Goa, India, November 2007
But first of all, meet Mahesh: Goa Driver Extraordinaire!
You won't attempt to drive your own hire car in Goa unless you have some kind of death wish: it's a
complete free-for-all along a narrow road full of potholes, jostling with pedestrians (there are no
pavements or footpaths), bicycles, scooters, mopeds, motorised rickshaws, cars, trucks, humping
stray dogs, pigs, goats, cows and the occasional Indian elephant laden with palm branches. And just
wait till the
Tata Nano's hit the streets in their millions!

What's more, there's no obvious highway code or rights of way being observed by anyone. And to top
it all, the road signs are random to say the least, so even if you didn't crash, you'd never find your
destination anyway!

So, you really need a skilled and totally reliable driver who knows the birding sites and, even better,
knows the birds. It will make all the difference to your trip. Finding a Jungle Owlet or
daytime-roosting Grey Nightjar could be difficult without some local knowledge.

Mahesh always turned up on time or early to collect us, even though we started out most days
between 4 and 6 am. He then drove and guided us from dawn till dusk, with a break around midday to
escape from the heat, and all at very reasonable rates. Everything is cheap in Goa - by UK standards
at least! He even provided coffee and biscuits - on a china tea set in the jungle! All very civilised!

Mahesh is based in the Baga/Arpora area, which is favoured by most birders. He can spot an owl in
the forest treetops at fifty paces without binoculars!  

If you're planning a trip to Goa, contact Mahesh before you go (see details on card above). He'll also
be happy to pick you up at the airport to get you off to a flying start!!!
Click on the key sites listed below to find out more:
Sunset over the Arabian Sea
Greater Racket-tailed Drongo
Dicrurus paradiseus,
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus
* * *  . . . and the undisputed heavyweight champion of the trip . . . * * *

. . . the stunningly handsome . . .