Well Sunday was another really big day with an early start and a treck up to the waterfalls of Dudha Sagar, which is Hindi for Milk River! After an hour on a meandering road through the countryside of Goa we reached the National Park where we climbed aboard a very old looking 4-wheel-drive jeep to head up the hillside to see the falls. It was mad getting up there, I did only leave my seat on a couple of occasions and as we traveled through the water we remained dry, although we were warned that water does sometimes leak in! Jamba was our guide, a lovely guy from the village of Collem, he explained that he had finished his degree two years ago in Political Science and Economics but there was no work for him in the village, so he works as a guide for 6 months of the year before battening down the hatches for the monsoon season, that sees people limited in their movement beyond the village. He explained that remaining with his family is important, so he will not leave Collem to find work – this seems to be a familiar story that we are hearing from local people! Anyhow after a bumpy ride and a bit of a tricky walk over rocks we arrived at the waterfalls – they were quite something. The water is a natural spring that provides the local villages with their drinking water. A bridge had been constructed halfway up and as we gazed to the top of the falls (360 mts) the bridge was consumed with the Goa to Delhi train. There is just so much more but that will have to wait because I need to let you know a little about the Spice Plantation!
We headed back on the meandering road through the villages to the Spice Plantation, we were greeted with lemongrass tea and cashew nuts, followed by an amazing lunch of rice, dahl, pickle and bread (fish and meat available for carnivores!) We then headed around the plantation to look at the spices. Alan gave a try at climbing a betel nut tree, he started well, with a leap for the whole of humanity before he slipped and returned to the ground safely – Go Alan!!! Of course the best thing about this place was being able to buy some of the fresh organic spices produced at the plantation, here’s hoping they make it through customs in Brisbane!! We also had the, what seemed to be compulsory, Cashew Fenni! It is an alcoholic beverage produced from the Cashew nut at 40% proof the locals call it fire water, personally I prefer the term absolutely terrible, it provided so much heat as I drank it I thought for sure it was going to instantly burn a hole in my esophagus and gut!
As Alan is waiting patiently for me to head off to meet Andy and Janet I should probably now log off, but just to complete the days antics we also visited a Hindu Temple in Ponda, which was very interesting as people gathered to worship!
Quick Quirk before I log off, an item I think should be offered at the purchasing of a care…a choice of reversing music, so far I have heard Dr Zhivago’s “Love Song,” “Happy Birthday” and “Jingle Bells” quite mad!!!! Nameste