Photo by Jarrett Wrisley
On my last day in India, I didn't feel all that good. The previous night, I stayed up a shade late at a birthday party, drinking a little too much of the very respectable, locally made Single Malt whisky. McDowell's Single Malt is distilled and aged in oak barrels in Ponda, Goa. You can buy bottles across the state for about 550 rupees, or about $11. And it's remarkably smooth for an Indian whiskey--many of which have a nail polish-like character that won't make it past my nose. But this entry wasn't supposed to be about whiskey, so I must get back to the task at hand.
On that last day, I was killing time on a hot Sunday morning, awaiting the Goa-to-Mumbai-to-Bangkok ordeal that would play out later, and toying with the idea of doing absolutely nothing. Then, Charlotte Heyward, the eminently classy proprietor of Vivenda dos Palhacos, asked me what I would be doing with my day, forcing me to come up with some sort of excuse. I went with 'work,' as my laptop was unsnapped before me, and I could just as easily have been working as, say, reading album reviews. Charlotte suggested that I might want to go have a look at the Palacio do Deao, a restored Portuguese manor about an hour's drive away.