In the Wildernest
The sunset at the infinity pool.
|Outside of my cottage during a
November 6, 2007
Now I love the beach as much as the next person…but I wasn’t quite sure I could do two full weeks of it while in Goa. I did a
search for ‘Goa’ and ‘things to do other than the beach’ on the internet. That is what brought me here.
Now I know to take Trip Advisor with a grain of salt. But when every review about a place is stellar, how can I ignore this?
Reviews were quite honest claiming that it was wonderful but if you are squeamish about nature and the insects that are in it,
this might not be the place for you. I’ve come a long way in the past year and a half. A few insects wouldn’t scare me away.
I am splurging a bit on this stay partly because it is unlike anything I have ever done before. And because while this is a
‘splurge’ in India, it would be a steal at home. Oh. And they provide free transportation if you stay for two nights. Sold!
I am two hours away from the beaches up in a rainforest that borders on Goa and Maharasta. The grounds are beautiful with
small Indian touches…but it really is all about nature up here.
I was given a brief tour when I arrived. The highlight was the infinity pool that looks like it spills over into the hills. By the way,
God bless the person who invented the infinity pool. What a marvelous creation. I am truly a fan.
The last stop was my jungle-view cottage. Now let’s face it – websites create certain expectations. Many of these are not
achieved when seeing the places in three-dimensional form (versus on a computer screen with pictures taken at great angles).
But this room, at least to me, exceeds the expectations I had. I had no idea it was going to be so ‘natural chic’. I wish I knew
terms for interior design and architecture so I could describe this in detail that does it justice. But I don’t know any terms. I
can just say that it is mostly all a dark wood with vaulted ceilings and a fan that puts just the right amount of air on me. This is
coupled with the air that comes through the open screens that are protected by the wooden shutters (the combination of these
keep the room nicely ventilated yet prevents the creepy-crawlies and the rain from coming in). Okay. So maybe a few creepy-
crawlies have managed their way in here. But that’s to be expected, right? Oh. Back to the décor of my room. The linens and
decorative pillows are solid burgundy, white and sage. The lighting is perfect – you can opt to have lights come from
underneath the bed frame, in the corners of the room or coming from underneath a beam over the doorway. The wattage of all
of these is pretty low so it gives me an opportunity for some romantic ambience with myself. And then there is the beautiful
copper pitcher with drinking water in it to pour into the copper cup. It looks perfect on the wooden table.
The bathroom is also very nice – complete with hot water. (On that note, I really haven’t come across a place yet in this
country where I haven’t had hot water – I wasn’t expecting to be so privileged. But I am digressing…)
The ‘toiletries’ are interesting, to say the least. There are two copper bowls. They each have a brownish powder in them. One
is natural shampoo; the other is natural body soap. All one has to do is mix a bit with water and, voila, you have shampoo or
body soap. It’s not the best smelling stuff. And it feels a bit like washing your hair with mud. But it was fun to do things the
‘natural’ way (even if I am switching to using my shampoo and body wash tomorrow).
When I arrived today, it was pouring. I guess these things happen when you are in a rainforest. But then it stopped. Pool time!
And what would be the odds that I would have the entire thing to myself? I guess all of the kiddies hung up their towels for the
day (many Indian families are staying here). Score for me! Just me and an infinity pool. Ahhh…
After 1½ hours of chlorinated bliss, I felt a few drops. If I have any traces of being a psychic, I knew that this was going to be
leading to something bigger. I headed back to my cottage and while in the shower, the rain had begun and it was coupled with
thunder that was deafening. And just as I got the last traces of mud…I mean ‘shampoo’…out of my hair, the power went bye-
bye. And with that, the hot water went bye-bye. Perfect timing on my part, I must say.
I sat and read outside of my cottage (the chairs and terrace-area are protected) while waiting out the rain. Once it ended, I
headed down to the pool to watch the sunset. And it reflected on the pool. Oh, was it beautiful!
Had an absolutely scrumptious Indian dinner then decided to call it a night. Of course, I would have never been able to
navigate my way back on my own – I needed my flashlight that came equipped in my room.
Now I am back in my cottage retiring for the night.
November 7, 2007
In one way I could say I got a horrible sleep last night. In another way, I could say I had an incredible sleep last night. It just
depends on how you look at it.
For those who have never slept smack in the middle of a rainforest, there is no way to describe the sounds and volume-level of
the sounds that you hear out here. I have absolutely no idea what some of these things were. I was awoken several times
throughout the night. I wasn’t sure if I should take the ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach and not look to see what things were
separated from me by simply just a bit of wood and concrete. But then there was the curious part of me that said ‘What in the
world could make a noise like that?’ Even though it was 3am, I pulled up my shade at my main window and shined a flashlight
outside. But there was nothing. I don’t know why I was disappointed. Did I really want to see some massive insect that was
going to give me nightmares of creeping into my room once I fell asleep?
Since I am up so early, I am going to go on the 7am bird-watching outing. Clearly, the rainforest does weird things to people.
This is evidence of that.
I just got back from a trek to some waterfalls. I was expecting a nice little walk. Nope. It was a ‘trek’ in every sense of the
word…even down to a leach that made its way into my shoe.
The beginning started just like most hikes – navigating our way through dirt paths and pushing through lots of trees and
branches. As always, the downhill sections were the most difficult – especially with all the rainfall from yesterday, all of the
rocks were very slick. We got down to a river and could hear water rushing in the distance. I was sure we were at the falls.
Nope. We still had the most difficult terrain to conquer. It required straddling rocks and using our arms to pull ourselves up
and get ourselves down. After many near-slips and near-falls, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Or in our case, the falls
at the end of the rocks. The breeze and the rocks felt oh-so-good. After a while we made our way back. On our walk back, a
small little yell came from two people behind me. Turned out that if I was walking just a tad slower, I would have been the
person that would have seen a 4-inch thick, 4-ft long snake slither past my feet. But I only heard about it. Apparently the
snake was fast and went just as quickly as he came. Is it really bizarre of me to say that I kind of would have liked to have seen
it? I guess it’s easy to say that in retrospect, huh? At the time, I was happy I was five seconds ahead of the snake’s trail.
By the time the trek was done, I was beyond disgustingly sweaty (it’s never good when you fail your own ‘smell check’). I just
showered and feel like a new person. Now I am off to my beloved infinity pool…
Oh! I forgot to mention my bird watching this morning. There’s a reason for that – it was very uneventful. I will not be
repeating this tomorrow morning.
Apparently I have new neighbors. When I left my cottage earlier I heard a big fat “Oh shit!!!” from across the pathway in a
tone typically reserved for losing a passport or finding out your wallet has been stolen. But neither of these were the case. It
was because the woman <gasp> found a bug in the room (yes, I was eavesdropping). Talk about unacceptable in the middle of
When I got to the pool, I noticed that once again I had the place to myself. Or did I? I noticed I had a couple of silver lizards
keeping me company. They were at the table next to my pool chair. They were hanging out next to each other…but wait…then
one started biting the other and running after it and then jumping on top of it. And then…I still can’t believe I actually saw this
with my own eyes…he started penetrating the female lizard. Normally we can just assume that this action is taking place. But
not today. I actually saw the penetration. I really don’t know why I am talking about this in my journal. Probably because it
was just so National-Geographic-meets-Discovery-Channel.
After lunch my new neighbors sat at my table. I am just going to say it – this woman is a kook. The guy seems totally normal.
At first I thought they were married, but she made some bitter remark/comment on the topic and I didn’t really know how to
take it. Then she started freaking out because her food was a bit spicy. Um, we are in India. And the irony? She’s from India.
But went to boarding school in England. And he is English. But they live between Dubai and Goa. This all could be
interesting…if she wasn’t so damn weird. So because the food was spicy, she was refusing to eat anything else. But he wasn’t
having it. He was then trying to feed her like a two year-old. And she was resisting it like a two year-old refuses brussel
sprouts. Every four or five tries, she would cave and eat a bite. I’m guessing he knows she has food issues and this is his way of
handling it. She never let him say a complete sentence before butting in with something on a completely different topic. And
then the topic of Saudi Arabia came up since he had been there many years ago. He was saying something and then she
interrupted and started freaking out about how they treat women. Um…but that really has nothing to do with what we were
just talking about.
Oh. And here’s the kicker. She’s a therapist. Isn’t that always the case when you meet a headjob?
I’m about to go to dinner now. I just noticed I have a couple of new gecko roommates. Hey, it beats the chipmunk roommate
that another couple had in their room earlier! And I don’t think I mentioned anything about the monkey this monkey staring
at us through the window as we ate our breakfast. Oh, the wilderness. Wait. I should say ‘the Wildernest’.
Just got back from dinner. More news from the kook across the path from me. She was freaking out on her dude when I left
my room. She was yelling “SHUT UP!” It all had to do with not having an outfit or shoes to wear to dinner tonight. Keep in
mind we are in the middle of the rainforest and I don’t think the different Indian families are really going to care what you
wear tonight. I stuck around a bit longer listening to them as it was providing me with a bit of entertainment.
But now it’s time for bed. I’m hoping for an early start to get one more use out of the pool before departing this place.
November 8, 2007
I took part in this morning’s activities before my taxi led me back to the coast.
I started with my last dip in the pool. What would be the odds that every time I used the pool out here, I would be the only
person in it? Does it get better than that? This morning I looked out over the edge to the hills and the fog resting in mid-air.
Ahhh… I’m sure going to miss this pool.
After breakfast, a group of us went on a village tour. All of us really enjoyed this. All of us, that is, except for my crazy
neighbor. She was there with her man. When we were about to walk over across the river to see the temple, she started
whining. He said to her “We’re going to see the village.” Her response? “Ughhh… I don’t want to see a village? Why are we
seeing a village?” Okay. NEWSFLASH! This was called the ‘Village Tour’. Something is simply off with this woman. Later she
was complaining to me that it was hot. All I could say was “Well, it’s India. I kind of expected it to be hot.” God help the people
that have to hear her complain about real heat when she is in India and Dubai over the summer!
One more news-worthy thing to report. I tried a new type of fruit today. I have no idea what the name is but it kind of looks
like a cross between a potato and a kiwi from the outside. The inside is a guava-like pink color and it tastes a bit like a custard
apple. It even has a few seeds that are similar to the ones in a custard apple. Now I am on a mission to find out the name!
Taxi is now here. I am off to the coast of Goa!
In my cottage.