Hi Guys! I hope you enjoyed the first part of this series. In case you missed it, here is the link: Gokarna: A piece of heaven
After wrapping up our memorable stay at Gokarna, Ronil and I were excited to move on to our next destination- Goa!! We boarded the train at 10 am from Gokarna. It was a 2 and half hour journey to Goa.
Our compartment was filled with people from different parts of India and other countries. That itself was an interesting experience. We met some guys who were traveling from Netrani island. They shared their stories about their adventures. Netrani was a prompt entry to our bucket list as soon as we learned about the island’s history and scuba diving facilities.
See folks! that is the exciting part of traveling some place far. You get the chance to interact with people and know a lot about places and stuff that you wouldn’t have ever imagined.
(Sadly, since early 2015 all scuba diving exercises at Netrani have been put on hold by the government -_- )
By noon we reached Goa and got down at Madgaon railway station. Our plan was to leave for Baga- The most popular beach and tourist destination in Goa.
How to reach Baga beach?
There are several bike/scooter/car rental services near Madgaon station. We hired a scooter from one of these places. Baga was 50 kms from Madgaon. So we started off our proceedings at Goa with a mini road trip.
You can also board bus from Kadamba bus station to reach your desired tourist spot. Kadamba bus station is just 1 km away from the railway station.
So we finally reached Baga by 4pm and were fairly exhausted.
Having become the nation’s foremost tourist destination, there were no shortage of hotels for us to choose from. With our limited budget, we found a comfortable place to lodge which was very close to Baga beach.
What to do in Baga?
I absolutely loved Baga beach. Baga is basically known for the beautiful hilly surroundings, beach side parties, water sports, seafood and other fun activities. Most importantly- Being a union territory, BOOZE WAS AVAILABLE AT CHEAPER RATES!!
The night was pleasant and the ambiance was terrific. Music was played throughout the night. The shoreline looked even more beautiful with the embellishing lights that were illuminating from the beach-side restaurants.
Road trip- Goa to Dudhsagar
The next day we were all set to leave for Dudhsagar. We woke up early, got ready, took a printout of the road map (Fcuk GPS! let’s go old school) and left Baga by 9am. We had to cover 86 kilometers to reach Dudhsagar.
It was a memorable journey. Our route encompassed the less developed and remote locations of Goa. There were barren lands for stretches and the terrain was more of plateau in nature. 30 kms prior to Dudhsagar, we entered a green stretch. That was the most absorbing part of the ride. By noon we reached a spot called Kulem.
From there we could only resume our journey by availing the local jeep service. The per head cost of the jeep ride was Rs. 400. Additionally it was compulsory to wear a life jacket too. Life jackets were available for Rs. 30.
The 12 km stretch from Kulem to Dudhsagar was one hell of a ride. I couldn’t have imagined for a better off-road trip. The track was muddy and sloppy. We drove through the thick wilderness. Crossing the streams were an extraordinary challenge. It was not easy for the most experienced drivers as well.
After the most intriguing drive for 45 minutes we got down and walked for 10 minutes through the dense forest. On our way we could see the full view of the waterfalls.
Dudhsagar was majestic and thundering. You actually have to visit the place just after monsoon to see it flowing at full pace. Because of the limitation of time we could only spend around 45 minutes there.
Finally we trekked back to our base where the jeeps were parked. We were mighty exhausted by then. The thought of driving back to Baga was not motivating. Soon all the fellow travelers reached. We took off to Kulem as soon as everyone got in.
After getting down at Kulem, we walked around the old Kulem railway station and clicked some photos.
By 5pm we left Kulem. The ride in the evening was more enjoyable as it started to get chilly. As I began to recall the day, I was so glad that we made this trip happen.
We reached Baga by 8:30 pm. There was still a lot of booze left with us. That my friends! was happiness! Later that night we got drunk, had dinner from a nearby restaurant. Our trip was coming to an end. We were running out of money and had literally got down to our last dime. So,we decided to leave home early next morning.
All my bags are packed I’m ready to go
But that did not happen! We got up very late next morning with a bad hangover. Ronil even had a tattoo on his neck. Fortunately it was only a temporary one. I guess we were too broke to get a permanent one.
Anyway, after having lunch we pulled our stuff together and then headed to the railway station.
In about 2 hours we reached Madgoan and returned the scooter. We could not book the tickets earlier and therefore had to board the general compartment. Finally we bid goodbye to Goa when the train arrived at 8 pm.
Has anyone travelled inside an extremely over crowded general compartment for long hours? 14 hours of travel inside a jam packed general compartment was an experience of a lifetime. But dear readers. Don’t try this. Try booking your tickets in advance and have a pleasant journey.
We reached our hometown Kochi next day at 10 am. One week away from home, touring to some unknown far away places was indeed a refreshing change.
Once a year go somewhere you’ve never been before. – Dalai Lama