Oh, the train. It was an overnight journey to get there, about twelve hours total. Man, was it an experience. We were in sleeper cars, which aren't anything like I expected them to be. It was kind of like being on a refrigerator shelf. There were three bunks on each wall of the car, and by bunks I mean shelves. They were just wide enough to fit a person. And people were crammed in there. Really crammed. Which makes me wonder how many of them actually had tickets... multiple people were sleeping on the same tiny little shelf, on the floor, crouched against the walls. There was barely room enough to move. It made me very grateful that I was on the middle bunk. If you were on the bottom, you risked having people sit on the end of your bed, which always made for an awkward "get off please" moment.
Once we got to Goa, we all broke off into our own little hotels. I went with five other girls to the south. Oh my gosh, what a wonderful decision!! We literally stayed in bamboo huts on the beach. But it was a legit hotel, don't worry! It's in the Lonely Planet and everything. We could walk out of the hut and see the beach about fifty feet away. Beautiful! Blue water, white sand, the whole enchilada. Or since I'm in India, the whole chapatti? I'm not even that obsessed with the beach, but after being in Pune for so long, it's so nice to be somewhere where you don't hear cars honking at every hour of the day and you're breathing in the polluted air from said cars. My lungs thanked me.
There were actually a bunch of other Westerners staying there. We met the coolest British couple ever! Plus, we got to spend every day in the water because the weather was so nice!! Oh, the Indian ocean. I actually ended up getting stung by two jellyfish in the span of an hour, but I'm alive, so that's good. Supposedly the jellies where we were are all dead because they're the castaways from fishermen's nets. Thank god for that. At least that means they're not vicious and out to get me. But they could not spoil the beach for me.
And there were cows on the beach!!! They came and went at different intervals. But they were definitely cows. Only in India.
We also went on a dolphin boat ride! The dolphins here are not like the ones I picture. Their dorsal fins are all lumpy, like a camel's humps. I wouldn't have known they were dolphins except for the fact that someone told me. But it great! There were little kids sitting behind me that were squealing with dolphin-enduced delight the whole ride.
And I've officially been parasailing. One of the scariest, but most fun, things ever! I almost didn't do it, but then I figured, why the heck not? I'm not sure when that opportunity will come again. And I'm glad I did it. I was up high enough that I had the greatest view of the water, the palm trees, the sand, the bamboo huts. It was like looking at a postcard, but a way better view. Like 100 times better.