Thursday, September 12, 2013

The monsoon drive - Go Goa!

Monsoon brings in loads of rain and with it comes the transformation of the landscape enriched with the various hues of greens/yellows. This year finally got time to get a break from office work and decided it would be Goa to enjoy the monsoon rains.

We started off and crossed Tumkur in no time with a slight drizzle. The morning chill and the rains were a good combination. Made good progress and reached Hubli soon enough, stopped to grab a quick bite of Idly/Pooris at Kamath. With tummies full and a quick fuel top-up we made our way through the lush green fields, roads being patchy at best. The pace slowed down but the sights made up for it.

Soon enough we reached the Ghats and the landscapes got a lot more interesting. Found it hard balancing driving and glancing at the landscape :D

Each turn would show up a mini-waterfall with the water from the slopes trickling down

The other side would have the low lying passing clouds vying for attention

We reached Mollem and turned off towards Nature's nest at Surla - a wonderfully maintained eco-lodging run by Pankaj Lad. Was very co-operative and has great staff to assist

With us having spent the majority of day enjoying the sights we rested for a while and then enjoyed the sights, sounds and smells of the rains.

The freshness one can see once the rain stops is something else! Each leaf shimmers, the creatures come out to sip on the precious drops.

Enjoyed a sumptuous dinner with a good talk on the flora and fauna found around with Ramesh and Omkar (naturalists here)
The next day brought more rains and sights of the birds which throng here. The bulbuls - red vented and red whiskered

The first timer - Spider hunter

The purple rumped sunbird

Trees around our room were filled with bird calls as well, the cackle of the Hornbill being contested by the Flameback woodpecker

Quick breakfast, the food here's basic but yummy!

The moisture had a lot of mushrooms popping up everywhere

and so did the ferns/mosses taking up every nook and corner

Butterfly orchid

The carefully selected flowers were quite the magnet and the butterflies thronged!

Birdwing on Clerodendrum

Sipping here just to give you a sense of scale, these butterflies are HUGE!

Common rose

Blue mormon sipping

Looked like it was the season for love, many of them following their mates around

Found this beautifully colored jumping spider..had to make do with the kit lens :(

Late afternoon the workers at the coconut grove called us out - they had two Humpnose pit vipers. Got some shots while Ramesh captured them to be released elsewhere.

We went for a short walk on the boundary of Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, enjoyed every bit of it

The red land crab keeping a watch over us

Meandering through the leaf littered path

Looking for creatures

Stick insect

The property also has a natural spring which is also fed by a trickle.

Flowers blooming everywhere!

We were given a free pedicure with the schools of Puntius fasciatus, Puntius setnai, Garra sp., Rasbora daniconius and even the aplocheilus lineatus nibbling at the hair.

An inquisitive buffalo checking us out

The Samsung grand proved to be a good in-pocket camera with it's close focusing/image quality giving us enough confidence to leave the cameras behind. Have never noticed this fly/bee before with it's gigantic proboscis.

Found this Tortoise beetle along the sides

The strangler fig - which engulfs the host tree and hollows it out over time, what's left remaining is the intricate set of roots like a mesh with the host tree long gone.

We decided we'll check out some of the beaches as well and headed out to Panjim. The inner roads of Goa were a treat to drive

The skies opened up and so did the mercury levels

Spent the next couple of days exploring the beaches, enjoying the food and ferry rides.

The night markets brought new color

Started back and took the Karwar -> Ankola -> Yellapur -> Hubli route - fabulous roads and sights, barring the few stretches of bad road in the ghats.

Saw this beautiful sunset as we stopped at Kamath again for a quick snack

Then the clouds let go and followed us right through till Bangalore.

Adios and cheers till the next time! Dedicated to my wifey who let me share precious holiday time with the camera as well :P



Arjun Haarith said...

Excellent trip report Hayath. Al the images are amazing. I liked the birdwing and the hump nosed pit viper a lot. Hope you had a macro lens for the jumping spider :)

molarbear's posts said...

Enjoyed the pics and the (re)visit to Canopy very much! I hope Ramesh Zermakar and Omkar Dharwadkar are fine.

That fly with its proboscis is amazing!


dsr said...

Extremely well documented...crisp photographs.... Loved it....

Pankaj Lad said...

Awesome images and wonderful write up. Thank you so much.

Pankaj Lad said...

Awesome images and wonderful write up. Thank you so much.

Tj said...

very nice trip report
colorful pictures .

Hayath said...

Thanks much everyone! Was a good break.

You're very welcome! And thank you too for hosting us at such a short notice :)

girish s said...

excellent report well written and beautiful pics :)

Sangeeta said...

Beautiful, breath-taking images! Superb!

praveen pandit said...

Thanks for these outstanding pictures . You are amazing photographer . Travel Goa Tour Packages