As part of our ongoing series #HappyTravellers, here’s one on Goa and Monsoon. Goa, among India’s most free-spirited places is almost on every traveller’s map. While many flock to it in winter, some of its most charming elements come alive in the rains.
Some said “you guys are crazy!”, Some others sniggered and sarcastically said “You sure will have some fun!” And yet others flaunted their superior knowledge and voiced “This is not the right time, you must go there in the Winter”.
Of course we know the right “Season” to go to Goa. But then we were the #HappyTravellers and we have found through experience that there is always something to do anywhere, irrespective of the right season. In fact you do different things and perhaps you do same things differently.
So when we landed at Dabolim, Airport, late in the afternoon, it was raining and we were not surprised at all. We took the waiting car and headed for our hotel by the beach.
After check-in formalities were we found that the beach was no place to go, what with darkening skies, choppy waters and incessant rains. For a minute we thought perhaps our friends (and others!) were right. We decided to dig our heels and see how it went.
Next day we started to put our plan to test by visiting Bubbling Lake – locally called Budbud Tali, towards the Southern end of Goa. Once we were off the main roads, the ride was absolutely phenomenal. Ok, there were pot holes and the road was narrowing all the while but the greenery of the forest was breathtaking.
It took us some navigation and then at last deep into the Netravali forest that shares the border with Karnataka, we reached a T-Point with a rusted sign-board telling us the way to go. The pond was small besides a temple. The driver asked us to clap and hearing the sound the pond responded by giving out bubbles! Louder the clap more the bubbles.
The driver filled up a bottle of water and drank it straight. We too had some sips and we are still alive! Only in monsoon or right after monsoon one can witness so much greenery. If we had not come in the rains we would not have come here at all.
On the return leg we stopped at a local restaurant to fill our tummies although our hunger for something new had been satiated. We then moved on to one of the several spice farms. We had been to many in the past but monsoon visit was special. It was quite cool in the fields and slushy too (Lucky we were wearing waterproof trekking shoes). The foliage looked fresh and well bathed. There more birds than ever before. Of course we were lucky that the sun too stared shining while we were there. We definitely had a fruitful day.
The third day at Goa was reserved for going to Dudh Sagar. We had to be content with watching the gigantic falls from a distance, we could see that the “Sea of Milk” had enormous quantities of water thundering down the side of western ghats. Going nearer by shared 4X4 vehicles was not possible. They stop their services during monsoon and the idea of trekking did not appeal to us in the heavy rains.
Next day was reserved for Sao Joao Festival. Also called Feast of Saint John the Baptist. It was a bright and colorful festival and included drinking of feni and eating fruits and jumping into the local ponds. Someone in the crowd was saying something about this festival being the Festival of fertility. Main participants were the newly weds wearing head gear made of leaves but I guess anyone who wanted to take part in the revelry were free to do so.
In the evening, we decided to spend the time on the beach, getting completely drenched. Our glasses of feni kept us warm. We had the beach completely to ourselves. That by itself was a once in a lifetime experience for us. There was a lot more to do in Goa in the rains but our short holiday was already drawing to an end.
For instance, one could go to any of the wild life sanctuaries that are dense with greenery. During the monsoon, we are told, the parks are open and one can see an extraordinary number of species of the animal kingdom especially reptiles and amphibians. It would be hard to spot the cat variety though. Another thing we gave a miss, was the perennial offshore or floating casinos, where oblivious of the pouring rains one can lose their money or senses, and in most cases, both!
The biggest advantage of going the monsoon is the price advantage. You can get fantastic deals in air-fare, hotels, hired cars or bikes and as I said before, you can have your private beach!
Feature Pic Credit: TravelWorld
Nisha’s Blog http://www.lemonicks.com/