I had a friend visiting from Europe so put together several sightseeing trips and the backwater thrills was one of them. It was a fantastic day with a two hour (approx) slow sail up the estuary towards Ponda. The guide pointed out the various important landmarks along the way as we floated along. It is a different view of Goa - a point of view that one would not normally see.
The boat stopped at a small pier where 4-wheel drive vehicles were waiting to take us to the spice plantation for a tour and a spot of lunch. The spice plantation visit was interesting. We were shown the various plants and trees indigenous to the region. The tour culminated with a man demonstrating how the tall beetlenut trees are climbed... jumping from tree to tree, much like monkeys do. A COLD glass of water was waiting for us at the end of the tour... but not to drink! It was poured down our backs (supposedly to cool us off) hahahaha
We then were treated to a cold drink and a buffet with vegetarian and non-veg dishes on offer. After the tasty meal we were free for a bit to explore, take photographs and buy spices from the little stall on site. My friend took a picture next to one of the elephants as a souvenir and I found a Kingfisher by the stream which I managed to photograph.
The journey back was riotous, with party games planned. Unfortunately taking part was compulsory so one couldn't just sit back and relax or have a siesta in the cool breeze. The other thing I did not like was that the winner had to serve a forfeit in order to get his/her prize. Singing impromptu in front of strangers is not my idea of fun. If you've won then they should give you the prize without having to penalize you for it!
Except for this one negative I found the whole experience to be very enjoyable. We met a few people who we had met on other tours during the course of the week, so it was like a bunch of friends meeting up. All in all a good experience.
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