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Vivid Goa, Railway tracks and tunnels galore

Why do I blog about where I go and what I did? Heck, it is even worse if the place is Goa, already a popular go to destination during this time of the year. Just the mention of the name and people can readily picture what all places I might have visited, so much for me explaining. So, I’ve decided not to dig deep and my entry will be a small snippet of what I experienced. Sunburn festival is underway and hordes of people flock Goa during the last week of the year, so why did I visit early? You see, the prices of accommodation increases fivefold over the 25th Dec to 2nd Jan period, so an early visit didn’t lighten my wallet as much, and hey, LESS people is a requisite for a getaway.

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Renting out a scooter at Panjim and heading to Anjuna, you could tell as you closed in on Goas famous beaches. Foreigners all around, shirtless tattooed dudes on rented bullets, the odd surfboard carrying folk, ladies looking pretty in their sun dresses, locals selling merchandise, and seafood mela everywhere. Now Goa may not be as colorful as shown in Rohit Shetty movies but it sure is vivid. With petrol being almost close to ₹17 cheaper than in Bangalore, we explored most of the places near Baga and Calungate beache, Google maps being of great help here. Being a veggie, I had to miss out on the famed seafood platter the place had to offer. The water sports were hard to miss though, with the para-sailing experience over the sea being the highlight, considering that I’m acrophobic AND an aquaphobic.

New post (3)_1With the first day being spent entirely on brunches, watersports, forts and the beach, attractions at Old Goa was next on the list, it being a UNESCO world heritage site. The churches and chapels, the beautiful sunny weather of Goa and with foreigners outnumbering Indians lend a certain Europish feel to the place and the ambiance of the place made sure I kept my camera busy. After numerous lime sodas and travelling through the countryside, our trip to mainland Goa came to an end, not much eh? But I was looking forward to the next destination, Doodhsagar falls.

New post (2)_1Taking a train from Madegaon, we got down at a stop after Kulem and it was a long trek of about 18km to Castle rock. We reached the Doodhsagar viewpoint in no time and the sight was disappointing to say the least. With the monsoon bidding goodbye a couple of months back, the waterfall wasn’t its majestic self. It getting dark, we pitched up a tent close to the track at the viewpoint and sounds of trains and waterfall, and the full moon kept us company throughout the night. Waking up early the next morning, we reached the second viewpoint of the falls, the final one along this route.

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 A melee of pictures later and with a pleasant weather to boot, we went onward and the trek blessed us with some amazing views. The best part of this particular trek were the numerous tunnels, the longest one being around 910 mts. Walking into the darkness, standing there whilst a train passes by, these experiences are what made this trek so memorable.  On reaching Castle rock station, the first thing we went looking for was food as the station there didn’t have any, and the empty waiting lobby with a fan was our crib till our train arrived, and that was another 3 hrs away. We reached Londa in the evening, had Vada-Pavs and Samosas for dinner and headed to Bangalore via Rani-Chennamma express and THAT was the end of it.

There are many detailed blog entries on the internet on Doodhsagar and I suggest people to take the track route, it isn’t half as difficult as one might think and is visually rich, and do plan out the time of visit. Others may beg to differ but the part which made this trip more memorable was the trek. Goa can reel under  booze, beaches, young crowd and the Sunburn fever, while I conceded to solace of nature, and found it to be a million times better.

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