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<font color='#FF0000'>Hiya

I've decided in my infinate wisdom to go on a walkabout around Southern India. My very vague plan at the moment is to land in Goa and head down coast towards Sri Lanka, I had thought about the cities but I hate cities and I love the sea so the sea it is.  If anyone has any tips or advice on traveling independently and of course the quality of the diving out there and what the dive gear is like (I'm backpacking so I really don't want to be lugging my dive gear around), so if you've had experience please share it with me

cheers

Tracey
 

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According to what I've heard, the curents can be very strong in Sri Lanka. I suspect the diving is pretty mediocre. If it were really good, everybody would be going there, 'cos it's a lot cheaper than nearby (relatively speaking) Maldives. The only place I've dived in India is on the other side, the Andamans, and the diving there was very disappointing.
 

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Two general travel tips that may help you in India...  

The first is if you get diarrhoea (very liekly in India), the best thing to do is NOT take Immodium or other things that bung you up.  Don't eat for at least 24 hours and drink lots of water.  Not eating will stop the diarrhoea (noting in, nothing out) and will make it go away much faster.  Your digestive system is trying to flush something bad out and you shouldn't stop it with Immodium.  Personal experience shows it works very effectively

Second is rehydration - parts of India are hotter than hell and you can get dehydrated very quickly making you feel really crap.  Don't bother with rehydration salts, you can sort it yourself with a rehydration spoon you can get from any good camping shop.  It has two different sized indents, one to measure salt and the other the measure sugar.  One scoop of each into a cup of water and you're sorted.  If you don't have salt or sugar to hand (I had a little bag of each just in case), try a cup of really sweet tea and a really salty biscuit.  Again, personal experience.

If you want more good tips, I always found the forum on lonleyplanet.com (called the thorntree) a really good source of travel advice

Enjoy
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>To everyone above.

Thank you for all your advice, bit peed about the diving though, thought maybe there would be some good diving to be had off Goa, still never mind at least I won't have my regular tantrum on my first dive back at Stoney after diving abroad.  Thanks for the travel tips ahar I agree with you it's better out than in I always take a good book for those hours wasted on the loo. What was your impression of India, did you enjoy yourself, I don't like the package holiday scenrio and like to make my own way around the world, is it a friendly place and in your opinion would it be fairly safe for two girlies travelling out there (Jamaica was a nightmare and I have never felt so unsafe in all my life but I think that is down to the reputation that English women have out there), I travelled all over Egypt on public transport a couple of years ago and had no problems at all I am hoping India will be the same.

Thanks once again for the replies

Tracey
 

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<font color='#000080'>I've been to Goa a couple of times and have dived there with Barracuda Diving.  Excellent outfit and well cared for equipment.  It is run and owned by Venkat & Karen both Padi Staff Instructors.  I cannot speak too highly of them.  I would be very careful though - some other centres are not nearly so careful and their equipment leaves a lot to be desired.  Barracuda also runs weekend trips to Netrani Island (next state south of Goa)and the diving there is superb - great viz and loads of life.  I dont know anything about backpacking so I'm afraid I cant give you any advice in that respect.  The viz in Goa can be poor but there is a lot of fish life there - you just have to be close to see it!  One point, diving in Goa is strictly seasonal ie from about October to April.        
 

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Hey Tracey,

I've never dived in India, but I have travelled extensively in Sri Lanka - it's a great place, Brit-friendly and a stunning place to visit. Indeed, some of the finest examples of the late lamented Morris Minor 1300 (the 'Moggy') are to be found in these environs - and some of the things they do with bottle tops and old cans (like build whole sections of garden fence!) are just down-right inventive, if a little Heath Robinson!

Other than that, you might find that there is worthwhile diving to be had in Lakshadweep, see here:

Dive Lakshadweep

Oh, and having lived for nigh-on three years in this neck of the woods, my advice, for what it's worth, is as soon as you arrive, go into a local tea-shop, regardless of how lowping it looks, (hot, sweet and black, various, for the imbibing of) and get a coupla good cups-full down ya neck! You'll be in a position to review the results within 24 hours (commonly known as 'The Ho Chi Mhin Two-step', or 'The TYA Diet', or through-your-arse-diet).


The simple and unavoidable truth is that you're gonna get it, the trots/runs/sh*ts (delete as appropriate), whilst you're there, so there's absolutely no point in fighting it: look forward to it, love it, embrace it! [you know you're getting better when it looks like you're firing French Onion Soup, btw]

Get it out of the way early-doors and your system will build up enzymes and bacteria (the body's natural defence mechanism) to allow you to adjust to the new experiences it is receiving (food prepared in a different way, liquids which are different from Sainsbury's bottled section etc.)

Once acquired, you'll notice that you have a lot better/stronger tolerance towards foods and drinks which might not necessarily be Tesco's-own. Your constitution will adjust and you can then rave & rampage (R&R) throughout the rest of your tour without having to spend four-day stints on the karzee, with the bog-roll in the ice-bucket!

Good luck with the trip and please don't forget a lengthy and detailed Trip Report on your safe return to us!


PS: Simple rule of thumb to remember, where you can, only drink water from a bottle that you've seen the seal broken on in front of you - if they bring you one already opened (i.e. seal broken, lid off etc.) then send it back and ask for an unopened on! There is a massive industry in/on the sub-continent for recycling (no bad thing), but if the bottle you're given is not 'fresh from the bottler', then you're just asking for the TYA Diet!!

Good luck.
 

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Bren,
       I am stunned and impressed! A couple of lines about Sri Lanka and pages about the trouble your arse will get into.......

Personally I would not go anywhere near India...email me off line if you want to know why.
 
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