Today I spent the morning at the Mapusa Market doing a photography tour, the afternoon wandering around Calungute doing some last minute shopping, last drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe with Anita and Geoffrey, and then off to the airport to go home.
One of the highlights of this trip has been the photography tour I booked with Francisco de Souza. I was lucky enough to be able to book a one-on-one private tour for approx $AU75 which meant that I had a full three hours to wander the Mapusa Market with Francisco. We spent half an hour chatting and I was taught some handy photography tips before we ventured over to the bus station, and then through the market. It was a great experience, not just for the fun (and maybe even good) photographs I was able to take, but also for learning how to approach people to ask their permission to take a photo of them and what to do once you've taken the photo. Not only is Francisco a great photographer, but he is a man with a very kind heart - something that was very evident in his interactions with the many people we spoke to in and around the market. I would definitely recommend booking a tour with Francisco to anyone planning a visit to Goa.
After the tour was done, I caught a taxi back to Calungute and spent the afternoon wandering the streets and doing some last minute shopping. The majority of the shops in the area are selling clothes, jewellery, spices, tattoos (yes, there were a lot of tattoo parlours there), and handicrafts. I picked up four paintings from Babaji fine art gallery and am looking forward to having them properly framed and up in my house soon.
Whist wandering the streets, I ran into Anita and Geoffrey and we headed for the Hard Rock Cafe and were able to confirm for ourselves the positive feedback we had heard from others about it. One last drink together, and then we went back to our hotels to get organized to go home.
Our driver arrived early and we headed off to the airport at 8pm. Unfortunately, not all of our bags would fit in the car, so Anita's had to go on top - a little bit of rope to tie it down and all was well, it made it over all of the speed humps and stop starts along the way (much to her relief). Our flight to KL was easy and I slept almost all of the way. The flight from KL to Melbourne was not so great, I was sick and the last three hours felt as long as the first six. I was very happy to land on solid ground, get through customs and get in my car and drive home.
I had an amazing time in Goa and would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't been before.