There is a popular idea that all Middle Eastern airlines are the bees knees. Well having flown with Etihad, I can confidently say that this is a misconception.
The flight from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi was marred by the internal temperature of the aircraft which was something like 30 degrees and dry as hell. Like many other victims/passangers, I was quickly stripped off to the minimum of clothing and constantly drinking and nipping off to the toilets to run cold water over face wrists and arms to try to cool down a bit. Fortunatly, we eventually arrived at Abu Dhabi airport (looking suspiciously like "Moss Isley" from the Star Wars movies) and got out of the plane to be greated by the relative cool of the desert morning - who would have thought you'd feel the pleasant cool when arriving in the Middle East ?
In full accordance with international guidelines, the airport terminal was emblazoned with signs staying that smoking was prohibited except in designated areas. Unfortunatly, the effect of this was slightly marred by the fact that the designated areas included all the food stalls and coffee shops and there was no ventilation at all. The resultant haze of smoke, sounds of coughing westerners and hords of exotically dressed people (almost as exotic as Saltley in Birmingham !) reinforced the "Moss Isley" feel of the place and I was constantly expecting to see some wee fella jump up and shout "Ootinii" from a darkened corner.
The onward flight to Mumbai was delayed by 2 hours so we arrived after the last connecting flight to Goa had gone. Fortunatly, I'd realised it would be close cut and so hadn't pre-booked the connecting flight. With flying out of the question, a prepaid taxi took me to the long distance bus stand and I soon had an overnight bus ticket booked to Mapusa in north Goa and after a two hour wait, I started the final 10 hours of the journey out.
After setting out from home at 13:00 on Saturday, I finally rolled into Arambol at 08:00 on Monday morning in dire need of a wash and a bed.
Whilst having a coffee with my bags besides me, Scott (Worldfisher) rolled up in the restrurant and whilst I admit to a quick (manley) hug and handshake, I decided to decline the "and kisses" (and indeed the plural "hugs") suggested by his mother for when I met him.
He was looking well but considerably skinnier than he was when we last met, but cycling 15000km will do that to a body.
Now, general guidance on jet lag is to adopt a sleeping pattern appropriate to your destination as soon as possile after your arrival. Unfortunatly, I decided to forgoe this basic biological acclimatisation process and slept through the middle of the day and went out fishing between 23:00 and 3 in the morning on the day of my arrival.
We've been pretty much noctournal ever since !
The locals haven't been catching a lot of late but Scott and I landed three fish each on the first night with an average weight of 6kgs each. I also lost a huge fish that just ran and ran before jumping and throwing the hooks.
The next night, I only had one but Scott landed four and the sizes were bigger with fish averaging 7.5kg's.
We went out again on Wednesday night but were a little concerned about the reception we might recieve after doing so much better than the locals the previous two nights, so we fished another location and had a nice Mangrove Jack each and I had another Barramundi of 8kg's.
There was no fishing for me last night 'cause I had a stomach bug. I had 8 hours of misery starting out with some impressive stomach pains and then it was gone, which suggests that it was a virus rather than the result of eating something dodgy. Unfortunatly, being sick also meant that I missed the jam session at Loekies bar but I could hear it from my room. It sounded like I missed a really good one with a couple of guys playing some first rate blues at the start and then more of a mixed bag a bit latter on. Obviously, I need to track down the guys who were playing and make sure I'm there when they play next. I've also caught a Bindoo Babas gig and Prana, Assi and Matura were on good form. In short, the music scene here is as good as ever.
One thing that has changed in the last 12 months is the pantheon of hippydom. In addition to the familiar Jesus/Charley Mansun hippy, the Cyberpunk hippy and the Sadhu wanabee hippy, there is now the Pirate hippy, repleate with silly beared and mustoush (I know, people in glass houses etc), appropriate piraty clothes and whitty banter and even a tricorned hat !
Disney has a lot to anwser for !
In a few days Scott and I are planning a trip up the coast to Ganpatapule in Maharashtra for a bit of shark fishing from the beach. Expect tails of toothy beasties soon.
Last edited by Ken L on Fri Jan 18, 2008 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.