Monday, December 27, 2010

The Dolphin Trip : Goan Odyssey (Part 7)

Day 4 - The Dolphin Trip

After the quick walk around Calangute, our desire to have a ride through the sea waters in a boat has to be fullfilled before we make our return journey. When the agents were canvassing us for various rides during the beach visits, the name Dolphin trip somehow got registered in kids ears and from that point they were demanding for it. So we decided to do a dolphin trip too.

Checked out of Hotel Sunflower and took a cab which will take us back to the Madgaon Railway station from where we will make our return journey. But before returning, we asked our cab driver to take us to a point from where we can embark on the Dolphin trip. Our requirement was to start the journey from any one of the rivers and then join the sea through an estuary which will save us from the bumpy ride which can be expected if we start our ride from a sea shore.
Before the ride we had to have a breakfast and stopped by the Plantain Leaf, a vegetarian restaurant at Calangute. It seemed the best was saved for the last as we got to taste some yummy yummy south Indian Delights, with the Rocket Dosa taking us by surprise because of its sheer size.

The cab driver took us through the route to Fort Aguada and stopped at a boat jetty near Fort Aguada managed by the Government of Goa. The place was crowded with prospective dolphin trippers and the eagerness of seeing one of the beautiful creatures of the world was writ large on the crowd standing in the queue. River mandovi was flowing by the side. The colorful boats were waiting for their turn

Paid a charge of Rs 100 per person for the 1 hour ride and got inside the boat. The life jackets were in pathetic condition and they did not give it for children. When asked the reply was nothing will happen. The journey started and the boats engine began to makes wakes in the other wise calm river.

As we moved ahead in the Mandovi river, the thought of getting a feeling of turbulence when in the sea began to haunt me, coz I don't know how the kids will react to that. As of now they were in high spirits with the exciting prospect of seeing a dolphin live triggering their positive spirits.

Slowly but steadily the boat moved through the estuary into the sea, and began travelling northwards. The cliff like geography ensured that there no high tides and the sailing was smooth with the occasional bump. Once in the wide open sea, the boat driver asked us to keep our eyes wide open for sighting the dolphin.

Meanwhile I could see some buildings along the coast line.

There was a retaining wall kind of construction at the point where sea met land, but on a closer look found that there were lot of openings in the wall.

I still could not make out what the purpose is. The boat driver could not answer it too.

As we were wandering around in the wide open seas searching for that elusive dolphin, something else was spotted at a distance, standing majestically and attracting everyones attention.

The boat driver announced that it is the private boat of the brewery king Vijay Mallya, whose residence has an opening towards this side of the sea. The boat had all the stuff to match the stylized life style of the business tycoon. As we approached more and more closer to the kingfisher boat, the Aguada fort also began to make its presence in the backdrop.

The boat driver took us for a ride around the kingfisher boat so that we could get a close glimpse of the beautiful carrier.

By this time someone was shouting that they saw a dolphin. The boat driver took us in that direction and suddenly there were lots of them jumping and almost instantaneously going down in a pattern. I failed to operate my shooting machine at the right time to capture the shot. It so happened that a dolphin appeared in exactly opposite side to which I was pointing my camera too. Finally I managed to click some images. But none of them do justice to the beautiful creature whose movements up and down has a rhythmic pattern associated with.

The sight of the dolphins made all the people excited and the boat driver began to get close to the dolphins. But the moment we were near them they will not jump up again and another set will appear at a distant position. We learnt from the boat driver that dolphin sighting is possible only in the mornings, because once the sun gets hotter these guys won't come up.

The journey continued further north bound after some rotations in and out when the dolphins were sighted. Soon we were near the Aguada fort, but from the sea we could see that part of Aguada fort which we did not see from top of the fort yesterday. The Aguada prison was in the lower end of the fort.

The Aguada prison was constructed by Portugese to keep hold of the war prisoners. Even now it is being used by the Goan police to house criminals. It is truely a haunted place with high rising hill forming its one side and the vast sea on the other side.

Another thing which captured the attention of every one was a beautiful house or to be more precise a palace sort of construction by the sea side.

The boat was taken close to the mansion and the boat driver revealed that it belongs to a diamond merchant and itz worth could be well over 70 crores Indian Rupees. What a building it is !!

Watch an extreme close up of the mansion, which is constructed on one side of the hill without actually disturbing the natural geographical incline

Forty five minutes had passed after we started this journey, but the dolphins, the kingfisher boat, aguada view from the sea and jeweller's mansion had kept us busy all through the journey. Soon we were on the return path. The return journey seemed to be much faster than the onward journey.

We were back on the cab after satisfying our wish for a journey through the sea heading towards the Madgaon railway station to catch the Rajadhani express for our return trip through the enchanting Konkan once again.

Overall the 4 days at Goa presented us with many beautiful experiences, the most cherished one being the hospitality of the Goan people, something which adds much more to the geographically gifted place.

The beaches are all beautiful, vast and neat. Goa seems to be the apt place for the beach lover and night life at Goa is pretty interesting too.

The tourism hoardings of Goa says it all - "It is better in Goa"

Thanks to the blog readers for travelling along with me for this Goan odyssey. I will soon come up with a post which will aid in creating a tour plan to Goa !!


The Goan Odyssey -The story so far...

Part 1. The Konkan Experience - Watch the beautiful pictures of Konkan rail route 
Part 2. Baga Beach - A beautiful beach
Part 3. Vagathore Beach and Chapora Fort - A place with diversified ambiance.
Part 4. Anjuna Beach & Fort Aguada
Part 5. Scootering @ Goa: Destination Panjim
Part 6. Calangute 
Part 7. The Dolphin Trip


krishnakumar513 said...

thanks for the details!keep posting and the good work

chitra said...

We also went for the dolphin ride. we were unfortunate and could see only a snout of one single dolphin. we were fed up after spending 1 1/2 hrs in sea.
Like you said the life jackets were in a bad condition. ( will it save any life, I doubt. ) But we were not made to wear them till a patrol was spotted.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

Watching so many dolphins from so close... must be very exciting. And our 'King of Good Times' sure does 'live life kingsize'...

Have a fun year ahead... with even more charm added to your already charmed life :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome post. Am just back at work after a 5-day vacation at Goa...and it feels soooo good to be reading about th place, still!

Plantain Leaf is a good place to eat at...been there 3 yrs back, and had yummy meals in the afternoon!

That house was spotted from Aguada too. It is indeed a massive one!

You guys had a lovely time, can see.

Here's wishing you many more such trips, to all the places you'll love!

Happy 2011!!

Framed and Shot said...

This is the kind of post and photos that makes us long to go on vacation - travel and discover something new!! Thanks for sharing!


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