Old Monk is BAD!!!!!!
The events of the morning are, I will be completely honest, either a blur or viewed from behind closed eyelids. Why oh why did I decide Old Monk was the drink to try, let alone have two glasses of??? My stepson Bean had warned me that the stuff f***s you up. I clearly didn’t believe him and it did just that to me 😭😭😭
I barely remember breakfast at some ungodly hour and the slurring & giggling to Shaun & Eva before we got into a taxi for a tour to the Dudhsagar Falls on the other side of Goa. As soon as I was settled in the car (i.e. sat down) I’m sorry folks but it was game over. Thankfully Shaun slept in the car as well although he is adamant he wasn’t still drunk but was ‘just tired’ 🤣🤣🤣🤣
For obvious reasons there are no pictures from the journey to the falls…
I awoke just about as soon as we pulled up. I didn’t have a clue where we were but got out of the car and was told to queue up to get our tickets for the jeep ride to the car park where it and the driver would wait whilst we then walked to the foot of the waterfalls 😲😲😲 I still don’t know why I was the one elected to stand in that queue although I suspect it was more for the amusement of my travelling companions than any other reason. I was the clearly the only one out of the four of us that was still hanging (def: hung over) yet here I was waiting patiently to pay our money for a jeep ride.
I knew I was getting a lot of stares whilst trying to hold it together stood in that queue but then I noticed that so were Anita, Eva and Shaun which made me feel slightly better. Then the guy stood behind me started talking to me asking me where I was from. Usually just saying that we’re from England is enough but they guy wanted to know whereabouts so my response to this is that we live in London purely for ease as most people asking will know of London but there is no-one in India that is going to know where it is that we do actually live (many ex-pats don’t even know whereabouts it is that we live 🤣🤣)
Instead of the conversation ending there (as I so wanted it to) he then proceeded to tell me that he had lived in London until recently and had lived there for 7 years. He had apparently been living in Harrow and wanted to know if I knew where that was. For the love of god this was the last thing I wanted or needed. I was half expecting him to give me the name of someone he knows in Harrow and then ask me did I know them! I just wanted to be left alone to lean against the wall and mind my own (hung over) business 😩
Finally my time came to get the tickets. I had been aware of the mocking that I was (unfairly) receiving from my loving travelling companions as I moved along the line against the wall but they went quiet all of a sudden when I got to the front. Cheers guys!!! Luckily the driver who had bought us here was on hand. I told the ticket seller we needed four tickets and then he asked for the registration number of our car. How the hell was I supposed to know that? This was where the driver stepped in. He gave his number. I then attempted to pay but one of the notes I gave was not good 😲 so I had to dig in my pocket to get another. Effort!!! We were allocated a driver and then suddenly another guy appeared and said he was our guide and that he needed money for life jackets as they are compulsory at the falls. I didn’t think at this point that there was any point me getting a life jacket as there was no way I would be safe in water 😲
As they weren’t going to let us go any further without them I gave him some cash and he disappeared but then re-appeared again clutching four life jackets and my change and then gestured for us to get into the waiting jeep. Our driver moved the rickety jeep slowly through the crowds – it was now starting to get very busy – and we made our way along a road which quickly turned into a track which was bumpy. Very bumpy!!!
We then stopped at a gateway where we had to pay a fee to enter the national park that the falls are located in. We were also asked if we were going to be taking pictures with cameras or taking videos with video cameras as there was also a charge for those. The fees for entry into the national park and for the hire of the jeep and driver I can understand but charging for cameras I thought was a bit cheeky. We told the guide that we would be using our phones and he told us there is no charge for phones. Figure that one out 😲
This stop was where we got our first sight of the monkeys that inhabit the forest and this is where we also first found out that Eva hates monkeys. With a passion 🤣 Having paid our fees, the trek (and it was definitely a trek) to the waterfalls car park commenced properly. To say the road was rough was a very big understatement and explained a lot about the state of the jeep we were travelling.
Anita thought she had learnt from her experiences of travelling in the front of vehicles here so she opted for the bench seats in the very back of the jeep. This is where our guide had put the life jackets and also where he decided he was sitting. He seemed to be taking a bit of a liking to Anita as he was chattering away to her telling her about where we were going and what we were seeing. She did her best to relay what she was being told to the rest of us but the way the road was chucking the jeep from side to side this was not a very easy thing to do.
The track wound it way through the forest and then down to a river where the only way to cross was via a ford. Our driver had caught up with a couple of other jeeps by this point so it turned into a bit of a race as to who was going to get across and out of the river first. Thankfully it was us 😁
Our guide then told us that there are 412 different jeeps and drivers that make the trip to and from the waterfalls but the drivers are only allowed to make one journey per day and they are only allowed to work every other day and they get a certain percentage of the ticket price so it’s in their best interests to get as many passengers as possible in every trip. The guides, however, are not on a set wage so accept whatever is given to them by the passengers in the form of a tip so it was down to him to help us get the most out of the day as we could.
The constant rocking side to side of the jeep was not helping my hangover…
After crossing another river and passing the Dudhsagar Devi temple deep in the forest, the road continued to wind along until we arrived at the car park area. This was as far as the jeep could take us.
The rest of the way to the falls was on foot and it started with a steep set of steps which went past a tree whose trunk was in a triangle at the base. We had the picture below taken.
We were then led along the path towards the waterfalls. This took us over little bridges that crossed streams and reminded Shaun & I of the rope bridge from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The weather was heating up and there was a fair amount of scrabbling and climbing over rocks and boulders as we headed further through the forest. All of this appeared to be doing me some good as I think I was sweating the previous night out of me so by the time we got to the lower falls I felt great 😁
I stopped at the lower falls as I had seen some patterns in one of the small pools to the side. I can only assume they were being made by something on the surface of the water but is was quite mesmerising to watch
After moving on from the lower falls we started to see a lot more people. Our guide was still helping Anita but had also started giving Eva a hand as well as they climbed and scrambled over rocks. He was definitely working for his tip!!! Shaun and I were pretty much left to our own devices.
We scrambled over the last lot of boulders and then saw the waterfalls. WOW!!!!
So Shaun and I followed Eva and Anita to where our guide had led them to the water’s edge. He asked us if we were good swimmers because if we were then we wouldn’t need to wear the life jackets. Hell yeah we’re good swimmers we told him. I don’t think we totally believed us because he made us promise to him that we were good swimmers. The requirement to have life jackets came about because in the past some people had gone swimming in the pool with no life belt. They had got into trouble and had drowned so since then the wearing of them was made compulsory. We were the only people not wearing life jackets but we were also the only western people there as well.
We got changed and were about to get into the water when we noticed the fish right at the water’s edge. Our guide told us that they were carp and that they would move as we got into the water. They needed to because they were massive and I don’t mean any of this ‘one that got away’ malarkey. These were between 1 1/2 & 2 feet long!!!
Sure enough they did get out of the way as we got in (thankfully) so we all swam over to the waterfall itself while our guide took pictures of us with my phone 😲 (I’m very protective of my phone) After a little while Shaun and I got a bit bored of swimming and treading water (swimming is not either of our great passions) so we were just discussing going back & getting out when something brushed past my foot 😲😲 FFS!!! The fish were getting brave because they then touched Shaun’s leg and then I felt something touch my foot. That was it for me. Time to get out!!!
The trek back to the jeep seemed to take a lot less time than getting to the waterfalls which was probably due to my vast improved physical condition. Once back in the car park it was absolute mayhem (similar to the spice plantation the previous day) There were jeeps and people everywhere all trying to get as close as possible to the entrance to the path to the falls. Luckily for us our driver had turned the car around and parked up so we all jumped in, Shaun and I getting into the very back so Anita and Eva could have the rear seats and our guide could sit up front with the driver. The journey back was no less bumpy than the drive out…
We passed a lot of jeeps travelling up to the falls on our way back and there were a few that were following us that were clearly in more of a rush than us as they passed us in the most ridiculous of positions. This made the journey back a little more eventful but thankfully we got back to the start point in one piece. I’m just glad we didn’t need to change a wheel and put the spare on…
I will say that we tipped our guide very well as he had certainly earned it by helping Anita and Eva and putting up with me being hung over. The meeting place was heaving with people!!! How were we ever going to find our driver in among this lot???
Then, like a scene from Mr Ben and the shop keeper, he appeared. He told us to wait and he went and fetched the car. He did a multi-point turn in the middle of the crowd and then we were on our way back to the hotel.
The rest of the afternoon was spent by the pool which was fabulous. We had spent the rest of the previous afternoon by the pool before we went to Fishermans Wharf but I forgot to include that bit in my previous post. My bad. I’ll do a bit of back track now and include two afternoon’s worth of pool stories into one section. Sorry if this gets confusing…
So after Gramps had dropped us off there was still plenty of light and heat left in the day so we decided to hit the pool. Which me\ns I got a chance to take some pictures of it at last 😁
The water was really hot in the pool to the point where we all thought that we had had baths in the UK cooler than this!!
The great thing about the pool was undoubtedly the swim up bar. There were stools mounted in the water so we had a little swim about in the warm water first and then the four of us decided it was time for a drink (this is where the problem with how the falls day started I have decided)
Cocktails were definitely in order so we each picked a different one from the menu and this was mixed in front of us by the bar tender Shahid. The first one’s seemed to evaporate very quickly (must have been the heat from the pool) so Eva and Anita ordered different one’s again but Shaun and I were undecided. ‘Would you like an off-menu cocktail?’ Shahid asked us. I was up for off menu so he made us both a Bullfrog.
This drink was bright green and had ALL of the alcohol in it and Redbull just for good measure. Despite the colour I really enjoyed it (falls day becomes ever clearer) Eva and Anita then would have a drink, go for a swim and return to find their drink magically refilled whilst Shaun and I stayed at the bar (in the bath like water of course) where we had gone onto Goan beer. We chatted to some of the other guests and I asked Shahid if he could get the qualifying for the grand prix on the TV whilst we were sat there. He flicked through the channels but the best he could come up with was MotoGP. ‘That’s the same as F1 isn’t it?’ he asked 😲😲 Definitely not but it’ll do.
One of the other guests we had been talking to them came up to me and showed me his phone. He had managed to get literally the final moments of the qualifying to stream on his phone. Happy J 😁😁
As we were watching and chatting Eva came swimming up and sat on the pool bar stool next to me and then immediately slid straight off back into the water. I thought I was going to wet myself laughing. She blamed it on the fact that the stool was slippery and it had nothing at all to do with the cocktails but she close to sit on a different stool to drink her drink. This left the stool next to me still empty so Anita then came swimming up, sat on the stool and promptly slid straight off back into the water. I was no good after that…
I am not sure how we got to the next bit but we somehow persuaded Shaun to slide down the hand rail that led into the pool. Hind sight being the wonderful thing it is we shouldn’t have suggested it and he definitely shouldn’t have done it because as he slide down he fell off the side and as he went into the water he kicked the step and broke one of his toes. We obviously didn’t realise at first what he had done so fell about laughing. only when he surfaced in agony did we realise what he had done 😲😲 Unfortunately for Shaun not only did this hurt a lot but it seemed to turn his foot into some sort of magnet because on more than one occasion after that it got knocked or stood on 😲😲
So I now jump back to getting to the pool after the falls. It was a little cooler in the pool and there was no-one about so we had a quick swim and got some drinks on the go (hair of the dog 😉) when Eva proclaimed that she was going to go down the slide 😲 We had clocked the slide the previous day and had spoken to Shahid but he’d told us the slide was for children so we couldn’t use it. Neither Eva or Anita were going to be told they couldn’t do something 😲
There was a sign up saying as much but there was no-one about so up the steps Eva went. I grabbed the camera and Shaun kept watch as she went down the slidre, Shaun then went and followed then it was my go. Anita then had to have a go so she wasn’t left out. It was really cool but we had attracted the attention of the towel attendants so one go each was all we got.
We ate and drank at the poolside bar again (surprise surprise) with both Anita and Eva being careful of the slippery bar stool and decided that we would go back to Mikes Place that night for dinner. Unfortunately it wasn’t the same as the first night when we went despite the fact that they had music playing it was nowhere near as busy so there wasn’t the same atmosphere. It didn’t tarnish a great day but there was no night caps that night. The Old Monk stayed in the bottle…