Discover Goa 2015

GBE members along with friends and family at the Apeval Waterfall in Ponda

GBE members along with friends and family at the Apeval Waterfall in Ponda

Ganv Bhavancho Ekvott held its annual Discover Goa programme on 17th and 18th November and this time three talukas – Ilhas, Bicholim and Ponda were explored by the 18 participants and in all 165 kms were travelled in the two days.

The exploration commenced from Chandor and the group went to Old Goa where many churches were visited. Many of the participants had never been to these churches that were visited.

First the group went to the St. Cajetan’s church which is modeled after the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The ruins of Adil Khan’s palace were also seen and then it was time to visit the Christian Art Museum which is housed next to the Santa Monica convent.

As the Santa Monica convent is undergoing renovation, Bleeding Cross could not be seen as it was covered. Next the group walked to the Our Lady of Rosary Church which looks like a fortress as it was constructed to fulfill Alphonso Albuquerque’s vow to construct a church to commemorate his victory in a battle and the church is constucted at the spot where he got the good news.

Next the group went to the Boa Vista Church which is called so because it offers a panaromic view of the city. Incidentally this church was constructed to house the Miraculous cross. Shepherds from the area had erected a cross of palm leaves stems and they saw an image of Christ on the Cross from far but nothing was visible when they approached the cross. The then Parish Priest confirmed the visitation and accordingly ordered the construction of the church. On the 23rd of every month a mass is offered at this church and people are offered pej (canji).

Adjacent to this church is the Retreat House being constructed by the Archdiocese of Goa with contribution from all Catholics. The first phase of the retreat house is completed and functioning and work on the second phase, which is basically restoration of the structure occupied by the Oratorian priest, a local priests’ order that was formed by St. Joseph Vas, is now underway.

The recently set up Wax Museum at Old Goa was visited next where there are life size wax statues of various people like Gandhiji, Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Mother Tereza, Anna Hazare, scientists like Thomas Alva Edison, Louis Pasteur politicians like Benjamin Franklin, actors like Rajnikant, Kareena Kapoor and various other persons. As nobody was interested in seeing the hall of frights that was not visited.

After lunch it was Ho-Ho, namely Hop On and Hop Off ferries. From Ribandar the group went to Diwar Island by ferry and then from Diwar they went to Vanxim island by ferry. At Vanxim they met with a member’s mother-in-law and then it was back to Diwar. From Diwar took another ferry to Narve in Bicholim taluka and the it was back to Diwar.

The night was spent at the Farmagudi Residency which was quite a pleasant surprise as it is a beautiful property though not very well maintained. Dinner and breakfast was at the Residency.

The next day first on the agenda was a visit to the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa, which was a revelation as the group could see different butterflies at one place. The aviary was also very interesting along with the other various things by the Heblekar family to preserve nature.

In fact a visit to his house was very enlightening as he has a full fledged garden on his terrace. He harvest the rain water which lasts him for the whole year and takes care of not only the washing and gardening of the area around his house and the conservatory but they also use it to drink.

The group when visited the Apeval waterfall which is in existence only during the monsoons and fortunately was impressive as it was raining in Goa for the earlier few days.

The last place to visit was the place where Nilesh was martyred in the fight against Nylon 6,6 chemical plant which had to then shift to Tamil Nadu state.

The participants this time were: Darwin Cardoso, his wife Neomi, their children Delora and Nikolai; Anthony Pereira, his wife Juliet and their daughter Amanda; Anthony and Serena Antao, Miguel and Maria Masarenhas; Antonio Colaco and hs daughter Shenase; Catherine Pereira and her daughter Karen; Alzira Pereira, Adv. Joe Antao and Julio D’Silva.