Goa is most commonly admired by all beach lovers as the tranquil waters of Goa has a lot to offer. However, the hidden gems are yet to be found. We were a group of 4 friends who visited Goa in the month of September, right after rains had withdrawn. Our trip was a short five days trip out of which we decided to spend three days partying at the beach and leave the rest two days for relaxing only.
After a detailed survey about various houseboats, we decided to book an Overnight houseboat cruise running through the backwaters of the dynamic Mandovi River. The facilities that were promised to us included a pickup and drop as well which was like a cherry on the cake.
Departure & Pickup
First and foremost, we were picked up from our hotel for boat jetty at 2:00 pm in an AC Car and the driver seemed to be quite friendly who gave us some general information about famous tourist attractions nearby. In a short notice, we boarded our houseboat with a warm welcome with garlands and fresh welcome drinks. The fun is yet to begin!
We were guided to our suites and trust me when I say that the rooms were exquisite and spacious. The beds were so comfortable and cozy, huge bathrooms, well equipped with all modern amenities. It was totally worth spending the money on this overnight cruise. Once we were settled, the crew member called upon us to invite in the lounge for some snacks and activities. We had other travelers on the boat with whom we exchanged some casual talk and they sounded friendly.
It was 4:30 pm and Our captain, Mr.Jack informed us that we were going to head towards Aldona amidst which we would come across various sites like Salim Ali’s Bird Sanctuary, local fishermen villages, temples, churches, fish farms, old Portuguese style houses, the beautiful Calvim bridge which is the only bridge in Goa that is cable-stayed. Seeing the different side of Goa definitely left us spellbound.
After witnessing the serenely elegant horizons with rich and varied dyes embarking departure of the day forcing us to imprison ourselves while it took place- the sunset view that we would remember for life. As the clock struck to 7:00 pm, our houseboat was anchored and our next move was to go fishing or some crab catching. As it was our first time, we were given a brief about the technique to use the equipment and catch some meal for ourselves. We were provided with everything that was needed but unfortunately, it wasn’t our lucky day to catch any fish. While doing fun activities, we were also served some lip-smacking starters cooked in Goan spices with some chilled beer. What a beautiful evening it was! We were having a great time sitting in the lounge where we had fellow travelers, our captain and other crew members who were a great company throughout the evening. The day was not over yet, there was a lot more to come. To our surprise, there was a folk dance performance by young and beautiful girls who enacted upon a fisherman’s story through a beautiful dance act followed by a live DJ playing scintillating music to which we all could not stop dancing. It was a long evening and we were super hungry and excited about what next would be served to us for dinner. We wanted to savor everything in one day and did not want to miss out on anything.
Dinner on Houseboat
It was 9:00 pm, to our relief- we were informed about the dinner which would be served to us in the dining lounge. This area of the houseboat was yet to be explored. We picked ourselves up and moved to the beautiful aromatic dining lounge with various dishes of seafood, Indian- both veg and Non-veg arranged on the table having healthy salad, soup and deserts too. It was definitely hard to control attacking this mouthwatering food. I and my friends sat down with our plates loaded with everything that was served to us. The seafood that was cooked was definitely something that I had been longing for. After a healthy dinner, we winded up with some simple yet tasty deserts. It was 11:30 pm and we were very tired to stay up any longer so all of us decided to conclude the day and go to our rooms for some sound sleep as we were planning to rise up early to see the sunrise with some hot coffee.
It was 6:30 AM in the morning when I woke up to the chirping of birds around our houseboat. I picked myself up and decided to go out and get some fresh air. I went on the deck of houseboat from where the entire view of the Mandovi river left me awestruck. Initially, I enjoyed the serenity in solitude. However, I wanted my friends to enjoy the same so I went down to the room to wake them up and all of us were excited while we saw a tiny beaming dot at the horizon popping out of the clouds having its light scattered endlessly. We do not get this opportunity every day so I made the best out of every minute I had for my holidays.
Our trip was coming to an end so we had to freshen up and be ready for our brunch and departure to the next destination so we swiftly went back to our rooms after a coffee. It was 9:00 AM and we all gathered at the lounge for our brunch. It was a simple yet very healthy spread of Pancakes, Omelet, Butter Toast, Jam, Muesli, fresh watermelon juice, tea, and coffee. We could take anything of our choice. We had little conversations with our fellow travelers, the captain and entire crew at the breakfast and thanked them for their warm hospitality. We had our bags packed as we were heading back to Britona boat jetty from where we boarded. The driver would pick us up from there and drop us back to the location where we wanted to go.
As the trip was nearing its end, our hearts were filled with both- joy and sorrow. Sorrow for leaving and joy for the memories we created in just one night. A lesson that we learned from this trip- life is beautiful if you wish to see it that way. We need not enjoy the moments only when we are on holidays, but we can do it for a lifetime by valuing every second of our life and making it worthwhile. However, the overnight houseboat trip was one of the best decisions of my life. If you want to know the better side of Goa, see it the other way. There are a number of operators who provide different houseboat packages for different deals. Book it easily online and make a memorable vacation for yourself and your loved ones!