After one helluva Saturday night, a bunch of friends and me decide that we are gonna meet in 3 hours and go explore a near-by abandoned village. So after hovering around one laptop, in a cramped car, parked at a fuel station in the Capital of Goa…... we decided to ‘Google Earth’ abandoned villages around Goa.
And we found the perfect one…. or so we thought! Chorla Ghats are about a 50kms drive from Panaji. I (as usual) decided to self-appoint myself as ‘driver’. Totally unprepared for this trip, but very excited about the spontaniety of it… we took off to the mountains.
The drive to Chorla was a refreshing change. It being the monsoons, everything was so green and grogeous! We stopped on the way to drink water….. trickling down from a spring. I tripped on one of the rocks….. but that is usually the “story of my life”.
The drive up the Ghats was only to complain about. My friends weren’t too happy about the rock-a-bye-baby moves the car was throwing at us. We were driving on imaginary asphalt and craters larger than those on the moon, and I was doing my best to make sure my hungover pals were comfortable. Nature of course (and our Government) had different plans for us. At times like these, you have to look up at the beautiful sky, and thank god for mood up-lifters like Grease Lightening!
We reached our destination, parked and were all charged up to explore the abandoned village. The locals told us it would be a 8 km walk and we should not miss checking out the ruins of a fort.
So we hiked, and hiked and hiked and hiked further up the mountain, only to get bitten by leeches. I shrieked of course and woke up the jungle, till someone threw salt on the tiny creature(s) and its failed attempts to suck on my blood. (I was happily surprised that someone actually had the sense to carry salt!)
We walked past the most beautiful waterfalls…..............
And mesmerizing forests.. This particular stretch reminded so much of “Narnia”. It was magical, yet eerie at the same time! I looked out for the “White Witch”, but thankfully she wasn’t to be seen.
After another 45 minutes of walking, we were sure we did not ‘Google Map’ right. We had actually walked right through civilization! Another village called Surla, with people and schools. Where on Earth were the ruins? Speaking to locals again, we realized we had just walked 12 kms!! We were waaaayyyyy off our mark. Was there a way to get back without having to walk through the mountains? No!! the nearest bus station was another 2kms away, and they weren’t even sure when the next bus was!
So, we started our climb up again!! Said hello to a dozen of leeches and walked back another 12 kms. Disappointed that we didn’t get to see the ruins, but thrilled and ecstatic about the beautiful streams, the heavenly fog, the mesmerizing forests that we were blessed to witness.
Who knew we had it in us to hike 24 kms at a stretch! Thank God for small mercies in life.