Goa, India

The Last Gasp of the Goan Portugality


Glamor vs Faith
Indian couple poses in front of the Church of Divine Providence during a matchmaking photographic production
Solitude
Visitor at the entrance to the nave of the Sé Cathedral, a monumental church, one of the largest in Asia.
John the Baptist Beheaded
Gold plated image of the beheading of John the Baptist.
tropical christianity
The Cathedral, beyond the wide avenue lined with imperial palm trees that separates it from the Basilica of Bom Jesus
exchange of faiths
A delegation of Muslim visitors prepares to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
Goa still Portuguese
Traditional Portuguese roofs from the Fontaínhas district with the chapel of São Sebastião in the spotlight.
A window to Portugal
Mr. Fernando refreshes his naked torso at the half-closed door of his house halfway up the Fontaínhas neighborhood.
Hindu colors, Christian white
Hindu friends descend the stairs of Igreja da Nª; Srª da Imaculada Conceição, the most emblematic Christian temple in Panjim.
Goa still Portuguese II
Portuguese house of Pangim seen from the atrium of the Church of Nª Srª da Imaculada Conceição.
lights, action
Casal takes his last photos of the day on the steps of Igreja da Nª; Mrs. of the Immaculate Conception.
lack of selfie
Visitors to the Basilica of Bom Jesus photograph a statue of Christ placed next to the altar.
lack of selfie
Statue in front of the Cathedral of Goa.
The prominent city of Goa already justified the title of “rome of the east” when, in the middle of the XNUMXth century, epidemics of malaria and cholera led to its abandonment. The New Goa (Pangim) for which it was exchanged became the administrative seat of Portuguese India but was annexed by the Indian Union of post-independence. In both, time and neglect are ailments that now make the Portuguese colonial legacy wither.

Gold plated image of the beheading of John the Baptist.

Tourists in catadupa, casinos, free sale of alcohol, regional and state subsidies and other benefits provide Goa with funds and investments to match. We had visited the province one and only time 17 years ago. We could hardly believe in the revolution we were now finding there.

Since we left Dabolim airport, the works and their respective shipyards kept repeating themselves in a mixture of concrete, steel and machinery that had stirred successive kilometers of saffron soil, the same dry and ocher land that we kept in a fruitful historical-colonial imagery.

We retouched it according to the unexpected disillusionment. Days later, already resigned, we inaugurated the commitment to rediscover that we had returned there.

“They started to arrive around 2002. From then on they didn't stop increasing” tells us Raj, the owner of the apartment in Calangute that we rented, referring to the countless charters that since then land in Goa and thus extend one already. long Russian invasion.

Numerous establishments have taken names, menus and their communication in Cyrillic. On the streets, taxi drivers and sellers of everything approach us in Russian, convinced of our origins from the nation of the tsars. The misunderstanding saturates us. It makes us anxious to prove that we still have roots there, or, whatever, some reason for being.

The apartment, which used to belong to someone named RS Coutinho, who decorated it with Christian images and messages, came with a scooter. The scooter did not save us from the far-fetched and dusty modernity that Goa had gotten into. It allowed us to evade the unexpected Russian-Indian salad.

The Ancient History of Old Goa

At the end of one of the mornings we spent there, we dashed off to Old Goa, where the Portuguese history of the province had begun. We cross a bridge under construction over the Mandovi River, where a traffic brigade prepared to target tourists diverts us two hundred rupees.

On the other side of the river, we are forced to follow a fast lane, which is also under construction. We doubted more and more the ancient charm of Goa, but when we left that road and moved to the tropical and riverside stronghold of the former capital of India Portuguese, everything changes.

Cathedral of Old Goa, India

The Cathedral, beyond the wide avenue lined with imperial palm trees that separates it from the Basilica of Bom Jesus

The torrid and humid heat, typical of the months of April and May when the Monsoon crashes, makes us sweat a lot.

We almost bake along the boulevard of imperial palm trees that separates us – and the house of God – from the domain of the neighboring Cathedral, neither more nor less than the largest church in Asia.

The moment when we step into the dark and cool interior of the basilica, thus arrives with a lot of mercy.

Bom Jesus Basilica, Goa Velha, India

A delegation of Muslim visitors prepares to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus

"Photography of people not allowed” establishes one of the many warnings and prohibitions that the temple offers visitors. We inferred at a glance that conservative priests and faithful sought to exorcise the Indian heresy of the selfies.

The sight of a group of young friends photographing themselves in the forced company of a Jesus in a white tunic did not go unnoticed.

And it was with a mixture of devotion and pleasure that they dispatched them to the church's secluded cloister, without the right to stop in front of the allegedly miraculous golden tomb of St. Francis de Xavier, the legendary missionary of the Discoveries.

Over time, Old Goa has generated respect and admiration in the four corners of the Earth. As the priests see, it will not be now, more than half a millennium after its foundation, that some Hindu skirmishes will roar about it.

From the arrival of Vasco da Gama to Rome from the East

The village was, in fact, imposing when the Portuguese captured it from a certain Sultan of Bijapur. In a stronghold surrounded by walls and moat, it grouped together the shah's palace, mosques and other buildings.

Intolerant of the archrival Muslim civilization, from 1510 onwards, Afonso de Albuquerque and his men spared little more there than a few foundations.

They would come to use them as bases for the many manor houses, palaces, churches and cathedrals (12 magnificent in just over 1 km2) which, being today difficult to imagine the reality of that time, made Goa one of the most splendid cities in the East, the fulcrum of Christianization of the Asias, it is said that the place of seven different markets to which merchants from China, from the Arabias of Zanzibar and from other parts of the India.

These and other virtues – cases where, at a certain point, its population already supplanted those of Lisbon and London and almost all the religious orders were active there – earned it the epithet of Rome of the East. Goa, however, went from zenith to decline, much faster than Rome in Lazio.

In the past, the entrance to the city was made directly from the Mandovi river jetty to Rua Direita, with a passage under the Arch of the Vice-Rey, built by Francisco da Gama, grandson of Vasco da Gama who, in 1597, took over himself. the post.

One of the entrances to the Cathedral of Goa

Visitor at the entrance to the nave of the Sé Cathedral, a monumental church, one of the largest in Asia

A Blazing Colonial-Tropical Decline

Rua Direita gave access to the center, along a route delineated by shops and the palatial mansions of its wealthy residents. In the beginning, Mandovi was the path that allowed the conquest and development of Goa. The river also turned out to be its executioner.

Ponds, marshes and other waters that were even more stagnant after the end of the rainy season became a fulcrum of malaria and cholera, epidemics that, between 1543 and 1630, devastated nearly two-thirds of the population. As if that wasn't enough, during this period, the river began to silt. Larger vessels can no longer dock at the city's jetty.

Desperate with the situation, in 1759, the Count of Alvor, the Viceroy of the time, decreed the forced move to what is now Panjim, until then a village near the mouth where the Mandovi surrenders to the Arabian Sea.

As a result of successive tragedies, with more than 200.000 inhabitants, in 1775, only 1500 remained in Goa. The city was handed over at once. Thereafter, it became known by its geriatric nickname.

Visitors to Bom Jesus Basilica, Old Goa, India

Visitors to the Basilica of Bom Jesus photograph a statue of Christ placed next to the altar.

Pangim assumed the status of New Goa. In 1843, it already functioned as the administrative headquarters of Portuguese India. There, one of the richest urban colonial legacies left by the Portuguese in the India. A heritage that, like that of Old Goa, we felt impelled to revisit.

Pangim and the Misfit Lives of New Goa

We had lunch at Viva Pangim, a picturesque restaurant with Goan food and atmosphere. Linda de Sousa, the owner, confesses to us that she no longer speaks Portuguese. Refers us to a slim, elegant customer, in pants and shirt, at a table next door.

Olavo de Santa Rita Lobo makes us feel unceremoniously that, almost 60 years later, he was far from digesting the Indianization of Goa “so why did they stay up there in Calangute? That, now, is just crazy people, Indians who have nothing to do with us. Drunk, drugged. It even became dangerous. They should have stayed here in Panjim!”

A lawyer by profession, Olavo is trying to resolve a growing number of requests for Portuguese nationality that Goans – but not only – trust him. “People here, with this government, don't have jobs. Neither with this one nor with the previous ones. They are increasingly against the Portuguese heritage. They don't care about us.”

We finished the meal and heard her complain. We say goodbye. We let ourselves get lost in the colorful and still so Portuguese streets of the Fontaínhas neighborhood. Almost immediately, strange squeaks catch our attention.

We followed their trail and came across what looked like a crazy violinist practicing with an open window.

The Unusual Coexistence with Ivo Furtado

The musician wears a white shirt and pants that are little more than rags. It exposes a good part of your skin, such as strong, full hair, too white for us to doubt. "Do you still speak Portuguese?" we ask you. “I speak, so I don't speak! Of course yes."

Ivo Furtado interrupts the violin's screeching, calls us and focuses his gaze on our cameras. Show us some of your old framed photos and let us know that you took them with a good Hasselblad. We asked him if we can photograph him playing the violin, which makes him feel a bit worried. "Not to me! I liked taking pictures but I never liked seeing myself in pictures.”

We continue to talk about your life in Panjim. At a certain point we approached the theme of the integration of Goa into the India. Ivo corrects us as if on fire: “No independence! … invasion. What has been done here by India it was just and only an invasion.” and he masks his near anger with strategic silence. We have the time counted by which we are forced to say goodbye.

Altinho: the Catholic and post-colonial Zenith of Pangim

"These stairs will lead to Altinho, right?" Ivo confirms the direction for us. Halfway up, we ran into mr. Fernando, airing his naked torso over the half-open door of his little girl tile house and Portuguese profile.

Mr. Fernando, Bairro das Fontaínhas, Pangim, Goa

Mr. Fernando refreshes his naked torso at the half-closed door of his house halfway up the Fontaínhas neighborhood.

In further conversation, we confirm that none of the three natives we had come across had ever set foot in Portugal continental. Still, we feel in all of them, a lag of the India current and a nostalgia for Portuguese Goa for which the remaining years did not augur any solution.

In a flash, we reached the height of the hill that housed another series of imposing colonial buildings, including the city court and the Bishop's Palace.

São Sebastião Chapel, Pangim, Goa

Traditional Portuguese roofs from the Fontaínhas district with the chapel of São Sebastião in the spotlight.

We started down again. We find the Portuguese Consulate, with many Indians abroad waiting to resolve their nationality requests, in the image of what Olavo had described to us.

The Most Emblematic Church of Pangin

We reach the base of the most emblematic monument in the city, the Church of Nª Srª da Imaculada Conceição. The almost setting sun illuminates it and its statue of the Virgin highlighted right in front of the façade, overlooking the Municipal Garden.

Church of Nª; Srª da Imaculada Conceição, Pangim, Goa, India

Hindu friends descend the steps of Igreja da Nª; Srª da Imaculada Conceição, the most emblematic Christian temple in Panjim

Splendid as it turned out, the church inspired the adoration of a dozen restless Hindu vacationers, smartphones always at the ready, entertained with repeated sensual poses.

Far from being the case of Panjim's star church, too many historic buildings in the city succumb to the lack of owners and the care of the state authorities, who see as priorities the highway that will cross Goa from top to bottom and the modernization of the province in general.

Invasion or Liberation: what was the Indian conquest of Goa after all?

Goa ceased to be Portuguese when on the 18th and 19th of December 1961 – 14 years after the India having ended the long period of the British colonial Raj and declared its independence – the Indian Armed Forces carried out an air, sea and land operation called Vijay (Victory).

As expected, the confrontation was marked by the overwhelming Indian superiority that mobilized 45.000 soldiers, a small aircraft carrier and more than forty fighters and bombers as well as fifteen other vessels against just over 4000 Portuguese men, a frigate and three patrol boats. .

In the hangover, the India killed thirty men on the colonial side. It took 4668 prisoners. But, more than that, it ended with 451 years of Portuguese rule over the territories it held in the subcontinent: Goa, Damão and Diu.

Among Indians in general, the operation was considered one of liberation. In Portugal, and for a good part of Goans like Olavo and Ivo, as an aggression against Portuguese territory and its citizens. Most of them left Goa to Portugal or other stops.

Colonial Houses in Panjim, Goa

Portuguese house of Pangim seen from the atrium of the Church of Nª Srª da Imaculada Conceição.

The Fragile Portuguese Legacy

In Panjim, almost only the inhabitants of that generation that remained – but not all – continue to speak Portuguese, which is no longer taught in schools.

It is known that Fundação Oriente provided support to secondary schools that chose to use it as a second dialect instead of English. However, the number of students has proved insufficient to open classes.

We have arrived in January 2018. Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa visits Goa at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

António Costa's father, Orlando da Costa, was a Goan, Brahman and Catholic, born in Lourenço Marques, in 1929, but raised in Goa, in the bosom of Margão's family, until adolescence, when he left for Lisbon. becoming a writer and marrying journalist Maria Antónia Palla.

In today's Goa, it's not just the charming centuries-old buildings that are in danger of collapsing. As older residents pass away, the Portuguese language collapses.

Church of Nª; Srª da Imaculada Conceição, Pangim, Goa

Casal takes his last photos of the day on the steps of the Church of Nª Srª da Imaculada Conceição.

During his visit, António Costa expressed pride in being the first European Prime Minister of Indian origin and the desire that his visit would lay the foundations for a robust partnership between the India e Portugal, in the XNUMXst century. It remains to be seen whether this partnership will become real. And the dazzling Portuguese-Goan colonial culture will be saved.

More information about Goa on the website Incredible India.

Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

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Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

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Tawang, India

The Mystic Valley of Deep Discord

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Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

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Dooars India

At the Gates of the Himalayas

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Gangtok, India

An Hillside Life

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Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.

Hampi, India

Voyage to the Ancient Kingdom of Bisnaga

In 1565, the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar succumbed to enemy attacks. 45 years before, he had already been the victim of the Portugueseization of his name by two Portuguese adventurers who revealed him to the West.

Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

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Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

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Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Jaisalmer, India

The Life Withstanding in the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer fortress was erected from 1156 onwards by order of Rawal Jaisal, ruler of a powerful clan from the now Indian reaches of the Thar Desert. More than eight centuries later, despite continued pressure from tourism, they share the vast and intricate interior of the last of India's inhabited forts, almost four thousand descendants of the original inhabitants.
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

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PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Majuli Island, India

An Island in Countdown

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Chandor, Goa, India

A True Goan-Portuguese House

A mansion with Portuguese architectural influence, Casa Menezes Bragança, stands out from the houses of Chandor, in Goa. It forms a legacy of one of the most powerful families in the former province. Both from its rise in a strategic alliance with the Portuguese administration and from the later Goan nationalism.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
safari
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

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Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Adventure
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

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MassKara Festival, Bacolod City, Philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bacolod, Philippines

A Festival to Laugh at Tragedy

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Lutheran Cathedral overlooking and at dusk Helsinki, Finland
Cities
Helsinki, Finland

The Suomi Daughter of the Baltic

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Meal
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Culture
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

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combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

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travel western australia, surfspotting
Traveling
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

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Cobá, trip to the Mayan Ruins, Pac Chen, Mayans of now
Ethnic
Cobá to Pac Chen, Mexico

From the Ruins to the Mayan Homes

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Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

António do Remanso, Quilombola Marimbus Community, Lençóis, Chapada Diamantina
History
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

The Swampy Freedom of Quilombo do Remanso

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Jean Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, New Caledonia, Greater Calhau, South Pacific
Islands
Grande Terre, New Caledonia

South Pacific Great Boulder

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Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

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Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Literature
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

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Porto Santo, view to the south of Pico Branco
Nature
Terra Chã and Pico Branco footpaths, Porto Santo

Pico Branco, Terra Chã and Other Whims of the Golden Island

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

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Natural Parks
unmissable roads

Great Routes, Great Trips

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Palm trees of San Cristobal de La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands
UNESCO World Heritage
Tenerife, Canary Islands

East of White Mountain Island

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Ooty, Tamil Nadu, Bollywood Scenery, Heartthrob's Eye
Characters
Ooty, India

In Bollywood's Nearly Ideal Setting

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The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Beaches
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

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Madu River: owner of a Fish SPA, with feet inside the doctor fish pond
Religion
Madu River and Lagoon, Sri Lanka

Along the Course of the Sinhala Buddhism

For having hidden and protected a tooth of Buddha, a tiny island in the Madu lagoon received an evocative temple and is considered sacred. O Maduganga immense all around, in turn, it has become one of the most praised wetlands in Sri Lanka.
Serra do Mar train, Paraná, airy view
On Rails
Curitiba a Morretes, Paraná, Brazil

Down Paraná, on Board the Train Serra do Mar

For more than two centuries, only a winding and narrow road connected Curitiba to the coast. Until, in 1885, a French company opened a 110 km railway. We walked along it to Morretes, the final station for passengers today. 40km from the original coastal terminus of Paranaguá.
Tabatô, Guinea Bissau, tabanca Mandingo musicians. Baidi
Society
Tabato, Guinea Bissau

The Tabanca of Mandinga Poets Musicians

In 1870, a community of traveling Mandingo musicians settled next to the current city of Bafatá. From the Tabatô they founded, their culture and, in particular, their prodigious balaphonists, dazzle the world.
Casario, uptown, Fianarantsoa, ​​Madagascar
Daily life
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
Wildlife
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.