Even if we love to travel in India , we must recognize that it is not always easy. Noise and this kind of permanent chaos have a certain side that can fascinate, but that can also be used. In the suggestions of destinations to disconnect a little, we count Dharamsala (Mac Leod Ganj), Manali, Goa and so on. While calm is at the rendezvous, but very often, I feel a little next to my pumps. These destinations have a hype, cool side that tends to annoy me somewhat. In the small island kind rather relaxed that does not fart, the island of Diu , south of Gujarat has some assets, not least.
the island of Diu
After my heroic climb of the 7000 Girnar Hill (yes yes, just that), I planned to go listen to purring the lions of the Sasan Gir National Park. Except that what was initially a cold is turning into bronchitis. I’ve been feverish for five days and the Coue method does not do anything, I start coughing like in a barrel. The time seems to have come for me to be treated and to rest a little. So I leave the hubbub of Junagadh aboard a direct bus to Diu.
Once I arrived, in order to flatter the gods, a detail that is important in India, I decided to stay on the roof of a church. Yes, you read correctly, a church. Until 1961, Diu was a Portuguese colony, this explains that. And on the roof of St. Thomas Church (converted into Diu Museum), there is a small pension, the Sao Tome Retiro Hotel. The rooms, made of four boards on the roof, are tired to say the least, but the view is unbeatable , exactly what I need.
So it was a bronchitis
My first mission once put my backpack is to find a doctor. They send me to Diu Hospital for that. The hospital is also in an old church (on the right in the previous picture). Obviously, a hospital in India, one imagines immediately a kind of course of miracles . A crowded place with stretchers everywhere combined with administrative chaos in which it will still have to find its way, learn the instructions. In short, the guarantee to spend the whole day.
Except that no, in India, everything is possible 1 in India, everything is possible and in the space of half an hour, I follow up on a consultation, a blood test for a determination of white and red blood cells, a test of malaria, reconsultation and a visit to the pharmacy of the hospital. Thirty minutes , not one more, and all without paying a kopeck ! In Diu, the public hospital is free, being a foreigner does not change anything. And as expected, my bronchi therefore host some Indian hosts who have a little typed the incrust without knocking on the door. So I have bronchitis.
But Diu is not India, and to read the testimony of Aurélie, the course of the combatant to which she was entitled by accompanying as a nurse a patient with cancer in Auroville gives a completely different sound. Bell. Obviously, the pathologies are nothing like, we will not compare a bronchitis with cancer, but it does not prevent, the hospital of Auroville seems quite far from that of Diu. We probably do not treat Diu such serious pathologies, nothing high-tech here, the hospital looks pretty rustic, but everything seems more functional. So you’ll understand, for bronchitis, I recommend Diu!
The city of Diu
Fortunately, Diu is not just a hospital. The island may be separated from the mainland only by a bridge of a mile, it is another world . We forget the streets where we have to check three times if crossing is a reasonable choice. Here, we can walk in the middle of the streets. There is virtually no traffic, no horn, no quibbling, we think dream.
In fact, only two indices confirm that we are still in India:
- We always dodeline of the head.
- There are cows in the streets.
The Portuguese past of the island offers to see some churches and a fort. Diu being an island, there are also some beaches, but sincerely, do not expect mountains and wonders. The sea is not blue turquoise and all beaches are not necessarily the cleanest. It does not prevent some tourists, some Westerners and many Indians, from coming here for the beach. But the beach is not my thing.
The fishing village of Vanakbara
For me, the highlight of the show on the island of Diu, will be my visit to the fishing village of Vanakbara . Vanakbara is located at the western end of the island, 18 km from the city of Diu. As traffic is virtually non-existent on the island, a bike rented to Diu will be my traveling companion. Of course, the bike is rotten and too small for me, but the ground is quite flat, so it will do the trick. Following the south coast of the island, a succession of beaches leads to Vanakbara.
Arrived on site, the port is actually much bigger than I had anticipated. There are boats by the dozens. At the beginning of the afternoon, the activity is not at its strongest, because the return of fishing is rather early in the morning. But the boats are repaired there, the nets are untangled and the fish are packaged with large loaves of ice. Obviously, as always in India, as soon as I leave my camera, some onlookers land for the pose. I’m still waiting to find the rare beast, an Indian who does not like pictures!
Back home, surprise, my bike all rotten turns into a rotten and rotten bike . Normally, in India, you find a bicycle repairman on every street corner, except that obviously there is none. The onlookers with whom I inquire, walk around Vanakbara. Obviously, they either do not know. In India, more often than not, when you ask for a direction, even if you do not know where it is not daring to tell you. Instead, we send you a little anywhere. But very quickly, you understand that a nonchalant response accompanied by a wave “it is there” means in fact “but I have no idea my friend . “
After a few “it’s over there” , icing on the cake, a young person questions me with regard to my problem. Obviously, he speaks very little English. So I show him the rear wheel of my bike and tell him “puncture” 2 punctured in English , to which he answers me “your name, puncture?” 3 is your name exhausted? . Here you are, as everywhere in India, young people here ask you your name at every street corner, so inevitably, it could not be anything else!
Your name, puncture?
Result of the races, 18 terminals to walk back to Diu, bof bof. The vehicles likely to charge me with my bike do not run the streets either, my choice is made, I come pedaling at reduced speed on my bike flat. From time to time, passers-by point out to me that my rear wheel is punctured, and there, I make my Indian , the one who did not understand. You know, the one who sends you to the right when he does not know where you want to go!
Arrived in town, I walk next to the bike for the last kilometer. As expected, the rear tire is a little gray mine, except that I did not even realize (yes, that’s true)! The bike rental and at first rather sorry for my puncture. But after falling on the notch in the tire, he is a little less sorry and a little more upset . Quite stupidly, I make the offended who does not understand why the tire is like that. Yes, I know, it’s completely silly of me. I could go out as an excuse that having to get used to parry a little bit of everything and anything, we crash sometimes, but the excuse is very thin.
He finally announces me that I will have to pay him a new tire, 150 Rs 4 2 € . I finally obey, but not without some shrugs. Here you are, as long as you’re stupid, you’re so far to the end. The honor is safe, I paid my due, namely a tire, but why this skit from me? Frankly, I do not know! It’s a bit nil, yes, I know