December 30, 2015

Goa: Hotels or Shacks?

Undoubtedly one of the most prominent tourist destinations in India, Goa is known for its gorgeous beaches and unending parties. There are other attractions for both, the tourists and the travellers, beyond the beaches such as Velha Goa, river cruises, waterfalls, Portuguese settlements and trek trails. However, other than the selective traveller who wants to go beyond the usual, not many explore those routes. Goa remains to be confined to the beaches, flea markets and shacks for most visitors.

The Goa coastline, which extends from Polem beach in the south to the Arambol beach in the North, has no dearth of accommodation options. Shacks, resorts and hotels in Goa are available across locations as tourism has meandered its way through every nook and corner of the coastline. Though luxurious resorts in Goa aren’t as ubiquitous as shacks or hotels, there are numerous resorts run by all major hospitality companies present across the state. Most of these resorts which include the Taj, Leela, Oberoi and many others have their properties located in central Goa, closer to the airport and offer a plethora of amenities and activities, but come at a price.

If one intends to travel on a budget or backpack across Goa, the ideal stay options would be hotels or shacks. When it comes to narrowing down, hotels offer more facilities compared to a beach shack but at a higher cost. You can avail cleaner rooms with attached bathrooms and other basic amenities. There are hotels which provide complimentary breakfast and that could be one reason to go for it. Hotels would definitely be a better bet if you are willing to spend a bit more during your budget travel and would like to spend your holiday in privacy and safe surroundings.


Shacks are a totally different experience. Mostly situated by the beach, they are pretty economical with little or no amenities. They might not be a favourite with tourists and families, but shacks or beach huts as they are sometimes called, possess a charm of its own. Loved mostly by backpackers, shacks definitely provide you with a feeling of leading a hippie lifestyle. The other exciting aspect is that you can fall asleep and wake up to the sounds of the waves outside your shack. This is a once in lifetime opportunity that you must not miss!
 

What is your preferred accommodation option while holidaying in Goa?

P.S.: This is a sponsored post, however opinions are my own.

December 17, 2015

Galibore Nature Camp


Cauvery gurgled its way beside the cottages with green hills in the background. The recent rains had swelled the river and green was the predominant colour. A few macaques monkeyed around as I sat in oblivion gazing at the flowing waters through the canopy in the foreground.

Galibore Nature camp, run by Jungle Lodges and resorts off Kanakapura main road is quite cut away from the main access road. The last stretch of 9 Kms is an enjoyable off- roading experience on an undulated mud road and puddles with Cauvery appearing intermittently along with odd wildlife sightings. This nature camp was earlier quite popular for its angling of Mahseer which were let off the hook once they were caught. Angling is presently banned here, however, the serene wilderness by the Cauvery is definitely a reason to head to this camp.

The activities began with a light trek to the top of a hill behind the property premises. One can either opt for this guided trek uphill or go for a nature walk. The guide waded his way through the tall grasses, and I like a dutiful pupil followed him. Half way up an aerial view of Cauvery through the canopy was visible, and the higher we went, the vistas turned panoramic. A sambar whizzed past us, a few meters away as it heard human intrusion. Hardly had a glimpse as it ran through the tall grasses. We waited patiently for it to return, but it scampered off further. In a while we were on top of the hill with magnificent panoramic vistas all over. It is a beautiful frame as Cauvery meanders peacefully through the thick foliage. The watch tower here offers more aerial vistas. We trudged down shortly after gazing at the views for a while. More tall grasses and slippery trail with stones made it a slightly precarious trek down. Back on the mud road in a while, we crossed over to rest and have lunch at the resort a few feet away from Cauvery.


Though fishing is no more allowed, coracle rides are a nice way to understand the river better. After a sumptuous lunch I got onto one of the coracles to go down the stream. Cauvery flowed beautifully as my boatman kept searching for crocodiles to frame. The bright sun, clear skies and the wedged Cauvery between the verdant green hills made a nice frame as the search for crocodiles continued. We spotted a quite a few by the banks. They were quite vigil despite their laid back sunbath and quietly slipped into the waters, the moment our coracle went closer. Birds in various hues and sizes were also seen fluttering all over and it included kingfishers, cormorants, lapwings and many more. There are more than hundreds of species of birds found near this camp as per my boatman.




  
An hour later, we were back on the bank waiting for the vehicle to transport me back to the resort. As we waited, I realised that every frame of the gleaming Cauvery looked beautiful. The jutting rocks, the thick deciduous forests on the other bank and the blue sky further accentuated it. On the way back sighted a herd of spotted deer who were startled by the noise of the vehicle and strolled away. More relaxing moments and a cup of coffee later, I was back manoeuvring the undulated mud road that led out of the camp and away from Cauvery.



A night stay is recommended at the camp as this makes the experience more relaxing and enjoyable. The neat tented cottages has all the basic amenities required. The hammocks outside each tent is an ideal place for a siesta under the shade. 



Signing Note- Relax amidst wilderness by the Cauvery...!!

Route- Bangalore- Kanakapura- Mekedatu- Galibore
Distance- 110 Kms

Dandeli.com is a comprehensive website which helps travellers visit this wonderful nature camp and makes their stay a memorable one. For more travel information, booking and reservation, please contact Mr.Ramnath at 09449244567. You can mail them at book@dandeli.com.

P.S.- I was invited by Dandeli.com to visit Galibore Nature Camp. 


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