Tuesday was my birthday.
Urghhhh. Another year older.
Except I forgot. If it hadn't been for someone commenting on the date I wouldn't of realised until I got home from work to find a card from my Dad. Before I went away I was dreading this particular milestone, but it seems that my holiday has given me a new focus as well as a great tan and good memories.
Thank fuck for that.
I have so much to write about India that I'm not really sure where to start, but as I already put up a picture of the monkeys I guess that story can be first.
And how amazing that this happened on the 1st January, what a way to start the new year !
We set out to visit the Dudhusagar waterfalls which are to the East of Goa.
From the village of Mollem we took a 45 min jeep ride over some very rough terrain through the forest. Not for the faint-hearted - you get thrown around a bit, but great fun. The road is just a dirt track really and at times the jeep has to pass through the river. They deliberately keep it this way so that the site is not too inundated with visitors, but during the monsoon it is inaccessible anyway. The forest is inhabited by leopards, bears, monkeys and vipers - as we were driving through there were funnel webs everywhere so plenty of spiders too.
The start of the dirt track, it was impossible to take pictures once we got going as the ride was so bumpy.
Taken as the jeep passed through the river bed.
As we were passing along one stretch of the river we spotted a deer and the driver stopped the jeep. I will never forget the sound the deer was making, it echoed through the forest. We had our driver and a guide with us and they were both amazed to see it. Apparently it is a very rare sight in India, but then we saw the reason it was staying put and calling for help - it was being hunted by a pack of foxes. Our driver actually got in the water, chased the foxes away, and helped it to safety on the other side of the river.
You can see the reddish brown of one of the foxes behind the tree stump in the background.
I have his address (he has no email) and have promised him that I will send prints of the pictures.
As soon as we got to the car park there were monkeys waiting to be fed (they sell bags of fruit and nuts for them in the village).
We then had to walk the last part of the way to the waterfall. This involves climbing over some - at times - quite large rocks, and passing over the river on two precarious little bridges but the forest is absolutely beautiful.
Then we reached the waterfall itself.
The railway runs along about half way up the waterfall, the picture really doesn't do justice to how high it is.
You can swim in the pool if you like, but we just sat on the rocks and enjoyed the amazing view and yet more monkeys that came and sat with us. They are very bold, and yet at the same time still quite wary of people. The guides tell you not to touch them, but I doubt that's even possible. It was enough for me that I was sat on a rock on new years day and a mother and her baby came and sat less then two feet away from me.
There's a lot I want to say about Goa and it's wonderful people in general, and I have a few stories to share as well. It's too much for one post so I plan to write a few and add just some of the pics to each. I will make albums on skydrive for the rest so you can see them if you want without using up all my picassa allowance.
In the meantime if you would like to see all the pictures taken at the waterfalls here's the link.