zante zakynthos 3: xigia beach, windmill, lighthouse , volimes , alykes , zakynthos town, taverna tsikoydia, after

rented a 125cc moped today , 20Euro a day . you can get a beaten 50cc for 15Euro or a 50cc , 125cc or 185cc quad for about 20/25/30Euro a day respectively. Our bike was new and mint condition and had a top box at the back which was handy for beach gear or helmet storeage. petrol was about 140Euro a litre . helmets compulsory but you can get away with no helmet in the quieter mountain and remoter backroads areas . laganas no chance theres cops everywhere there but none anywhere else .


We headed out to xigia beach which is a tiny bright blue sulphur and collagen laden bay you can swim in . or spa ! the water in this cove was the coldest by far of any beach . its a decent walk down steps and a steepish hill to the beach for 5 mins or so . theres a cafe at the top .

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note to girls you might want to remove your jewellery before going in . platinum and white gold goes dirty coppery coloured for a couple of days and i hadnt seen that mentioned anywhere before . stunning bay , aqua blue water on blackened rock face and sand and mostly pebbly beach . definite must do .

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space is a real premium here in august peak season 1pm . a daytripper boat even dropped anchor in the bay for 10 minutes with 50 bodies overboard into the water . its a great view as you leave too from the cliffs if heading further north


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on the northern most tip of the island is a lighthouse and windmill ,  driving along the coastal road with some spectacular views , cliffs , twisting and turning roads , tasty stone houses , a spa , and several other small beaches mostly offering the same boat trip you get everywhere … shipwreck , blue caves , sulphur beach etc . the roads are really quiet up north even considering its peak week and riding was brilliant and kept getting better in subsequent days wich i will blog soon . if you enjoy riding zante has some of the best roads ive driven for mountain harpins with views .

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then we went right up over the mountain tops to a sleepy , almost deserted town called volimes . as we crossed the mountains we drove thru the cold clouds as we hit the peak . they cooled you down nicely and it was badly needed at 37* in the shade .


its really unpoiled up in volimes with its tiny streets complete with a few stall sellers with olive oil and honey etc . we stopped for lunch , greek salad , gyro , courgettes,  aubergines , bread . very local and authentic with a warm welcome .we sat next to some of ther organic produce like tomatos melons etc , with a view opposite of the local blanket seller .

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DSC00634 DSC00638 DSC00633 DSC00642 DSC00643 as we left he insisted we take this . ive no idea what exactly it was – english was limited and my greek is non existent . a herb i guess . put it in the bikes box for good luck 😉 two other couples eating also got a piece each .


we did the same route home in reverse , back over the mountains passing so many random things such as abandoned cars and buildings , a ‘trip’ of goats about 50 strong mostly with bells on – an cool audible experience as we switched off the engine and they walked alongside us cutting into the mountain thru gaps in the fence . we freewheeled down the mountain for ages with the bike engine off and the brakes struggling to slow us at times lol .


arriving at alykes beach for a couple of hours , the days are so long and the sun still roasting even till 7 and 8 oclock . quite a few poeple arrive at the beaches at 6pm when its cooler .

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total journey was about 15oklm . heres a basic route .

d3 map

while we have the bike we went into zaynthos town for the evening . we are just off the main square at the end of the port .



i had dried out lamb kleftiko , really average tourist muck , just this side of edible and cooked with no love from taverna tsikoydia . the mrs had gigantes beans which were tasteless and more oil than tomato , she sent it back it was rank . she only ordered it cos their street tout said yes we have vegan briam come in but the chef/waiter said we dont have it but we had already sat down and ordered drinks . wish we had left !!! the bread starter had tastless red puree stuff on probably derived from a tomato plant i guess . one millenium ago . we nicknamed taverna tsikoydia ‘sik taverna’ .

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after this the mrs was starving and needed something quick so she got a veggie burger from after on the harbour side , and we sank some mythos into the small hours . great day ! tons more to come , check back to this blog …


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yamas [cheers!]

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zante zakynthos 2: tsilivi beach zante, aris restaurant, taverna paradisos, two brothers mojito barracuda

first proper full day after travelling so we spent it on tsilivi beach getting some colour in us ! walked to the far end for a beer and snacks in “taverna paradisos” as it looked more local cuisine than the fast food joints next door . had some lovely skordalia [a potato and garlic based dip] with fresh bread . the tavena sits almost in the ocean and gets pretty busy . all the food looked excellent .

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next door are three party type beach bars / restaurants : barracuda , mojito and mango . relax is a small taverna further along .

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and along further to the quiet middle section of the beach. beach was pretty busy first week of august as you can imagine , so it was so good there is also an undeveloped section that is still relatively unspoilt .

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that evening we looked for some greek but to incl something for vegan too . first we grabbed a cocktail in a random place called two brothers which was pretty decent too

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while drinking we noticed next door had possibly the only sign in tsilivi saying vegetarian specials . its called “aris” and ended up being superb with great service and easily the nicest freshest homemade brown bread mini rolls all holiday . they came served with tzatziki . nom nom !DSC00579



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so 1 meat and 1 vegan [kleftiko and briam , cant remember now] . then desert to follow called Loukoumades (λουκουμάδες) . its similar to doughnuts or profiteroles , loukoumades are essentially fried balls of dough drenched in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon and crushed walnuts . OOSH !

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easy to find this place its opposite asian feast and next to two brothers bar


nearby is a quad bike track for toddlers, was funny watching the tots go ! also there was a equally small kitten nearby in the huge gravel fenced parking lot of rental place crying on its own . we bought some whiskas pouches and fed it and grabbed a bowl of water . it was too scared to come to us but really wolfed the food . we hoped its mother was nearby and after 30 minutes or so had to leave it . was so small , about 6 weeks . its a daily thing for us feeding various kittens and cats in greece .

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here is a video shot on tsilivi beach showing what youd expect to see first week of august 2016

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zante zakynthos 1: tsilivi , popeye’s , trenta nove , seacret , a319 airbus

flew into zante on an a319 , croatian islands and greek islands looked great , here is corfu and zante zakynthos D.Solonos airport arrival

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got to tom & john appartments , everything you need . booked it mostly for location to beach . £60 pn with the air con supplement



the beach is behind this end room


had some drinks at “seacret” , really nice place right in the middle of tsilivi bay

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later on did food at trenta nove , ok sandwhich , but lousy jacket and dry beans with no sauce !

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back to have a swim on our pool. it was after 5 so we ‘made some noise [lol]’ and picked some limes off the tree and had proper margaritas [not the box juice they intended on using!] .

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and then did dinenr at popeye’s where the lamb kleftiko was the best i had all holiday

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2016 – d13 – go with the flow , turtles , flor do mar , pastry palace, truck crushes cat nitemare

the anjuna fountain/lake

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groundhog day at the hospital nearst anthonys hospital … hardly a holiday ! anyway shes looking a bit better anyway from the drips . been doing lots of tests on her , the hospital has been great actually . and considering she has had about 10 nurses , several doctors , private room with sat tv etc and all the meds etc its peanuts really . its by anjuna/vagator petrol pump .

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needed a break so said to the mrs im off to morjim to see if i can do or organise a hot air baloon ride . not for her that , so thought i might as well do my best to kill myself and have a bed next to her in hospital as we hit powerlines or crash land lol . i know they launch one place in north goa on the chapora river at morjim , and one in south goa as it said on the website . set off on the bike and couldnt help stopping at the long established in goa “pastry palace” at morjim x-roads on the way . pastries and cakes just so good … AND CLEAN [very important right now haha] . hygiene rating definitely a 10 😉

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and down the side of the chapora river passed flor do mar . was going to do this place this year but illness has kinda changed plans a bit .


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and onto morjim beach . one of our best times last in goa was definitely further along the coast releasing the turtles with the local authorities and celebs , so called into the turtle conservation place to see how they where doing this year . they had one of the turtles that had been killed , i guess in formaldehyde . didnt look fully grown tho . poor thing , but it was reasurring to see a few had nested and laid their eggs again up here , however they are sadly so few and far between nowadays in goa .

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looked all over for the hot air baloon place to no avail – they just dont set sail here according to the locals . another amazing piece of organisation from goa tourist board . pathetic really ! later back at the hospital i managed to blag the doctors to let me mrs out of a couple of hours so we could eat . did shamba last night for amazing food , so sticking with the same standard it was go with the flow .

on the way there on the bike we where behind a truck and it was horrific – we saw a cat run over by the truck on front of us . first it was the screams then we saw the poor thing come from under the wheels . i will spare the gory details as it still haunts me to this day , but we had to pull over for a while , it was soul destroying for us both . the mrs was in tears just coming out of hospital and seeing that it just couldnt get any worse . we are both huge cat nut jobs so tonite we hit rock bottom . i went back on my own leaving the mrs for a minute  to try and help the cat [or what was left of it] with some locals . poor soul , so unfair on the animals out here some of them dont half have a hard life . after about 20 minutes we carried on to GWTF . they used to be in anjuna , but moved to baga . the food here is amazing fine dining but it was difficult to enjoy it . . on arrival had to have a ret outside for 15 mins before going in , then i ordered a drink straight away . zero appetite after seeing that, we left it about 40 minutes before ordering food . over dinner we decided for the good of us both we need to leave north goa ASAP , we where on a bad roll , so weve decided to head to south goa for a totally clean start , earlier than we had anticipated and for the remainder of our holiday rather than just 5 days break . go with the flow , really was good service , restaurant and food  . dont know which id prefer , here or shamba last night . both excellent .

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only just realised looking back at that bill , they didnt charge us for starters . excellent food , take a visit , its now the #1 place on tripadvisor too .

heres a video of the anjuna lake fountain , driving thru morjim along the chapora river , a walk out onto morjim beach etc up to siolim fish market junction .


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2016 – d12 – typhoid / hospital, shamba restaurant anjuna fine dining – amazing ! tuk tuk

Tue 9 – day 12

Well hampi was a paid up non starter, mrs has been unwell on various pills and antibiotics for 8 days but things have really kicked off to another level , burning up on belly and head, seriously violent d&v, dehydration, fatigue and cramps. Doctor came out and immediately called a taxi … urrently in hospital on a drip with typhoid !! She hasnt eaten for 3 days and cant keep even fluid down. Her blood pressure was 83-53. So many people in anjuna are ill, literally everyone knows numerous casualties and the docs is packed out. One woman drove in with her daughter draped over the back of a bike while mrs robster was puking down the side of the docs. Take extra precautions out here its nasty.


often seen … never used . the old taxi meter !!!


I said last time im done with the filthy hygene out here , mrs really wanted to go back here whereas i was planning for cambodia or phillipines. She feels same now lying in hospital. Never have i had d&v every single time anywhere else in the world but Goa. We have a clean hotel, use alcohol gel, dont put hands in mouth, keep mouth shut in shower, shes vegan im often no meat and trying to avoid local chicken. I dont eat in shacks anymore and often go without food all afternoon, and after my day2 illness after a curry id given up eating indian food. It just isnt a holiday eating grilled corn, shakes and porridge etc anymore,  as nice as they are you get bored… enoughs enough now.. Been here 12 days and had one night out where we where both sort of ok ish. Ive only had several kingfishers and cocktails in 12 days. Pretty much zero clubbing. Goa pushes you to the limits of endurance at times 😉

tuk tuk for one back to hotel …

Onwards and upwards … so after spending 2 hours at the doctors then 7 hours in the hospital i left the wife eating her allowed 1 slice of dry toast to do some fine dining [i know,  no shame haha!]. Shamba in anjuna is somewhere ive really been waiting to try out. They dont do that much vegan aimed dishes so while we have a “man down” i thought id visit here lol. Great service,  cool music, interesting menu and premium pricing. It was pork 3 ways but with mash as opposed the butterbean puree. 600r is the price, with 100 for the kingfisher ultra.

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Complimentary bread was served, fresh butter and true home baked bread which you can tell a mile away from the texture of it. Pork was delish and melted in my mouth. Its fine dining style so if you are coming to fill your greedy boots it isnt going to happen but the portions where perfect for me. The stuffed croquette was excellent too. The chef and head waiter both came to check everything was good. Went for the passion fruit desert to finish the evening [passion fruit seeds , meringue , ice cream , fruit sauce] . I felt really guilty eating such a meal with the wife laid up !!

Honestly without a shadow of a doubt knowhere in anjuna comes close to this place and ive done them all. All hail shamba the new king of anjuna. And disease free food too 😉

menu :

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and then back to the hospital past anjuna water fountain lake to see the wife and tell her how delicious my amazing meal was . poor thing !!!


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2016 – d11 – disco valley anjuna, jamies baga, samosa shacks sunsets & street stalls

Mon 8 – day 11

Rose garden anjuna for breakfast consisted of unripened hard avocado,  and a goan favourite – uncooked porridge (oats and hot milk). Clean and nice here but you really have to question a chefs ability if they cant cook porridge 🙂 and white toast , toasted for 7 seconds , another goan classic!

Spent the day at disco valley shack vagator. Surprisingly clean with smell free toilets ,  mirrors and soap. Shakes teas juices…but with all the illnesses around weve given up chancing food in these shacks.  Heres their menu

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and their location at the end of little vagator beach , where out of state manual workes kids played on the volcanic rocks on the beach

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disco valley live cam stream

9bar has sprung into life for a sunset sessions, westbam ‘hold me back’ is a classic and booms down to the beach from their elevated position high on the cliff. Not heard music like this from there before,  really retro circa 89-90 era belgian nu beat stuff

Mrs got a henna tattoo on the beach with the proper henna , a girl was offering 100 for a leg piece so she couldnt say no. She followed that up at asnath massage centre , still the best around at the top of little vagator cliffs . As we left the sun was setting beautifully at sunset point vagator on the cliffs ,where the car park and a row of small shops are .

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just further laong there is a small street food place that always has its local fans . i got some samosas and aloo buns but it was a bit much for the mrs dodgy stomach ! a huge pig was circling looking for the scraps from the food stall .


Went to shamba last night but it was too late they where closing. Just been checking the menu for tonight and its not brilliant for veggie [mushrooms and goats cheese] . Plus shes vegan anyway and hates mushrooms. Really wanted to try this place too….oh well so we went to baba au rhum instead half a mile further on, again wasnt really anything for her .


so we carried on a mile or two more and into baga to jamies . got to admit was a bit sceptical about the sausages , looked undercooked . pleased to say there where no repercussions from it tho from me . mrs got a plain pasta tho she really has no appetite . good service as usual here , and the place was packed out with brits , not a seat to be had . couldnt help thinking of the pig earlier as i chowed down on the sausages either !!

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canoes on the talipona river !!


heres a 45 minute video of our adventure with 3 canoes down the talipona river


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2016 – d10 – elephant bar anjuna beach , all went a bit nuts on cocktails !

went to anjuna beach today

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heres their menu , its in the old xtreme sports bar in the middle of anjuna beach

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next door are cafe lilleput and sea horse shacks

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got pretty leathered on cocktails today lol , strawberry margaritaP1080007

this mojito is looking pretty consumed


pina colada


long island ice tea


dont know what these where ….



sat back , enjoyed the anjuna beach entertainment , pool , music , sellers , ate some snacks till the sun fell into the ocean ….


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2016 – d9 – anjuna beach , roma italian chapora , international animal rescue .

Really hazy horizon every day so far. Only had one clear sunset which was arambol. On anjuna beach, gone to busiest part in the middle. Its all out attack of the beach sellers today … bracelet no, hard skin no,  massage no, tattoo no, bongo no, fruit no, ice cream no , manicure no, henna no, threading no, soap ear no, fridge magnets no, selfie sticks go and die …… and just when you think youve seen off the incoming attacks from most sellers on this patch along comes a dog to pi55 on the back of your sunbed haha. … the wife chasing a rottweiller is always a laugh 🙂



Making a dirty place worse…. When your sitting on the beach watching a 50 something couple [who really should know better] just chucking their fags ends onto the sand. will probably pass thru untold dolphins fish and turtles over the next 25 years while it decomposes , and each butt adds 160 chemicals to our waters incl arsenic , lead and formaldehyde …  Dirty bstrds . However its good to see goa tourism employing teams of girls to pick up tourists rubbish off the beaches. God they dont half work hard in that heat too. I bet they earn no more than 100r a day. Said thanks to them for their hard work while we sat at elephant bar .


Another team that works hard is “international animal rescue” who devote their time to care for the street animals in goa to . always a worthwhile donation . you can do this from your home to the charity , you dont have to be in goa . this one wears its IAR tag .


Evenung meal did roma chapora again .Im so over being sick in goa and have given up eating curries or in local shacks with filthy hygeine . its veg ,  dont eat and stay hungry ,  or double safe places only now . So returned to Roma [opposite sakana] …  plain pizza for the sick wife whos still so ill , and pork chops and rosemary potatoes for me ….  like a true brit lol , chops chops chops ! didnt really rate them , it was mostly bone and fat. 400 for chops and salad , plus potatoes extra. just isnt right not having indian .



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2016 – d8 – little vagator, chapora fort sunset point, lucky shack, oltre marino, burger factory

Hung out down oltre marino little vagator. A couple of people from belgium had to ask at least 5 diff waiters for ‘grilled vegetables’ from their menu , it went on for over 20 minutes !  ‘Plate of grilled veg , nothing else’ was repeated several times to each waiter when they where asked for their order. It was a comedy act , each one apparently leaving with the order to send a new waiter out to ask another 10 times , all of us where in stitches on the beach . Some of the waiters are absolutely thick as 2 short planks, they ruin places repuations at times.

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Another example : we ordered 2 pinneapple strawberry avocado shakes at oltre marino . Instead of saying we have dont have that one , they used pinneapple , but skipped the avocado , and added some strawberry syrup and expected everything would be ok and we wouldnt notice ! This is a premium place taking the pi55 cos the italian owners arent in today .

My mate the donut seller is doing his usual deals on ozran/little vagator beach. He struck gold just now . On his return from his beach sweep along the bay he had 12 unsold donuts. I chased him and took one , and while buying a young russian girl ran up and said she wanted 11! A salesmans dream,  he sold the lot in one go striking gold. Loved seeing his pure joy when he thought he would have 12 unsold ones . He left extremely happy ! his donuts are jam or chocolate , and so fresh . 40 or 50 i think he charges , probably makes 20r a donut or something . this is him last time didnt get  apic this year but he always carries the same tray and same type of clothes , shirt n pants .


Antares , the new shack on little vagator beach that got built closed season has some cool grooves playing , but only 2 clients in the whole place again , empty every day . the reason is prices in here … the menu has 250r blue ribband gin shots which are 6r cost in the supermarket , probably 3r wholesale . some mark up ! ive seen their facebook page and it is solely aimed at the mumbai princess crowd with their sunday buffet at 1500 a head . buffet food sucks its the easiest way to get sick eating food thats cold and has had flies on . just dont get this place . want to use this place but refuse to on principle ! i can buy that bottle of gin for 170r for 750ml . they want 250r for 30 ml !!!!  just NO


We left oltremarino for a walk , and on the way back opted for lucky shack for afternoon tea 🙂

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After the beach we headed to Chapora fort for sunset,  god this place is a magnet for the indian tourist now. Must have been easily over a hundred people,  usually lucky if theres 5 in previous years . along with all this development and influx of domestic tourist theres the usual drinks food stalls … plus a random hat stall ? Just weird . Give em an inch theyll build a shop… With increased visitors to chapora brings more filthy littering out of state idiots … shame all these out of state tourists dump so much rubbish all over the fort and smash all their beer bottles by the hundreds , theres glass literally everywhere . Dirty bstrds

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after you have walked up the hill to get to the fort youre rewarded with fantastic views both north and south , plus inland towards mapusa and the ghats , and west towards the sunset over the arabian sea . search ‘chapora fort’ on right hand side box of this blog , youll see more entries with videos showing more details of what you can see [anjuna , vagator , morjim , ashvem , chapora river etc …

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this is where vagator friday night market is held , near thalassa vagator


and this is the new building W HOTEL , at the bottom of chapora fort . at the base of the entrance road they have built an enormous white modern structure , its huge !!!  In chapora?  seems weird , almost out of place located in what we call ‘skid row’ AKA chapora . if you hang down chapora town centre its all bikers , pot heads , travellers , etc etc , the most low budget scruffy grunge town in goa by far . i like it here for an hour or two , but its totally opposite to this modern swanky posh place . it has a large circular drive up to the roof level , and huge wooden framed roof canopy almost like a helipad , with pure white walls.  its not far from being complete and open asap .

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The mrs is feeling really sick today , getting worse day by day , something seems wrong despite taking 6 days of meds now . so it was takeaway for one at burger factory anjuna for a burger [sorry cows!] . they do a few killer veggie ones the mrs would have loved to try again [bean corn , spinach mushroom , another one cant remember] . they make them fresh so you can have whatever in the patttie . plus loads of meat varieties for us carnivores . absolutely massive things . i had bbq beef bacon cheese . nice seeing these guys go from a tiny hole in the wall a few years back to a cool little arty joint with a fab chandelier made out of jars [see it to marvel at its effective simplicity] . the front of a push bike has been recycled into a wall light . such clean fresh tasty burgers and get my vote every time . i know this tan calf ive bonded with on little vagator will smell death on me tomorrow when i see it ! sorry cows ;-(

bf anjuna bf2 bf3


chapora fort video link :


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