From the day I landed in Goa to make it my home, I wanted to do Night Walk on the beaches of South Goa on a full moon night. I had to wait some 14 months, but the dream did come true. Last month on the full moon I joined about 50 other trekkers to walk from Velsao beach to Colva beach. Beaches of South Goa change names every few hundred meters but it is essentially one long beach. You admire this view best from a flight when you see a long sandy stretch almost a straight line padded with green trees.
Night walk on beaches of South Goa on a Full Moon Night
The full moon has always had a magical impact on me. In fact, I dread driving on a full moon night for I can get lost in the moon and forget the driving bit. So, I was all excited when Eco Treks announced this full moon trek. There was no way I was going to miss this. I must thank Eco Treks for making an exception to include me in the group. We reached the beach side around 10:30 PM. After a cup of tea and snacks started walking southwards.
Full Moon & Roaring Sea
Moon was at its magical best, trying to make the waters of the sea shine. The waves of the sea were roaring and when they hit the shore it was like a volcanic eruption. During the day you can see the waves, you can see them coming from a distance. But at night you realize them only when they hit the shore. If the meeting of waves and shore is like a gentle friendly chitchat during the day, at night it is like the violent annihilation of two lovers into each other. I wonder if the sea is violent every day or it is also under the spell of the full moon that is supposed to turn on a bit of madness in all of us.
Night walk on the beach
Boats standing on the shore are witnesses to this drama. They stand still on the comforting sand. Relaxing before the day begins for them in next few hours and they have to make their way on this very sea. A boat after every few meters looked like houses in a village at night. Each wrapped in its own self, oblivious to the presence of others. Human activity was limited to a couple of groups like ours walking on the beach. And a couple of beach shacks still operating. We walked 6-7 kilometers to reach Utorda beach before we returned.
On the return walk slowly the sea started looking as if it is engulfed in a layer of smoke. Now there can be no fire on the water, is there something wrong with my eyes. I point it out to my fellow walkers and they all see the smoke. We figured out that it’s early morning already. And it is the dew or mist that is forming. It was a surreal experience to see the mist on top of the sea with moonlight shining through it.
Night Life of Goan Fishermen
My discovery on this night walk on the beach was the nightlife of Goan fishermen. All along the beach, we saw these men pulling out the fishing nets that they had laid earlier in the day. About 100 meters in length, these 10-12 men would be pulling out the net from the sea. They rotate themselves till the net is out and the fish can be taken out. You have to stand there to see the hard work they do through the night on the deserted beaches that are bustling with tourist during the day. In the morning we went to the beach and found these fishermen now joined by their womenfolk too – cleaning and sorting the catch. The long fishing net that was being pulled at night is now all over the beach.
The fish on the net are still stuck in the mud, so two young men take them in small portions and clean the fish. Cleaned fish is then sorted by type in various baskets and there is one basket of crabs. What I did not know is that so many other creatures including water snakes get trapped along with the fish. I saw some sea snakes moving around on the beach. As the fishermen and their families went about their business of cleaning and sorting the fishes.
Being a vegetarian, I know nothing about fishes, but as a business student I did a rough calculation and figured out that a labor of 20 odd people for the day would at most yield 4000-5000 Rs.
Do’s & Don’ts for a night walk on beach
Do not walk barefoot, however tempting it may sound. I had a big thorn in my foot as soon as I tried walking barefoot and that can be painful for rest of the walk. Not to mention the insects, glass pieces and other unseen objects in the sand that can prove dangerous as the visibility is very low.
- Do not go alone. Not only because it is not safe, but in the case of an emergency there would not be anyone available to help. It can be damn scary to do night walk alone.
- Keep the family and the local police station informed about your intended night walk even when you go in a group.
- Carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated.
- Have some food in hand. I was damn hungry after the night walk and thankfully had something to eat in my bag.
- Do not sleep on the beach. You can choose to sleep in a hotel/lodge /house close to it but not on the beach.
- Unless you need pictures for a purpose, ditch the camera and just soak in the sheer romance of a night walk.
Experience the night walk on the beach under the moon at least once in life.
Recommend you to read this Travel Blog for following Goa Tourist attractions.