Monday, 15 November 2010

Dudhsagar Falls

14th we had decided to go and visit the Dudhsagar waterfalls near the border to Karnataka in Ponda. We started early and took about 2 hrs to reach Colem where we had to change vehicles. In Colem we rented a Mahindra jeep with driver that took 6 passengers, as we were 4 there was another 2 NRI's from London sharing the 2 remaining seats. The charge was 500Rs/ head. Soon enough we were on our way to the Falls and entered the Nature Park where Dudhsagar is located.

Huge rainforest tree on the way to the Falls

Finally there

At the gate we had to pay camera fee and entry fees. Funny enough there were big signs that feeding the monkeys is prohibited with penalty of fine if breached. In Colem the touts were selling bananas to feed the monkeys. The Officials must be well aware of the Indian habit of littering indiscrimately as all plastic was banned in the park, signs were posted at frequent intervals "Do not litter".

In the cooling waters

The upper cataracts

After entering the Park we crossed a series of streams and on the 3rd stream it was full stop. We wondered off to see what was the stoppage and it turned out a jeep had been stuck midstream, people were pushing and pulling and after some wrestling eventually managed to get the car on the move again. Then the road turned into a red quagmire from recent rains and some cars got stuck. Even our driver managed to get his car stuck as he wanted to prove himself by finding alternative tracks. It was by then we discovered the jeep was only 2-wheel drive.

Upper cataracts

View to the lower pool from the railroad bridge

Finally after some 45minutes ride we arrived the waterfalls. There was a slight walk to reach the lower pool. It was very refreshing to take a dip in the hot searing sun. The view was magnificent as one could se the 300 meter fall towering above us. About midway up there is a train bridge passing. As I was not satisfied with current sights I left the boys to take care of the Russian tourists and ventured into the brush and clambered some 150m upwards to the bridge.


Dudhsagar Falls

The workers on the rail track probably thought I am some apparition as a white man suddenly appeared from man height brush only clad in swimming trunks. Up onthe rail track I could see there was one more pool at this tier and local people were enjoying the peace and quiet there. I was also lucky to see a cargo train pass by, the driver and conductors waved happily to me.

Dudhsagar local inhabitants

Our car on the right stalled in the middle of river

Having seen the Falls from a higher vantage point I went back the way I came up. It was probably harder going down as I had to take care not start rolling downhill. Once down at the lower pool I took a refreshing dip and changed clothes after which it was time to get back to civilization. We all crammed ourselves in the Jeep and off we went. This time the driver got again stuck in the mud and when we were passing the 3rd last water stream I bet he stalled the car on purpose maybe in order to give the guys some chance to extract some  money from us on accord of pushing the car back to the road. I scuttled this plan by walking away with the rest of the boys.

Train at Dudhsagar waterfall

While walking towards Colem the weather got really bad, a thunderstorm was passing above us and I heard the most terrific thunderclaps before the down pour started. After some half hour of walking the car came trundling past us and stopped to pick us up. It only took another 30 minutes to get us back to Colem where the driver asked for tips. Not a penny from me before he learns to drive his Jeep.

Going to Dudhsagar Falls

We had some tea at Colem before heading back to Sinquerim, on the way we stopped at a highway dhaba for some late lunch. It was a very delicious thali and for 5 grown up men it cost 100Rs altogether.

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