Think Goa, think about those shacks, guzzles of beer flowing and ending pristine beaches. But wait think again, Is Goa just about them ? This fenny land has much more to offer than one can imagine specially during monsoon with its unending stretches of greenery as you romance the rains to glory. And yes standing true to this, during my recent visit to Goa I knew it’s not just that beaches that I am going to spend my time. Thinking of something different and adventurous I started browsing for some offbeat and exciting things to do and I happened to come across the Monsoon Trekking Expedition organized by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to the Shivling waterfall at Sattari. What else it was Hallelujah time for me.
I knew what my itinerary looked like this time as I was super kicked about this trekking expedition. This was the 5th weekly trek in a row that Goa Tourism was organising to unheard unseen destination. With all details handy I was asked to report at Paryatan Bhavan sharp at 9 am. I was staying at Candolim in North Goa and I had to go all the way to Panjim. Not much familiar about the directions I woke up with all enthusiasm and energy to explore Sattari, a small little taluka in north-east of Goa.
With my GPS on, riding the Scooty I hit the road. We all know it’s not easy to navigate oneself when you are riding the Scooty and yet looking for directions. With not much hassle I figured out that reaching Panjim via jetty at Betim is the easiest and quickest way. And what else totally Bollywood style I loaded my Scooty on the jetty and zoop-ed in no time I was in Panjim, the capital.
The direction fight started again as I had to find my way to Paryatan Bhavan, the Goa Tourism. In the meantime I was constantly in touch with Mr Anil Dalal who made sure I reached safely. Around 30 enthusiast from all walks of life boarded the bus and we were all set. The two hours journey passed in a jiffy as we crossed the lovely Madovi River as its cool breeze kept playing with my hair and in no time I found myself crossing the Western Ghats across the Redeghati, a well-known hunting spot for the villages. And here we were at Sattari, one of the most greenery and dense forest area of Goa.
Being a monsoon trek we eagerly waited for the rains but the rain Gods had some other plans. With our bags packed we all set for the 7 kilometers trek. Being all myself, apart from other trekking enthusiast I started my walk and in no time made friends with a Spanish gentleman named Mikel and then there was not looking back. I knew the trek is going to be easy and adventurous with three river crossings.
The 7 kms trail gave a taste of the slippery rocks, small streams, shrubs as we made our way to the waterfall. Away from the shacks and beaches this was one walk I knew I would not regret. Excitement tickling within me, the stillness and quietness of the place left me enchanted. It was pure, unadulterated beauty at its best.
At the very first sight of the waterfall I was awestruck to see such a beauty. The spectacular sight of the fresh water water could not hold me back from getting inside the water and just get that feeling ( Something’s for which words fall short). Away from city life this place was no less than pure bliss. As the waterfall takes the shape of a Shivling, it gets it name from there.
Not many could even imagine that Goa could has such hidden gems apart from its beaches. On the way to the fall we also crossed the land area that covers the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, which happens to be a protected area. All wet, courtesy rain and the waterfall it was time for me to walk back as hunger pangs started troubling me.
The moment I hit the base along with my new found friend the rain Gods marked their presence in full vigour. And after the long wait it was time for lunch – a lunch that was typically Goan. Organised at Shailesh Gawas’s home one of the localites there, the food was served on banana leaf in a typically traditional way. Being home cooked the flavours were just bang on. The Thali saw – Rice, cabbage with coconut, chana curry, Solkadhi (a curry eaten with rice) and yes not to miss the popadams. All that the hungry tummy could focus that time was this on the loaded plate of flavours and taste and I ended up asking for a second serving too.
And then it was time to head back Panjim. A bit tired but yes with much memories packed I headed back to my villa all excited to burp it out to my friends who were all dead asleep when I left at 8 am.
The Goa Tourism organises these weekly monsoon treks to different waterfalls.