Goa Jungle Adventure: Canyoning
If you’ve seen Jason Statham (know for action-thriller roles) in Mechanic: Resurrection where is break from the prison and jump off a cliff straight into a water body and thought these were stunts, you are probably mistaken. Curious? Here’s how you too can live a scene out of those movies, right here in Goa. Yes! It's in Goa a place we all visit or we wish to visit Goa in our lifetime.
Goa is becoming more and more popular due to the full range of adventure sports available such as scuba diving, parasailing, snorkelling, and most recently, canyoning. Canyoning is a popular sport that is ideal for those seeking adventure and thrill! Because of Goa’s pleasant weather and water bodies, canyoning is successfully executed in the most authentic way that it can be! So, why miss it at all?! Here’s a quick guide for you to plan a perfect adventure.
How to reach?
The cheapest and convenient way to reach Goa is via railways. Goa has good rail connectivity with major cities of India. So here are some of the options for the people directly coming from Mumbai.
The railway track put up by the Indian Railways (Konkan Railway) in the Western Ghats is nothing less than a work of engineering marvel.
For a part-time solo traveller like me, I would recommend taking 12201-Kochuveli Garib Rath on Saturday evening from Mumbai and return by 12620-Matsyagandha Express on Sunday evening from Madgaon.
Goa is also very well connected by road from Mumbai. The frequency of the buses is quite high. Goa is also connected by Air.
Canyoning: The Upper Sauri
So what is canyoning exactly? It’s a form of extreme sports in which you are required to traverse over land and water, jump into streams lining gorges, and abseil (rappelling) down a waterfall. All the fun begin at Palolem, where you meet Manu and his team at his house. Depending on the trail you've selected, you have to take a road journey from Manu's house in an open jeep to Nethravali Wildlife Sanctuary which is anywhere between 25km to 115 km.
The actual journey starts right next to a hairpin, a board that read, "The Upper Sauri" and get ready to do a small jungle trek through the wilderness to begin your crazy adventure with the muffled sound of a burbling river.
Approx. 30 minutes of walk and you will reach your final starting point. Put on your gear, wet suits and life jackets (if you opted for the non-swimmers package).
Basically, you can cross the waterfall in one of two ways – either by abseiling (climbing down the waterfall by holding on to a rope that’s attached to your harness) or jumping right into the pool. Yes, you read right! Your guide will show you how exactly to jump and tell you what direction to take the plunge in, so as to not hurt yourself.
My first cliff free fall experience
Rappelling down a cliff, I got to a small ledge that overlooked the river. This was where the training on abseiling and the jumps happen, which would help me all the way. I was a few meters, maybe 5, above the river. The instructors point to a target point upon the river. "Jump a little to the left and you will hit shallow waters. A little to the right and you could hit the boulders. Don't jump far enough and you will scrape through the cliff side. Jump with all your heart in it or u might loose your footing". The instructions were clear. It was now time for action.
The point when both your feet lose contact of earth and all you see is a deep river below, and a small falls beside you, something just ticks in you and reminds you this is not what you are used to. You can't help but tell yourself "this is awesome". You wait for that impact. Shield your chests with your hands crossed. The water envelopes you. You then fight back and rise to the surface with a smile that says it all, I wanna do that again.
It’s tough to find words to describe the sense of exhilaration one feels when you stare down a waterfall that’s anything between 3 to 8 metres, and finally, the mad rush of adrenaline as you jump into the pool of water below.
You could spend the next few hours trekking, abseiling and jumping into streams – solely dependent on your trail. As you trek back to civilisation, you’ll be left with a feeling of absolute wonder at the marvellous sights of nature, and just how free you can be. The trek back to the jeep is the most tiring part because you have to climb up and go all the way back to where it started (name board)
Trust me, you would be walking back feeling proud about the little achievements and the adventure you had moments before. Who thought there would be goa beyond beaches and booze.
If you are a group of people who wants to experience this do drop a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and surely we can organize it for you. For those concerned with safety, all equipment (helmet, harness, wet suit, shoes, and canyoning tools) is imported from France and meet European safety regulations. Each instructor manages a maximum of six people, making sure that you’re given enough individual attention.
Don’t fret if you aren’t a water baby, as Manu has designed a course that specifically caters to non-swimmers. You do need to be prepared to navigate across the water with a life jacket though. Due to the physical difficulty of the course, you need to be fit enough to actively be on your toes for a few hours. And even though it takes a few hours to finish, the travel time and trek through the jungle make this a day-long activity. So if you’re looking for a real thrill or are just excited to try out something totally new, canyoning is the way to go!
Listen To Me:
A waterproof and a ruff & tuff container to put all your valuable things or you can simply leave them at Manu's house
Carry some ready to eat food. There aren't any food options available during the activity.
You need to be in good physical shape. Canyoneering combines rappelling, hiking, swim and also jumping from cliffs, so don't head out unless you're up for it.
Not terrified by a snake or by a spider (Scared is not a problem, terrified means here frozen forever...)
Use common sense for dressing. Quick dry material is recommended, as you'll be sweating and getting wet. Carry 2 T-shirt and 1 pair of socks
Don't worry about gears, You will get a bag of canyoning, one harness, one helmet, 1 pair of shoes, 1 life jacket and one wetsuit.