Friday, July 21, 2017

South Goa - Monsoon 2017

For 6 months every year, many popular beaches in Goa return to the state they were in before the tourist invasion. The photo below is that of Utorda Beach right outside the Royal Orchid property. Stretches of beaches have plants growing wild. The debris is mostly natural, consisting of leaves, branches and bald coconuts.  This is where about ten shacks come up during the season.

For those familiar with Majorda, the life guard building is indicated with the red X in the map above, and visible on the right in the photo. Quite a change from the season, isn't it? This is where dozens of beach shacks come up.  The swirling waters of the monsoon powered tides break through indiscriminately. High tide can be very scary, indeed. Low tide offers reasonably good leeway to stroll along the beach. 

Many fishermen opt to park their boats well away from the high tide line, certainly hoping that the high tides are not going to come in all the way.

Peering south through the haze, it's Betalbatim in the distance, and the beach is completely devoid of people that morning. I wondered whether any local boys would show up on weekends for their usual game of soccer or cricket, as they do during the season. We make a mental note that we'll walk that way the next day, looking for Martin's Corner restaurant.  

We head back north and turn inland, walking by the lanes that leads to Fishka Restaurant. It's a 20 minute walk, though it seems longer because the roads are deserted, guest houses and restaurants are closed, and the clouds threaten to open up any minute. Now, that's fun. If you visit Goa during the monsoon season, you got to be ready to take the risk of getting soaked. And the restaurant may not let you in with water dripping from your clothes.. who knows? Anyway, we made it safely to Fishka, and our trips to Martin's Corner were without incident, as well. 

Most of the time, during the day, it was just us on the beach, along with branches, leaves and bald coconuts washed on to the beach. Crabs would be scurrying around madly, as fast as they can walk sideways. 

The high tides do strange things to the beach. Large portions of sand get scooped away, resulting in fairly uneven spots where the difference in level is quite high, needing careful hopping and jumping to negotiate the unpredictably soft sand.

The spot in the photo below is about 50 metres from Zeebop. A rivulet had formed and water was rushing around. We were wondering, to cross or not to cross. The level of water was varying unpredictably. Well, to come to the point, this was the last photo that my mobile phone took. A large wave whooshed down on us, as if to say hello, and to ask whether we were having fun. My mobile restarted, and parts of the touch screen decided to call it a day. Several futile attempts later, it was decided that the phone needs to get back to Bangalore before I attempt to get it fixed. 

The same spot, a couple of days later, at about the same time of day during sunset, just south of Zeebop. The rivulet is visible, however, the tide is much lower, resulting in safe passage across for dinner. 

Goa's roads are a refreshing green during the rainy season. However, moss covers many walls. Maintenance is a high effort, which we noticed in the hotel, as well. 

The fields are a splash of light green. The sun makes an attempt to peep out from behind the clouds. We look up, too, wondering whether the clouds would play games with us that day. 

With a bit of luck, we stayed dry most of the time. It was a risk worth taking. Should the clouds decide to unload their blessings on you, it takes less than half a second to get soaked. All you hear is a huge roar, and then a strange feeling of unbridled happiness, like being a child all over again. In the middle of that, a quick reality check to ensure that electronics and money are well protected within several layers of plastic. 

"Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide." 

My next post is about the Royal Orchid resort and the several restaurants we ate at in the area. All within an hour strolling distance, of course. Looking up, playing hide and seek with the rain. 

Related post: Food and stay - South Goa monsoon 2017  -=-=-= 

1 comment:

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