A Travellerspoint blog

Dandeli to Goa

The best birthday ever?

sunny 32 °C
View Indian Caves and Temples Tour 2011 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I was awake at 05:00, sitting on the veranda watching the jungle come to life (no sunrise this morning) - the mist over the water, the birds waking up with their various early morning calls, the frog chorus, the drops from the morning dew falling like bullets on the large leaves of the teak trees, the cacophony of the hornbills as they fly low over the water in twos and threes, the fish eagle (probably the same one as yesterday) landing on the branch just outside our tree house to do his early morning preening, huge white butterflies fluttering elegantly and peacefully amongst the foliage, the colourful river fish jumping out of the water to catch a tasty morsel of an unsuspecting fly. And of course the ever present roar of the rapids. Can life get any better than this?

Mist.jpg Fish_Eagle.jpg

Yes it can. After a strong black coffee, one of the naturalist guides took us for a two-hour bird watching walk through the jungle, pointing out the sunbirds, drongos, bee eaters, bulbuls and various other birds along the way, as well as the monkeys and flying squirrels. The only downside to the walk was that the lodge's two dogs decided to come along for the fun, but got into a bit of a scrap with one of the local dogs, which then turned nasty as they went for the jugular. Using my trekking pole, we finally managed to break them up, but not before the pole got rather bent and out of shape.

BRIDGE.jpg Bulbul.jpg

After my favourite breakfast of masala dosa and mango juice (the chef is very obliging, and the food just kept coming and coming – scrambled eggs, toast and marmalade, omelette, more dosas, rice – anything you could possibly want was available); the guide paddled us along the river in search of more birds. At the small island in the middle of the river, we de-boated and made our way, scrambling across huge boulders, to a small
rockpool with a natural jacuzzi. Heavenly!


We were told the journey to Goa would take around three hours, but they hadn't counted on Madesh getting hopelessly lost. To be fair, he did ask directions, again and again and again, but after an hour and a half of driving back and forth, up and down, my patience was wearing a little thin when we finally spotted the sign for Amarya Shamiyana, our home for the next two nights. And what a home it is! Huge air-conditioned tents in their own secluded area with a veranda; sandy front yard; plenty of seating (two settees, a bean bag and a writing desk inside; a table and chair and two deck chairs in the yard, two sunbeds and a table and chairs on the covered veranda); super king sized bed, shower and toilet. And service to match the price tag. Nothing is too much trouble. Madam wants Bacardi Breezers? We'll go out and buy some. Anything else madam wants? Just ask. Oh, and I was presented with a large bunch of red roses on arrival, as a certain travel agent had told them it was my birthday.


After watching the somewhat disappointing sunset over Ashvem beach – said to be one of Goa's best beaches – we settled down in the privacy of
our suite and made the most of the butler service, with drinks, snacks and later a romantic candle-lit dinner.


Posted by Grete Howard 20:01 Archived in India

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.