Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
December 21, 2009
New Delhi, India
July 30, 2005
Wildernest lies tucked away in the densely wooded hills on Goa’s border with the neighbouring state of Karnataka. It’s 60km from Panjim, on the highway to Belgium. A bunch of 18 cottages, all plate glass windows, thatched roofs and wooden interiors, spread across a hillside that’s thick with bamboo and dozens of other species of vegetation. On the hills surrounding the resort are bison, leopards, monkeys, and other wildlife, and from the dining room and the wooden machan, there’s a splendid view of the Vazra waterfalls on the hill opposite.
And this being the monsoon, everything was utterly gorgeous. The foliage was a thousand shades of green: emerald-green, grass-green, apple-green, just-budded-green, olive-green, silvery-green. And through it all flitted butterflies: large black-and-electric blue ones, small orange ones, powder-blue and black ones, and even some that looked like neatly-turned out bits of lace.
Our room, a Jungle View Cottage called Mogra, was approached through a long (and rather slippery path) that wound its way up the hillside. The cottage was lovely: it had plate glass windows on three sides, so we could do loads of bird-watching from inside our room. The cottage, with its attached bathroom, was neat and clean and had an elegantly rustic feel to it.
There’s no room service (since the cottages are so far apart), but the buffet meals at the dining room were mouthwatering. The food was traditional Maharashtrian delicacies: lentils cooked with grated coconut, gently cooked spinach, fried fish, salads, yoghurt, rice, and prawn curry with a very typical and unusual Indian vegetable--the somewhat fibrous drumstick.
We spent most of our time at Wildernest wandering through the jungle paths in the resort. We didn’t see much beyond butterflies; one day, we were lucky and saw a stunning pair of yellow-browed bulbuls and one red-whiskered bulbul, but that was about all. This is really, when you get down it, a place of extremes; it’s amazingly beautiful, the people at the resort--all of them in jungle gear--are very helpful and friendly, and the food’s fantastic. On the other hand, it can be downright dangerous during the monsoon, when the paths are treacherous and slippery as hell, the bed linens dank and musty, and critters of all sorts try to make their way into your room. There were some ants in ours and--a repeat of my last holiday, which was in Northern India--even a scorpion. And the undergrowth crawls with large and hairy centipedes that gave me the creeps.
But despite all that, Wildernest is a fantastic place.
From journal Goa: The Magic of the Monsoon