Jan 31st 2011

Palatania was awful!, lousy hotels and even worse cafe’s, good thing I adapted to survive on cookies and ice cream! However the hill or mountain above the town “Shatrunjaya Hill” has over 186 Jain temples and some of the most intricate rock carving in India. Simply a beautiful experience to climb the 3,200 steps up through the rising sun with hundreds of Jain pilgrims and explore the many temples. Red sandstone, white marble glow in the early morning light, intricate carvings of gods, ghouls and angels illustrate the history of the Jain beliefs. Today just like hundreds of years ago the Jain devotees come to pray and then return down 600m and the 3,200 steps at sunset leaving the gods on the hill to complete solitude until the next sunrise.
We had planned to catch the 1.30pm bus out of Paliatana but did not get down until gone 3.30pm for photographic reasons. Another night in paradise without food or sleep! Next day we made an abortive attempt to enter the Alang breakers yards some 2 hrs away, but were threatened (very politely) with 6mths in prison for entering the yard we left after a yummy meal at a roadside cafe. Caught the bus to Diu, 6hrs of very bumpy road!, a lovely deep red sunset hung over the west and had set by the time we arrived tired and hungry at an old church converted to a hostel. We dropped our bags in a room barely large enough for the bed, In the garden an all you can eat BBQ of fish and various vegies was in full swing. Spent the next few hours eating and chatting around the fire with fellow travellers. (including John & Kirstin from our Bundi xmas).
Diu is a lovely quiet ex Portuguese island only after the Indian air force bombed the airport in 1967 did the invaders take a hint and hand it back to India, today it retains much of the Portuguese buildings and laid back attitude and unlike the rest of India it really is quiet! Its so quiet we often wonder where everyone is? After a lazy 1st day spent eating fish and chips and changing to a large sunny room we woke early on the second day, had breaky in a sunny garden cafe rented a moped and drove along the coast stoping at seashore temples and many beaches. had a swim at one particularly empty beach where we could see at least a mile in each direction and for the most part were alone. Just before sunset we found a small fishing village where the last rays of the sun were shining on over 20 large (50ft) offshore wooden fishing boats in various states of construction, workers wielded huge hammers pounding in 8 inch nails to secure the planking, huge piles of massive planked wood lay everywhere. Children, dogs, rum bottles and an awesome sunset through the palm trees all led to an unforgettable scene. Zipped back in the dusk to our fav cafe for Fresh tuna steak and chips $2.00, its going to be hard to ever leave Diu…

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2 thoughts on “Jan 31st 2011

  1. Hi Matt and Mary:

    The description is awesome. We will have to wait until you guys get home to see the pictures.

    Too bad about the Breaker yards. I have seen some pictures in the National Geographic magazine a few years back but I guess the locals do not like the bad press they have been getting.

    I am glad to hear that you now have place where you can actually eat food. Maria would be interested in that old Portuguese colony where you are/were staying. The beaches sound unbelievable… Any surfing?

    Regards
    Jim

  2. I love that you guys are reporting regularly now! It all sounds so interesting. I feel like I’m coming down with the travel bug and I’m afraid that once i finish high school I’m going to leave and never come back. So much for post-secondary. Oh well, for now things are good here, keep writing and posting photos and please, please don’t stay away too long.
    xoxo Maggie

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