Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park is a vast area covered by thick green forest. The variety of plant life is spectacular, driving through the interior of the forest in search of the elusive leopards, elephants and deer that call the jungle home is one way to spend the day.

The Shanti Nature Resort offers an alternative if interacting with elephants is one of your priorities in India. Here you will learn about the interwoven history of elephants and local people before observing these huge animals bathing in a nearby river. Make sure your camera is waterproof before you venture too close to the water, a refreshing shower from the trunk of an elephant makes a pleasant change from counting on the monsoon rains to cool off. The experience is once in a lifetime, and so are the faces I pulled when the cold water first hit me, having video from my Garmin Virb to share with friends is priceless.

Dudhsagar Falls are an equally inspiring way to use water to cool off in the tropical heat. Plummeting over 310 meters through dense forest the waterfalls are a popular destination for hikers and swimmers alike. They are most impressive during monsoon as they swell and surge down the mountain. Unfortunately, this is also when they are most difficult to reach as many of the trails are closed. Whichever way of experiencing the forests of Goa most appeals, you are sure to be enchanted by its natural beauty and be left wishing for more time to explore.

For Vasco da Gama reaching India was the purpose of his journey. For me it was the final destination on a whirlwind trip around the world. Spending time here I have fallen in love with the warm people, stunning nature and of course… the food. Vasco da Gama returned to India, I hope I will too.

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