I got up early so I'd have time to pack and have breakfast. I also read for awhile. Then when I checked out it took a lot longer that I thought it would to pay - it took me a minute to add up everything on my bill - it took them close to half an hour. By the time I'd finally paid I decided that I was running a little too short on time to risk the bus so I decide to take a rickshaw - that should get me a 20 minute margin again. I had a little trouble negotiating for a rickshaw (why is it they're never around when you want one?), but finally I got one for a good price - but when I get to it I find out it's shared. I decided I didn't have the time to go find another one. It was actually fairly quick with only a couple drop offs, but then we got stuck behind a large truck carrying pipe section - we can't pass - and when the truck met a bus going the other direction the road wasn't wide enough. Both vehicles refused to back up and within a few minutes there was a log jam of vehicles trying to get through - but there wasn't enough room for a even a person to squeeze through! It takes us about fifteen minutes but we finally got turned around and was able to go around some buildings through someone's yard. When I finally got to the train station I had two minutes until my train's scheduled departure - of course it's not even there yet. Within ten minutes I was on my way.
It was a long train ride. The highlight was coming out of the mountains about half way between Londa and Margao. I scored a seat in the open doorway and watched the scenery go by as it got dark. There were tons of rocky tunnels (always a surprise when I was sitting there and all of a side there would be a dark wall a few feet in front of my face!) and even a decent sized waterfall (Dudhsagar Waterfalls). We got in to Margoa about 8:30 and I instantly hated it - The hassles of people trying to get you to ride on their motorbike or rickshaw was unbearable and I quickly got pissed off and determined to walk. When I got to the end of the train station road I couldn't make any sense of the guide book and there was no town in site so I didn't even know which way to walk. So I gave up and go back to the station, but there was o way I was going with one of the sharks so hired a government long distance taxi straight to Palolem Beach - where I was going to head to in the morning, about 40 kilometers away. The driver stopped and picked up someone - I assumed a friend who was freeloading a ride - but I didn't let it annoy me. The drive was only an hour, but it seemed much longer as the driver was terrible and we had many near collisions. Finally a little before eleven we get to Palolem. The first place I went to the passenger got out also and followed me I felt it was too expensive - nearly four time what I paid in Kovalam for a dirty hut and shared toilet - basically the same refugee accommodation I got in the Andaman's except at city hotel prices. I headed off down the beach to see what else I could find - I didn't see the other guy follow me. The next place was cheaper and a little cleaner, but still more than Kovalam. I took the hut for the night figuring I'd find something better in the morning. I headed for the restaurant on the beach for a well needed beer and a light snack. While there the guy who checked me in came up and asked me why I didn't tell him my driver had brought me?!? It turns out the passenger who had followed me to the first place came to the second and demanded his commission - even though he had just freeloaded a ride with me! They gave it to him, then asked me - oops, but not my problem - it also explains why the first place was asking so much more. I got back to my room a little after midnight and crashed hard - at least it's a lot cooler here.