Waterfall, Spices and Flying

Feeling exhausted.

Wow! What a day!

So I met Megan for dinner as planned. We walked back the way I had come from Marron and found the Avocado Garden. We got a lovely table and ordered a ‘sex in the avocado garden’ cocktail each. It was the first bit if alcohol I had had since my leaving drinks back home. It was delicious,  and strong.

Megan is lovely, she is only in Goa for the weekend, working in Mumbai for a few months. She works in visual effects and knows the person that had to get rid of Harry Potter’s bits when in the 12 Harrys changing scene!

I chose a red kidney bean dal fry with rice and a plain roti. A totally random choice and luckily it was really tasty and not too hot.

Megan had been to a vegan/vegetarian cafe earlier in the day, and fancied a vegan pudding she had seen. We walked further towards the beach, about 15 minutes along a dark and dusty track. It was quite scary being a pedestrian with all the beeping vehicles and random cows also sharing the road.

However, when we got there it was shut. We headed to the end of the road and stepped onto the beach. It is much bigger than whee I had been at Marron and lots more shops and sun beds.

We headed back to Summer and said goodnight. I had just changed into my pj’s when my dorm mate returned. Nelly is from Denmark and on a 2 week holiday by herself. We had a quick chat and then both decided it was bed time. Lights out by 11pm.

My first night in a hostel. I lay there on my bottom bunk and thought how strange it would be to have him in the next bunk, or the bunk above. That was one of the things that I had worried about when planning our trip, not being together in bed every night. I used to joke that I would creep into his bunk, or even slide into his sleeping bag – I am only small after all!

The room was very hot, the ceiling fan just moves the warm air around. Nelly’s breathing changed and I could tell she was asleep already. I lay there staring at the bottom of the bed above willing sleep to come.

I woke at 6.30am, 30 minutes before my alarm was due to go off. I was wide awake and excited for my day to come. I responded to some texts and then it was time to get up.

I had a luke warm shower which I then turned to cold and got dressed my my shorts, vest and trainers. I was trying to be quiet as Nelly was still sleeping.  I had laid our my clothes the previous night so I wasn’t rummaging too much.  Nelly got up at 7.30am to go for a run, so I was able to be normal before I left.

I met Megan downstairs and our taxi was already there. We didn’t speak much, both waking up. We were too early for breakfast and even the little shop was shut so we just had a bottle of warm water than I had got yesterday.

Dudhsaghar Falls

The journey was long, he was quite a calm driver though so not too many hairy moments. He pulled up into a car park in the middle of a bustling town. Megan and I looked at each other – it seemed unlikely that there would be a waterfall around here!

He got out the car and beckoned us to follow him. We were told to sit on some yellow benches in a roped off area. We did as we were told and the taxi driver left. Looking around, there were signs for the waterfall so we decided we must be in the right place, but didn’t understand what we were waiting for. A group of 6 people came to the roped area too and he told them it was 2800 rp for the jeep. We realised we were waiting for more people to join us in a jeep. I hoped there would be a few as we had already paid 2700rp for the taxi. A family group of 5 adults and a little boy arrived and we were told the 7 of us could fit, so it worked out at 400rp each.

However, we then each had to pay 30rp for the compulsory life jacket, 30rp to use a camera and 50rp to enter the national park. 

We all climbed into the jeep, Megan and I in the back with one of the family. The journey to the waterfall was about 40 minutes through the Mollem National Park. The track was bumpy, so much so that a couple of times I became airborne off my seat. We also had to go through 3 bits of water. I can see why the taxi driver has to stop!

We eventually arrived at a clearing, where there were about 12 other jeeps parked. We all hopped out and the driver told us we had 90minutes before we had to be back.

We set off through the trees on a pathway, passing lots of monkeys on the way. The path way dusty and partly made out of the rocks with tree roots crossing the way.

We came to the opening and it was stunning. The waterfall loomed above us.

The lagoon at the bottom had about 20 people in, with their stuff dotted around the rocks. We picked a spot on the far side, climbing over the rocks to get there.  I was very glad I went with trainers not flipflops! We quickly stripped down to our bikinis and started to clamber over the last few rocks to get in.

The water was cold. It felt blissful after the long journey and trek to get here. The rocks went quite far into the water and they were very slippy. We managed to get in, and avoid the foot long fish that were gathering at the side.  We swam into the middle, bobbing around in our life jackets. 

It was beautiful.

We headed to the waterfall itself and swam through, the cold water pounding onto my head from above was so refreshing.

We bobbed around for about an hour, people watching and laughing at the x4 life guards that came onto duty. They blew their whistle at anyone not wearing a life jacket, and positioned themselves around the lagoon. There was one man in the water who was yelling, the same thing over and over again in his language.  It was very annoying! The little boy that came in the jeep with us had been so excited but now he was terrified of the fish. 

After an hour we climbed out and sat in the sun to try and dry off a bit before climbing back to the path. We had arrived at 10am, and as we left at gone 11am, the place was packed. There were so many more people in the water and on the rocks. I was very glad we had experienced it when it was peaceful and quiet. Back at the jeep, the clearing had filled with jeeps, more than 50 of them. All the jeep drivers were playing cards together in a hut which must help the them pass the time. 

The bumpy drive back felt longer, I was uncomfortable sat in wet clothes and also hungry.

Sahakari Spice Plantation

Back in the taxi, and he took us to the nearest spice plantation. He explained that they did lunch as part of the package. Perfect!

About an hour later we arrived, and the man on the gate was very keen to sell us an experience to sit on an elephant. It was 700 rp each but we both declined. These were the poor elephants that I will be working with in Sri Lanka, and we didn’t want to be a part of that.

We had to pay 400rp each for lunch and the tour. We were greeted with a garland of flower, given a vermilion mark (red dot) on our forehead and showered with petals. We followed the man to the lunch area where he explained it was a buffet. He brought us over a small cup of hot lemongrass tea, a tea that is very good for migraines he told us. He then said that the traditional Goan drink is feni, distilled cashew nuts. He gave us each a large shot of clear liquid and told us not to smell it but just knock it back. Megan and I looked at each other, cheersed and did as he said. It was vile! It was burning and horrible. We both gulped down some of the tea, but with this being hot it didn’t help the burning. 

We rushed over to the buffet and I took a piece of bread to try and get rid of the taste.  The lunch on offer was rice with a selection of chicken, chickpea or lentil curry, fried potato fritters and some fish heads. I took a piece of chicken and a spoonful of the chickpeas. It was really good, and we were very grateful for the food after having nothing all morning. We were then given butterscotch icecream, which with Megan being a vegan I ate both! 

We were called over to start the tour with a group of 5 other ladies. He called us the spice girls! This group were on a 3 week yoga retreat, halfway through but seemed to be finding it a bit tough. Having not had any food all day the 40% proof shot had gone straight to our heads and Megan and I were a bit giggly.

We were shown around the different spices.  They can’t grow saffron in Goa as it is too hot. He showed us jack fruit, beatle nuts (chew to get high), cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and lemongrass. Unfortunately,  a lot of them had already been harvested as it was the end of the season so there were quite a few empty branches.

It was so hot walking around, with only small bursts of shade and it being 12pm it was the hottest part of the day.

Once the tour was over,  it only took about 30 minutes, we were shown to the spice shop were they had packets of dried spices and oils. He warned that USA, Australia and New Zealand will refuse it at customs. I decided not to buy any as I have enough in my bag!

Majorda Beach

Back into the taxi and we headed to Majorda Beach. Megan had researched and it was the only beach in south goa that offered parasailing. Not something I had ever really thought about doing,  but I thought I may as well give it a go! 

Another hour in the taxi and we arrived at the beach. We were pretty close to the airport!

This was a bigger beach than by Marron Sea, with a whole stretch of beach huts and sun beds with tables and shade. We were approached by Ronnie who asked if we were looking for a drink. We said we wanted to do parasailing and he took us to a hut. The man explained it was individual and you start and finish on the sand. This was different to what I thought, I though you would be in the boat and go in the water. He said it was 1200rp and the boat travels 1km so it’s about 4 minutes in the air. That didn’t sound too bad so we said let’s do it.

Megan went first, I took photos of her. They put you in a harness and you are strapped onto the parachute with another man behind. It made me feel better knowing you weren’t up there alone. Once strapped in, you just hold the straps above your head and they pull you forward. At a slight running speed and then you’re off the ground.  It was slower than I had inagined. You can feel the tug of the rope as the boat goes over the waves below.  The boat goes down the beach and then turns around.  The man in the air with me was controlling the parachute and steering us. I briefly looked down but that made me feel funny so I remained with my eyes fixed up. The view was amazing. One side just pure ocean and the other the stretch of beach and then the greens of palm trees and farm lands beyond.

The decent was a bit scary, the straps were pulling to one side as he steered us to the beach. We then landed with a bit of a thud. I couldn’t believe I had done it! 

We unstrapped and paid, then headed over to have a sit down and a drink. We were offered a free sunbed in the shade, which was lovely.  We ordered waters and juices and lay enjoying the cool sea breeze. There were lots of woman selling there wears, including Tina Turner and Gill and Tonic. We said no to each of then but they kept returning.  We decided to go for a swim to avoid then. 

The sea was warmer here that at Marron Sea. It was a lot wavier too. We had got to waist height when a large wave hit us and we both got knocked over. My bikinI bottoms almost came down but I managged to keep hold of them! We were being battered by the waves so I suggested we go out deeper to get past the breaking waves. We managed to get out to shoulder depth and here the waves were not yet breaking so we were able to stay afloat.

It was not a relaxing swim and it felt like we were struggling to stay above water! A guy came up to talk to us but it was very difficult with trying not to drown, breathe and talk! After about 20minutes we decided to escape and relax on the sun bed.

As soon as we sat down we were approached by ladies and Megan was pushed into buying an anklet! I manged to say no and didn’t get anything!

It was 4.30pm so we headed back to the taxi for the last time.  Another hour drive and we arrived back at Summer , tired and hot.

We gave the driver his 2700rp as agreed and the said that as we had the air con on it was an additional 100rp!  The cheek! But as he had been a very calm driver we agreed.

We arranged to meet at 7pm again for dinner which gave us just over an hour to shower and chill. I had a bit of a headache starting which I think was due to the heat and lack of food and water in the morning.

I had a shower and dressed in shorts for dinner. I set my alarm for 6.50pm and replied to some texts. I went into prime photos to start the upload of my photos and was greeted with 3 photos of us from a year ago today. They were of he and I when I met his dad for the first time in Kent and we went to Leeds Castle for the day, just the 2 of us because I love castles. We went in a maze and got quite lost, and then once we had finally reached the centre together we took a selfie. This is one of the only selfies we took and I remember feeling so happy taking it and posting it on Facebook saying what a perfect day we had had together.

Today has been so much fun, and I’m proud of myself for getting out there and being adventurous. But I’m ashamed to say, there were times throughout the day where I thought about him and wished he was there with me, making memories together. This photo of us just tipped me over the edge and I broke down in tears. They are the first tears for a while, but there were lots and I just felt so sad.

I drifted off into an uncomfortable doze and woke up just before my alarm.  My head felt worse but I knew I couldn’t stay in bed.

I feel like I take a leap forward – today was a great day for me, but then little things drag me back a step. 

I just want to be happy. And unfortunately at the moment I still feel that being with him is the only way I will be truly happy again. I don’t know if this will change, or if I will always feel like this. I don’t know if i can find the whole of Sazzle without him.

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