Escape To Paradise…

Day 3

Today is the BIG day…the day I had been waiting for even before embarking on this exciting journey! The raison d’être for our Goa trip!Yup..Today is the day we will get to see the Doodhsagar waterfall. There are other sights too that are lined up for the day but the waterfall trip rules the itinerary!

Both of us are geared up for the day’s adventure. As we quickly nibble on the delicious  idlis, we get a call from our friend, Aman..the Taxi guy..He is on time and waiting for us in the driveway….He greets us with a warm smile..I get a feeling that he is quite fond of us. The feeling is mutual! He is a sweet boy!

We head out of the hotel. The sky is partially cloudy…sun playing peek–a–boo with us. I am feeling a little sleepy..Cetrizine effect! I pop a few mints in my mouth…looking out of window..with full attention and camera ready in my hand.. We cross many small hamlets on our way, with beautiful cottages and lovely churches. 

We reach a bridge on a small local river. It’s a lovely view, and almost reminds of the Backwaters of Kerala, except for the fact that the water is all red!

Aman tells us that it’s because of the mining activity in the area. For the uninitiated, Goa is very rich in minerals, and actually forms the back bone of iron ore industry in India. Further down the road we meet a whole convoy of trucks moving out of the mining sites. 

We are now gradually entering the hilly terrain, though not very steep.

Lining the entire landscape are towering coconut trees. I wish that we could just stop by a tree and find a local person to pick a coconut for us, fresh from the tree. Lekin ye ho na saka… 😦

Finally we reach a point, where we see bikes of all types lined up along the wall. There is a small church around the corner.  . 

We are told that we have reached the pick up point for bike cabs..the idea is that you hire a bike taxi and ride pillion and reach the actual waterfall site in about 45 minutes. Although they have a dedicated jeep track but it closes down during the Monsoons and this is when bike cabs enjoy a complete monopoly in ferrying the tourists to the waterfalls.

One man comes towards us and talks to the driver in the local dialect. Aman tells us that 2 bikes are ready, and will cost us Rs. 350/- per head. The drivers look decent. They ask us if we are carrying a camera, and we reply in the affirmative. They tell us that we will have to deposit the camera with one of the drivers. I look at Mr. V with a little doubt in my eyes. He signals we have to trust them, after all they are going to be with us for the next 2-3 hours. I hand my camera to one of the drivers who puts it in a bag hanging from the bike handle.

As soon as we start, we realize that we are going to drive along the railway track as there is no other way. This is actually not a very comfortable thought…and I think of the plight of my back once this excursion is over. But then I try to throw out these thoughts of apprehension from my mind. I tell myself, this is the real adventure, don’t be a pessimist!

Rocking along the railway track, my driver tells me that this will be the best time to see the waterfall as it will have the maximum water for the season. This lifts my spirits up and I am back to my excited self. As we move further along the track, sound of an engine whistles through the wind. A goods train appears on the scene. We stop the bikes and stand back, waiting for the train to pass. As it gets lost in the woods, we resume our rocky ride on the stones of Konkan Railway. Few kilometers down the track, as my back gets a few jerks, I ask the driver if the entire stretch will continue like this!…He tells me an assuring tone not to worry as in another 5 minutes we  will be off the railway track..

We reach a point where we are asked to get down from the bikes and cross the track towards the jungle. The drivers take a longer loop to meet us. This is the gate of the Bhagwan Mahaveer National Park. 

 We resume our journey on the bikes. I ask my driver what all animals are present in the jungle and he gives me a long list …..I ask if we can find any wild animals while passing through jungle. To my great disappointment, he tells me that they rarely cross the path of Homo Sapiens, although they might be looking at us from their hidden locations…Suddenly my ears are buzzing with “I CAN SEE YOU!!!”. I look around if I can spot a leopard or a tiger but have to be content with two monkeys 😦

This track is definitely a great relief from the rocky ride along the railway track but still we keep going up and down the terrain…I almost feel like I am in some dirt biking race..We cross some small streams on our way..Its so exciting to feel the cold splashes of water on my feet.

We are now heading deeper in to the forest. My driver tells me that we have entered Karnataka now. I don’t know why, but a chill goes does my it because we are in Jungles of Karnataka and a certain Veerappan came to my mind (Aiyyyoo!)I am now a little nervous..I look at Mr. V. His bike is ahead of us, and he has been turning his neck back all the time, ensuring that I am fine and still following him. Must admit, he gives a solid competition to all the characters from K-Series…But I am not complaining! It is really reassuring…

We have now reached another stream. But it is not is like the other streams that we have  crossed till now..This one’s gonna be a toughy..We have to get down the bike and cross it on foot…balancing ourselves..careful not to slip on the slimy rocks!

I hold Mr. V’s hand on one side and one of the driver on the other, wading through the vigorous waters of the stream. The bikes would need to be dragged through the water..They follow us to the other side…We are ready to resume our journey…BUT NOT SO SOON!!!

I am back on the bike, happy with my feat. It’s not every day that you cross a stream like that…I turn to Mr. V looking for his smile of accomplishment too..But something is wrong. Why is he still standing??? He points at the bike and I get it…water in the silencer. Drivers ask us not to worry. It’s a minor problem. He kicks the bike..but nothing happens..After 10 minutes of kicking, and no result I start getting nervous again. What if we get stuck here in the middle of the jungle? There is no signal in the mobiles! Mr. V holds my hand and calms me down…I take a deep breath and tell myself…It’s going to be fine! Mr. V asks me to click some photographs.. to keep myself distracted… 😐
I click some photographs..The place is actually very beautiful! just out of picture postcards.. reminding me of the scenic tropical forests that I absolutely love on the Discovery channel..I imagine the photograph of the stream as my desktop background…

Few more clicks later, the nerves come back.. The bike still refuses to start..and guess what!…Icing on the cake is that it has started to rain!!! The drivers ultimately tilt the bike to 90 degrees and water splurges out of the silencer…After few more kicks the bike starts…Phew…I get my breath back.

Rest of the journey is smooth, and soon we reach a point that welcomes us to the the Doodhsagar waterfall. We alight from the bikes and walk down to a platform…We look up at a distance and there it is..The mighty Doodhsagar waterfall… It’s beautiful, it’s mind blowing..It is…I don’t have words…Speechless, I keep looking at this spectacular sight!

Zooming In

 But hey..surprise surprise..This is not the end..We have to go further…The drivers guide us through a flight of rocky stair heading down. We carefully walk down and reach another stream. This one is again a vigorous one. I ask if this water is from Doodhsaghar, but they tell me it’s not…We cross the gushing waters to reach the side of the stream. 

Yes.. We crossed that!!!

Crossing some huge rocks we reach an even mightier torrent. I am apprehensive how we will cross it as I can not gauge its depth. Abdullah tells me to be steady in my footing and not to land on the top of rocks as they are slimy and if I slip I may just get washed away…So much for comfort!

Yup..This one too!! Phew..

Veer tum badhe chalo..! And the veers finally manage to cross this super stream! Yuhooo! 
Going ahead, there are still a few more hurdles to be crossed..huge rocks this time..but it’s not too much of a challenge for this Almora girl! 🙂 

And then suddenly we see white water gushing in front of us..we are at the foot of the waterfall! I look up and..for a moment forget everything around me..totally spellbound by the beauty..the grandeur..the magnificence  of this spectacle of nature..Finally it registers..We have reached the Doodhsagar its full glory thanks to the monsoons! It is such a mesmerizing image to behold.

We sit on the rocks, our feet immersed in waters..The roaring, thundering white water gushes by us..and we just keep looking at it in complete awe.. This is such a thrilling experience.. I actually get goosebumps on my hands!  Mr. V gives me a hats off..for including the waterfall in our itinerary! 🙂 Super excited.. we give each other a Hi5..yes we have done it! Now I can’t wait to tell my whole family and friends about it..

We hear  whistling of a train echoing through the jungles. In a moment a goods train passes through a bridge along the waterfall..Again a very exhilarating feeling..Next time we visit Goa, we will take a train to the waterfall!

  After spending some of the best moments of my life sitting on those rocks and taking in the breath-taking view of the waterfall, we now head back. Once again crossing all the streams..climbing up and down the rocks…Mr.V sees something sticking to his leg…Abdullah cries out “It’s a leech..!” Now listen to this..Instead of removing the leech at once, what does Mr.V do? He looks for his camera! By that time Abdullah removes it with a stick…as by the time he would have clicked the pic, the leech would have done a lot of damage!!! brave hubby! 😐

We are back to the bikes now..Time to get a victory shot! Smile Please 🙂

Super happy, we are now on our way back..I see a small temple this time..Now why didn’t I notice it earlier..may be the nerves!!! Well..this is the temple of Doodhsagar Devta…Nice !

Rest of the journey is smooth..more because I am no longer feeling afraid..the jungle is no more scary! In fact, its looking lovelier..The huge trees..chirping of birds..sound of the breeze…I am already missing all of it! 

Finally we are back to the taxi. Aman asks us how our trip through the jungle was…I just have one word to describe it all..It was Total Paisa Vasool! 

Wow..My Goa trip is already a super duper hit..and come to think of it..we have just reached the Intermission..Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost! 🙂


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nitiksh Srivastava
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 20:11:55

    ahhh doodhsagar…..ur blog is actually making me relive my 2 yrs in Goa…..awesome work, K-serial looks,wat a comparison!!!!

    And yes i m waiting for more, btw great pics and 350 per bike was a steal…..



  2. Ruchi
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 23:56:53

    jab pictures itni sundar hai to real life sight to breath-taking raha hoga… thanks for sharing



  3. ragu
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 04:18:37

    I am already feeling sad that this part is over…. In my long list of must doz n must goz… this one just moved into the sacred Top 10 list…
    Loved it… 😀



  4. trash_u
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 10:02:31

    🙂 thts real thrillin one !
    leeches.. streams.. rains.. dirt bikes on railway track.. bike trouble.. and the sight of doodhsagar in end.
    kudos to both of u . and really appreciate bringing this amazin trip story to us.
    apart frm beaches, churches n forts.. there is some much to Goa.



  5. Hogwartsbeckons
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 14:21:50

    Your travelogue is totally inspiring me to just pack my bags and leave for Goa! I am so copying your itinerary whenever we go there.B/w, leaches and bike trouble in the middle of a jungle, the stuff veerappan tales are made of..:)

    Keep writing!
    loadsa love
    your evil s-i-l from K serials



  6. vaibhav
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 16:46:55

    After reading this, i feel like to taking you back there once again. This is awesome! Love you..M so proud of you 🙂



  7. Ruchita
    Sep 12, 2010 @ 19:38:24

    Lovely elaboration of waterfall!! I can't stop laughing when you complimented Jiju with K- Serial Hahahahahha!!! Eagerly waiting for next one!!! Mam your Blog is a gr8 hit !!!!!
    Keep it up….



  8. Anubha
    Sep 14, 2010 @ 16:00:01

    Like it, like it, like it. keep going. Your writing just flows effortlessly. Love that.
    And I am very upset with the system for not posting the every first comment on your blog which was from me, bloody X-(




  9. Kanan Jaswal
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 17:44:26

    Oh, to be in Goa! One of the best travelogues I've read! Your write-up is excellent and so are the photographs. An alternative career?



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