea. Just stand there, feel the breeze, and enjoy the beauty of the sea waves. There are also 3-4 other beaches within a 1 Km radius. Beaches, beaches, everywhere. But no matter the number of beaches Goa offered, we are not going to get into one. Patience mate, we will find a good one somewhere else :) The Dona Paula beach pavilion is not exactly a beach, it's a viewpoint. The place is also filled with small vendors. Everyone sells almost the same items too. Some vendors were actively attracting people, while others were scrolling on their phones. It could have been better if vendors sold different items so that the less salesy people can also make money instead of competing with others. See, our world is filled with competition. It's part of our survival instinct too. But as we are getting more educated, it's time for us to move towards an approach of cooperation rather than competition. Let synergy prevail! Let everyone win!

After the Dona Paula, we are going to Vasco Da Gama. Confused? Haha, it's a city named after the Portuguese explorer himself. The journey alongside the Zuari River was worth it. I had some plans for Vasco Da Gama like visiting a fort, Japanese garden, harbor, etc. But we couldn't do anything. Guess why, because of the transportation. There was no way to move around. We can see everyone moving in their private vehicle or rented vehicles. Since there were around 10 Kilometers to walk, we will quit the walking plan also. The only thing we do in Vasco Da Gama is eat a Biryani. As Goa is colorful, so was the food. The plate was filled with rice in red, blue, green, and yellow! Tasted the same though. But we wait for more than half an hour to get that food. Same with the cat who sat beside us :) Actually, nothing worked out for us in that place. Better leave. We can try going to some beach at last, but again bad luck. The shops, transportation, attractions, everything was shut by around 7 pm. After coming back to Fatorda, walking disappointedly for an hour or so, we will find happiness with two apples from a street vendor, because there weren't any open restaurants! Our evening in Goa was a disaster. This kind of situation happened very rarely throughout our journey. But, it's okay. Sometimes, things won't work out the way we plan. We just need to cope with it, learn from our mistakes, and hope for a better tomorrow. Everything else will come along the way :)

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