Goa Untraveled : Farm stay in a tropical spice plantation
I just came back from a very relaxing holiday from Goa, and yet again; no beaches! After back to back travel assignments for photography and other projects, I realized I needed a ‘nothing to do’ break and also home-like comfort. I feel lucky to have experienced a spice plantation in Goa and stay in a farm! Yes, there are spice plantations in Goa; though not so well known if you compare it with Kerala but it was such a unique experience to see this ‘other-side of Goa’.
With no planning or set schedule, I drove all the way from Mumbai to Goa to enjoy the feeling of being on road; tasting the different cuisines on the way and polishing my driving skills as I plan to choose roads over railways for the future trips! After almost 10-12 hours of tiring journey, we were welcomed by our host Ashok and relished the Uraak-jungle juice (a drink made of distilled fenny, lemonade and soda) to relax my worn-out muscles.
Dudh-sagar plantation farm, a 50-acre property is a haven for coconut trees, cardamom, nutmeg, black pepper and vegetables as well. And to live amidst these trees in a Goan style cottage; with the fragrance of these spices and waking up with the songs of birds was no less than a heaven.
Almost 30 years ago, Ajit and his German wife Dorris chose an alternate way of living in the out-skirts of Goa. They chose to rely on the natural resources of Bio-gas and solar energy and cycling all the way to Madgao for their daily needs. There were only a few coconut-trees then which have now turned into green farms producing enough for their needs and more. They now have live-stock for dairy, almost 4-5 pet dogs, and a cat as well. I was thrilled to see the old pictures from three decades back and compare to what I saw around me now. Most of the things were done by Ajit and his family to make this place habitable over the years and now Ashok, the eldest son brought the idea of allowing more guests to come in and experience the farm-stay apart from their usual friends and guests from different parts of the world.
Ashok, a well-travelled host; quit his job in Jakarta to put his heart and soul in this incredible project. There are now 5 cottages, well equipped to handle all your needs, a verandah to chill all day and a huge bath-room to let you enjoy the shadows of trees falling on the wall as you freshen up and rejuvenate yourself. There is a common dining area which lets you make conversations with other guests.
As the project is being expanded and being more suited to the needs of travelers, we were the first guests to enjoy the natural-pool surrounded with trees and thankfully –no chlorine! If you fancy something even more natural, there is a river just a 15 mins walk-away. It was such bliss just to lie-down on the shallow river-bed.
There were many options to explore near-by – Dudhsagar Falls, wildlife sanctuary and the old Portuguese houses. I made a quick escape to visit the old Portuguese houses to complete my last story in Goa where I took the pledge to stay only in heritage houses and explore the different facades of Goan history! However, my best moments in the farms were the strolls in the morning and evenings to find the little imprints of nature around.
Thanks to all the delicious food cooked by Ajit; I felt I had everything I needed. The food is simple and vegetarian with lots of coconut in it from the farm. Ajit handed over me to a print-cut to read about how beneficial coconut is for health in comparison to any other vegetable oil and I couldn’t agree more. The format of stay is home-stay like; and be ensured that it is a good-family to be with who have got plenty of travel stories to share with you!
Here you can find more details about how to reach to Dudh sagar Plantation Farm from Goa, Banglore or Mumbai-
I would love to hear your experiences of spice plantation visits in India!!