Riding a burning bus to Goa


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After getting our tourist ticket application denied, we had no other option than to take the bus to Goa. This was something we had wanted to omit, because according to the Rough Guide to India “The Mumbai-Goa bus journey ranks among the very worst in India. Don’t believe travel agents who assure you it takes thirteen hours. Depending on the type of bus you get, appalling road surfaces along the sinuous coastal route make sixteen to eighteen hours a more realistic estimate.”

This was a mild description of what we would soon experience. The bus was overfilled with noisy travellers, the beds were claustrophobic, with neither space for feet nor luggage, the roads were bumpy and the bus driver was honking like a maniac. To top it all, the bus caught fire after just a few hours of driving, and all the passengers had to be evacuated in the middle of the night, and wait in the wilderness until further instructions were given. It took as much as seven hours before a new bus arrived, and we were relieved to finally be on our way again. When we finally arrived in Goa,we asked the first rickshaw (indian three wheel taxi) driver we found to take us to a clean guesthouse. The driver had some neighbors in his small fisherman village who had some apartments for rent, and we decided to go and check it out. The apartment exceeded all our expectations, as it was just perfect, after 25 hours of torture on the dirty, run down bus. This was a place far better than we had imagined to find, and would soon be our home for the next weeks.

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Our replacement bus was much more new and spacious


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