We traveled over 4 hours round trip to go on an elephant ride and see a spice farm. Walker puked from car sickness on the way there, but we were prepared with a ziplock bag, thank goodness. The views from the car were gorgeous of the countryside here in Goa...lots of palm trees and rice paddies. Our driver said there are wild snakes (much to Jamie's delight), tigers, and giraffes in the woods around us! We are still waiting for a sighting! We saw lots of Goan & old Portuguese houses too, which are very colorful! The elephant ride was not cheap...and were on it for less than 5 minutes. What a rip off! The only thing is that we now have a good picture of us on an elephant.
The Spice Farm was better, though still left us wanting. This little girl is collecting nutmeg. We toured the plants and it was hot and tropical. We learned a lot about how different spices grow, and I appreciate that. We learned that the banana plant is actually a grass, not a bush. It has one time to make bananas and then it dies. A banana flower is actually quite large and beautiful, about 10 inches in length and very sexy. I told myself that I will try to imagine that lush forest whenever I use pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, allspice, or have coffee! After the tour, they gave us a shot of Pheni, which is a strong liquor made from the cashew plant. They take out the nut and then use the rest of the plant for this godawful alcohol. But we were starting to get grumpy so it chilled us out. We had an Indian buffet there, too. The fish fingers were the best!
Walker has made some friends here with two kids of an English couple. We like the parents, too. And the Argentians' kids are hanging out too. Walker felt left out for the 1st time that we saw, and it was heartbreaking. But he pulled himself together and now is right back at it with them! He woke up this morning and was ready to play, right away!
His 3rd birthday was yesterday and we celebrated with a chocolate cake with pink icing, as he requested. The two waiters here went out and bought him party hats and a streamer and some balloons. It was so touching. Walker has been wearing his party hat today, too. He got a couple of small toys and some potato chips for his presents!
The other evening at sunset we walked to the end of the beach and climbed some big rocks until we were very high (about 100 feet!), and we watched the bats escape from their crevice and go off into the dusk sky. Then...an eagle came swooping down and caught a bat in its talons right before our very eyes. it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. This happens every night! The eagles wait for the bats to come out and then make their move. It is truly an amazing thing to see. I am so glad I got to see it!
Today we went to the end of the beach here and swam in the pool it makes at the estuary. It was calm and so we all were able to swim. Very nice day.
Pa and I both had this awesome tandoori chicken last night with a mint/spinach sauce on it. Amazingly delicious. For lunch we were back at the Prawn sandwich. For dinner? We shall see.