Let's Goa - to Karnataka: Part One

Sheila NewtonStarred Page By Sheila Newton, 25th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1sw9n0tv/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Asia>India>Karnataka

The story of this two-part adventure is my response to Mark Gordon Brown's call for Travel and Tourism articles. All who read my Wiknut pages will know that I just love to tell you all about my trips, whether at home or abroad. Hope you enjoy. Part Two will be out soon!

On the Train from Goa to Hospet

I found a window seat in our allocated carriage, threw my hessian rucksack in careless abandon onto the torn blue plastic-covered bench above my head – and slumped onto a hot, hard seat.

It didn’t matter that the seat was too hard, or too hot and dusty – I could have slept on a clothesline.

I suppose the word ‘shattered’ described my weary plight after four hectic days doing day trips to every corner of Goa’s magnificent state.

The Bangalore train rattled into Margao station, Goa, and we clambered into dusty carriages that smelled strongly of curry and condensed milk. Our journey to the hidden city of Hampi in the neighbouring state of Karnataka had begun.

We’d toured for four consecutive days on a Goa Tourist Development Board (GTDC) package from our base - an air-conditioned residence in Margao: travelled on the bus way up north and way down south in Goa, cruised the Mandovi River and visited a spice farm.

No time to laze on the beach this trip. I was determined to see and experience as much as I could. After all this was my first time in India.

Margao and the Goa Tourist Development Corporation

We’d abandoned our sweet little ‘package’ hotel in Cavelossim to taste the delights of a four day tour of Goa, staying in one of the designated GTDC hotels. We chose to stay in Margao. (Details of how to contact GTDC can be found in the ‘details’ section of this article)

We’d watched a glorious sunrise from our east-facing bedroom balcony for four mornings running.

We’d looked up at blue skies to gaze at golden-winged eagles swooping and diving at play.

Then, at eight o’clock each morning, we’d set off for a new destination in Goa – and a new adventure on our red GTDC bus or cruise boat. We’d travelled with families hailing from the length and breadth of India, not a European tourist in sight bar me and my husband.

And in the sultry evenings, we’d trekked Margao with its bustling market-place, grand old buildings and pretty gardens. I was in awe of Goa. The Lonely Planet Guide had done us proud, pointing us in the direction of the GTDC. This was an affordable and enjoyable way of seeing all of Goa - and a little beyond.

And now, hoping my Lonely Planet researches would step up to the plate for another great adventure, we were riding this dusty, rickety train that would clank with a good-humoured jangle for nine hours or so, to get us to our destination.

I’d heard so much about Hampi, the Hidden City in Karnataka, I couldn’t wait to see it for myself.

All Hail the Sacred Cow

I yawned, stretched my arms upward to the dim yellow lights of the carriage, and listened to the shrill calls from sellers of tea and curry – yelling “chai!” – hollering “curry!”

I closed my eyes, letting the spices of the curry and the sweet, tinned-milk taste of the chai permeate pleasantly into day-dreams of our journey.

But, a dozen noisy crows shouting, “Caw!” from rusting railway lines and a collection of wayward cows at Kulem station calling “Moo!” did little to unwind me, so I gave up my trance state and joined our fellow sojourners in their excited chatter.

“Wherever I’ve been in this astonishing country,” I said, “cows roam free, undeterred by neither man nor beast, even in the city! All hail the sacred cow?”

Green Fields and Waterfalls from the Train

Taking a peek through the bars of the unglazed window I saw the milky-white waterfall of Dudhsagar.

I was spellbound at the billowing curtain of water as it plunged two thousand feet down into the valley. It roared like a hundred angry lions. I was excited to see the waterfall from a train. It was so close, I'm sure i could have reached out and touched it.

Two days ago, I’d trekked up to it from its foothills in the Bhagwana Mahivir Wildlife Sanctuary.

I settled down again on the scorching seat and squinted through half-shut eyelids as the lush green fields of the countryside glinted in the glaring sunlight.

Swaying to the monotonous drumbeat of the train, I was reminded of Robert Louis Stevenson’s, ‘From a Railway Carriage’ –

‘Faster than fairies faster than witches
Bridges and houses hedges and ditches’


Then I drifted into a day-dream of the journey we’d taken on foot just a week before, to the top of the mighty Dudhsagar Falls (translated the 'Milky Sea')

Recalling the Trek to the Top of Dudhsagar Falls

It had been a three hour, steep and arduous trek from the foothills of the jungle. Our tireless local guides had grinned good-humouredly at our amateur endeavours as we’d encountered one uphill struggle after another. They’d led us cheerfully onward and upward, agile and sure-footed, toward our grand waterfall goal.

My feet had trudged soundlessly over the leafiest dirt tracks, under the tallest trees, the calls of chattering monkeys amusing me, distracting me from the burn in my thighs.

I’d stopped to pop the parasitic buds of black pepper that stuck like mistletoe to their host. “Smell it!” my fellow trekkers urged. And they’d laughed when I’d inhaled the powder like snuff, and sneezed violently.

At the summit, I’d gazed over a huge precipice at the sparkling silver waters of Dudhsagar tumbling downward. Dudhsagar should be among the natural wonders of the world.

Where Dudhsagar Gushes into the Salmon Pool

Little did I know, as the slow train clickety-clacked its way to Hospet, that we’d visit the majestic Dudhsagar one more time.

Before this trip of Indian delights was over, we'd be visiting the foot of the falls by 4-wheel drive,.

And little did we know that we’d be able to swim in the deep pool at the foot of the falls: a pool filled with salmon jumping in a pink mist for biscuits thrown by the tourists, sold to us by an enterprising local youth with a basket full of custard creams!

But that's a trip that deserves a story in its own right. And one day I'll tell it!

Over the Border and Onward to Hospet

Nine hours of green bush and farmland swept by as endless cups of hot, sweet chai were sipped and snacks of tasty spiced marzipan were nibbled, before the train reached our destination - Hospet.

Hospet is in Goa’s neighbouring state of Karnataka and the Hotel Priyadarshini was to be our base for our visit to Hampi, the so-called hidden city. I couldn’t wait for this next Indian adventure.

Part Two will be out soon! I hope you enjoyed Part One.

Links and Details

In a move to boost Goa’s tourism economy, the Goa Tourist Development Board offers tours and cruises at extremely competitive prices on the basis that you stay at one of their many lovely residences for the duration of your tour package.
For details of GTDC tours, including the ‘Dudhsagar Special’ go to their website at:
http://www.goa-tourism.com
*
For trips to Dudhsagar Falls (trekking, railway or by 4-wheel drive), go to: http://www.indianholiday.com/goa/tourist-attractions/waterfalls-in-goa/dudhsagar-waterfall-in-goa.html
*

Tags

Dudhsagar Falls, Hampi, Hospet, India, Karnataka, Monkeys, Railway Travel In India, The Hidden City Of Hampi

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Excellent! I can hardly wait for part 2.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks Jerry. Part Two coming SOON - before I go off to Gambia in just under a week! Oh, how I lOVE tavelling!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
26th Feb 2012 (#)

What a beautiful guide to Goa, I have never been but it does sound like one of the nicest places in India.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
26th Feb 2012 (#)

It is Mark, am partly from there... Let me know if you are coming out there, will ask the family to take you around...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Mark - and I SO appreciate the STAR. Thank you, Mr Moderator!

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author avatar Denise O
26th Feb 2012 (#)

I agree with what Jerry and Mark has written. Love the page but, you do it like no other, so I am not surprised. I too can hardly wait for part 2. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks for the compliment about my travel writing, Denise. You're a good friend.

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author avatar Buzz
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Wow, what an entertaining travel experience, dear friend, and breath-taking pics! Congrats on the STAR! Yay.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks my lovely friend Buzz. you never fail to say something nice about my work. Love ya!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Amazing article and stunning pictures, I sure would like to Goa...:0) wonderful Shelia, thank you!!!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

To hear 'stunning pix' from you is the greatest accolade. Because YOUR pics on your super pages are always so gorgeous

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author avatar Retired
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Excellent esp dudhsagar waterfalls pic. Im also visiting the Goa next month.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

oh, do enjoy Goa. It's one of the best places I've EVER visited. And the people are amazing. They welcomed me and Dave with open arms.

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author avatar Retired
26th Feb 2012 (#)

excellent write ohhh i feel like going there

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

You SHOULD go. It's a place EVERYBODY should visit.
Thanks for the lovely comments. Hugs XX

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author avatar Lady Aiyana
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Didn't tell you I am a half Goan... The next time you go there let me take you to my private island and as Marjorda is my place.... We are just about 10 minutes by walk from the station... Its the property with the Corporation Bank in it.. Ask for Rosaline's Superette and they will guide you to our place....
You must have stopped at Kamat Hotel which always smells of curries out there...
You should go to Doodhsagar by road and stay in the wildlife hotel out there and see the place, its pretty, very rare flora and fauna out there and I loved it....Orchids grow wild out there believe it or not...
So yes, this soaring Eagle is from Margao, the bus stand out there was our property - our paddy fields, lost it in the 60's-70's due to the Land goes to the tiller act out there....
Let me know next time, I will ask the family to take you around... We run the taxi business out there....

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

No - I DIDN'T know, Anisha. How lovely for you. What a grand place to belong to. If I ever go back ( and one day, I MUST), I'll take you up on your offer. Your family sounds like a very influential family in Goa.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Email me on LadyAiyanna@anishaachan.com should you plan a trip...
They will guide you around and you can stay over at our place....

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Its me Anisha Achankunju - made a typo in my spelling out there....
The other half is Kerala.... Was born and brought up in Bangalore, Karnataka...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Oh - I'd love to go to Kerala. We met a guide out at Hospet who said he'd take us if ever we returned to Goa/Karnataka. Got his email and everything! WOW!

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
26th Feb 2012 (#)

My Portuguese ancestry comes from Goa... Jewish from Kerala....

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

P.S. Yeah, I'd just love to actually STAY at Dudhsagar. Sounds like heaven. One day....

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author avatar Buzz
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Portuguese this time. Please stop the egoism and egotism. It's becoming SO IRRITATING.

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Don't be a Grump Jimmy!!!

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author avatar Songbird B
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Beautiful Star Page Sheila! Well written as always and stunning images too..What travels you have experienced my friend..I live them through your eyes..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Always lovely to get your comments, Songbird. You always give me a comprehensive write-up. Thank you, hon

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author avatar Jules Castillo
26th Feb 2012 (#)

very nice addition to your collection...looks like a place in a tropical country

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

You should go there, Mr Cowboy - you'd LOVE it. It's such a magical place. Don't forget to catch Part Two - all about Hampi the Hidden City

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author avatar richellet
26th Feb 2012 (#)

I have a friend from Karnataka and he keeps on telling me he is on his way to ride a train... now I know what it looks like... thanks Shiela this is very wonderful. I hope to reach this place too.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

I hope you DO go there someday. And don't forget to read all about Karnataka (or the bits that I experienced) in Part Two!

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author avatar richellet
4th Mar 2012 (#)

will look forward to it Sheila :)

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Though I am from India, I am yet to visit Goa. Beautiful write-up and what lovely pictures. More of your favourites - waterfalls! You are a true ambassdaor of India, Sheila - siva

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Ambassador for India? What a lovely things to say my dear friend. Hope you DO go there one day. And if you do, check out GTDC. They'll give you a super deal, travelling all over Goa. One day I'll write about those bus trips - and the cruise on the River Mandovi.

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author avatar jayababy
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Been to Goa 10 years back. Its like recollecting few memories after reading your lively article. Wonderful share, Sheila.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Hope you had as good a time as I did, jayababy. I'll have to check your work out. Don't think I've seen your posts lately. You been away?

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author avatar richardpeeej
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Sunning pictures and a gripping story too Sheila. It felt like I was there in the train and journeying with you...Thank you for sharing your visit with us all..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you so much my sweet friend. you are too kind!

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author avatar Robb714
26th Feb 2012 (#)

What a magnificent experience and beautiful pictures to prove it. Thanks for this wonderful effort and sharing the beauty of Goa.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
26th Feb 2012 (#)

lovely comments, Robb. i'm obliged. Thank you.

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author avatar Elove Poetry
26th Feb 2012 (#)

When Nicole Lisle(my tutor at WB) on travel writing told me I should travel widely to write nice travel articles I didn't think I could just travel to earn a few pounds that I would, considering the high cost of living, not get to repay transport and accommodation ... but now this gives me the reason to book the next flight....

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Feb 2012 (#)

What a fabulous compliment, elove. Thank you.

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author avatar Hugo La Rosa
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Quite an amazing article! This is travel writing at its best. I like the bits of dialogue spicing the article all over. Beautiful waterfalls, open spaces,tradition, and I especially love the eagle picture. I enjoyed this article very much.

Thanks for sharing, Sheila.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you for all of these glorious accolades, Hugo. I'm really humbled by what you say. WOW!

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Hello, Sheila: There is nothing left for me to say. You must have amazing energy. I always used to say, "I don't like travelling, I just like getting there." However, your commentary and pictures give me another version of "travelling". I have always gone from A to B, You are going through the alphabet. Love, Ivyevelyn.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
27th Feb 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks my lovely friend Ivy for saying such nice things. We're off to Gambia next week so I'd better get those walking boots on! We plan to do a lot of sightseeing!! I'll take my camera and my journal too - of course. Haha! I'm really looking forward to it. I'll post part two of this Goa/Karnataka piece before I go though. Hope you'll like it.

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author avatar Retired
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Wonderful star page, my friend. Having been to Goa, it brought me smiles and nice memories. Wonderful pictures, too. Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks so much my gorgeous friend. You obviously loved Goa too.

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author avatar NancyG in TN
28th Feb 2012 (#)

Congrats on the star page, great article and fantastic photos!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks so much, Nancy

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author avatar Spicy
29th Feb 2012 (#)

So beautiful writing about the Goa. It is a nice tourism place of India. Good pictures. I like this writing Sheila.

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author avatar Carol
1st Mar 2012 (#)

What a wonderful description of your visit to Goa. I enjoyed it very much, and the images are beautiful. Well done on the star!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Mar 2012 (#)

You never fail to make me feel good. Thank you Carol.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
3rd Mar 2012 (#)

I love it so beautiful the pics and the commentary you so brilliantly wrote on Goa...makes me want to to and I am a travel writer!!!! thank you Sheila and glad we are now connected on wikinut...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
8th Apr 2012 (#)

I'm glad too! What an accolade coming from a travel writer.

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author avatar Denise O
8th Apr 2012 (#)

What a wonderful journey to Goa you have just taken us on. I can not wait for part two. Which I will go to after I leave this message. Just a great job my friend. I love the photos and how you brought us along as if you are our tour guide, brilliant. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
8th Apr 2012 (#)

Cheers and happy Easter, Denise.

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Nice pictures and I hope to visit someday to see this beautiful landscape.
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Thanks Md - lovely to hear from you.

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author avatar Val Mills
11th Apr 2012 (#)

Your travelling energy tires me Sheila, you are always on the go! What a wonderful experience and amazing pics to go with it. AShall now go and read Pt 2.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
13th Apr 2012 (#)

You don't think I'm knackered after each trip????? Well I am - big style!!!! But it's worth it - haha!

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author avatar Rose*
19th Oct 2012 (#)

Those waterfalls look awesome. I must admit all that travelling sounds tiring - my idea of a holiday is to just go to one spot and stay put, lazily eating and wandering around a beach!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
16th Nov 2012 (#)

Well, me? I'm a sucker for wanting to see as much as i can of the country I'm visiting. Tiring - yeah. But oh ... those glorious memories!

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author avatar Hidden India Tours
5th Sep 2018 (#)

Your Blog Was Very Helpful and Amazing. Thanks to Providing Important Information.

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author avatar Gujarat And Around
6th Sep 2018 (#)

Nice pictures and I hope to visit someday to see this beautiful landscape.
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Nepal And More
6th Sep 2018 (#)

I love it so beautiful the pics and the commentary you so brilliantly wrote on Goa...makes me want to to and I am a travel writer!!!! thank you Sheila and glad we are now connected on wikinut...

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