(By the request of Steve and Lori I'll try to be more detail specific).
I left Goa 2 days ago with baggage and train tickets in hand. The travel agent managed to convince me that if I did not book the southern-leg of my trip all at once the trains would be booked and I would be stuck (ie. if you book all your tickets at once my commission will be larger). I hate holding myself to traveling on specific dates set by a train ticket schedule, but at least I have some sort of itinerary which makes travelling a little easier (rather then my style of showing up and figuring out what to do next).
The Goa experience was something quite unique. The last few days were probably the best, because I decided to rent a Scooter and boogy all over Goa. For $5/day and $3 in petrol, I went from beach to beach throughout the coastline.
From Goa I came down the coast to Mangalore by train, arriving at 8am. (not to be confused with Bangalore, the IT capital). I stepped off, opened my Lonely Planet to the Mangalore section, and treated myself to a hotel with a TV and hot water (although, the hot-water is only hot before 8am, which would have been nice if someone told me).
Mangalore is anything but a destination resort. It smells. Everything closes at 11:30... Maybe planning isn't my speciality. However, there is a zoo. The zoo was actually quite spectacular and massive. I was practically the only one there and got a personal tour-- seeing bear's, holding snakes, feeding deer, petting baby leopards and seeing all sorts of other animals up close (it's amazing how close you can get when there are no safety standards in place).
Some highlights of the last 2 days:
- Met 2 Indian's from Udapi, a town 1 1/2 hours from Mangalore who invited me to come to their town (which I woke up early and did today). We took a boat to St. Mary's island, founded by Vasco De Gama. I took lots of pics, mainly of rocks and me standing next to rocks. If you are reading this Prameela-Angus, sorry, I'm not Christian but Jewish.
- I went to a "Dancing-bar" - This is nightlife in Mangalore. Basically the way it works is the guys all sit down, order a beer, and watch the 6 fully clothed girls on stage sing and dance to karaoke songs. I never quite figured out what the hell was going on, although I did figure out this place also closes at 11:30.
- I argued for 10 minutes with a Rickshaw driver that took me in a complete circle then demanded 10 ruppees (.25 cents). I told him "YOU IDIOT, YOU TOOK ME IN A DAMN CIRCLE." His response: "10 ruppees, no english." After 3 other Indian's got involved, I apparently gave the man 10 ruppees, dropped my head and sighed. " (Definition of Rickshaw: a 3-wheeled suicidal car which can out-manuever buses, cars, and mopeds. The tradeoff.. if you get in crash you will promptly and swiftly die, sry mom).
Tonight at 4am I head to Kerala by train. A.. nother... beach resort. Although this one is not to be missed because of the highly touted 'backwaters.' We shall see.