This is the story of how I realized one of my lifelong dreams - skinny dipping! In India!
Have y'all ever had dreams of you being nude inside a water body? Water flowing over your butt hole, ball sac and other intimate areas? I had these dreams, desires, fantasies, fetishes - bucket list idea - if I may
This got realized when i least expected it to - during my post graduation days. So this was a very difficult, rigorous course, and our institution was kinda anal about us taking leaves and being out of campus. We hardly used to get any leaves, and even if we did, it used to be for a few days - like 3-4 days in one shot. It was during one of these periods that I heard about Butterfly Island - a small cove at the extreme end of Palolem in South Goa - The place has no roads. The way to reach was - trekking through Leopard valley on foot and trying to figure a way to the beach on the basis of your natural navigational skills.
So I planned and took 2 of my friends on the trip along with. We reached palolem and checked into the hotel late at night. Next morning, we set out in search of the coveted Butterfly island. I had read about the place on the internet, so I had a basic knowledge of how to reach it. there was about 50% of the way that could've been covered on our scooters, remaining had to be charted on our own. We reached halfway and found that it was water logged. We didn't know much about the area, in fact, we weren't even sure if we were on the right trail or not - there were so many trail throughout the region - we were just following a general direction to the island. It was due to this uncertainty that we decided to return and come back some other time.
I couldn't sleep the whole night. My friends had their train back to Udupi the next evening. But I convinced them to try reaching the island again. Had to drag them through the way again. On the way we met Paul. He was walking on the trail, trying to find the island, just like us. Paul was from Germany, a Doctor by profession and was on a hiatus, traveling the country. We reached the same waterlogged spot, and it was relatively dried out this fortunate morning - we could walk through it. This was good, we were making progress. We kept walking, the 4 of us. Having Paul by our side was reassuring - he had done a lot of trekking, cycling and other related stuff and was a pro at getting lost to find the right ways out.
Now this is where things went slightly wrong - We came across an open area, out from the cover of trees. Here, We had 2 roads to choose from - and we chose the wrong one. Or the one less taken, shouldn't have been taken of sorts. And we ended up at the end of the forest. This too, was the extreme end, but, Google maps showed that this was not butterfly beach - this was some distance from the beach. We had been in the forest for more than a few hours by now, and tempers were running high. My friends had a train back home, and they decided to go back up the same trail we had come from. I was determined to find this freaking place and came up with a brilliant idea - Since we (me and Paul) were already at the end of the shore, and butterfly island was at a distance from where we were, we could just have gone through the shore line, which was easier, or it seemed like it was. Turned out that Paul knew rock climbing also, and used to do it fairly regularly. So the two of us went on this thrilling rock climbing adventure to reach the island.
Let me take a minute to interrupt the narrative so that I can explain the situation and the terrain. As I have mentioned before, We were on the shoreline. There was a sheer drop on one side of the rocks, and, on the other side, were steep slippery rocks which were very difficult to hold onto. And there were crabs inside water. And I had my helmet in my hand (I always wear my helmet, and since I had ridden my bike halfway, i still had it on me)
Rock climbing our way to the beach took us a few hours, I had quite a few 'I almost died' moments (there were a lot of sheer drops within those rocks, and we had to jump and climb our way here and there) The most frustrating, yet helpful part during all this was that Paul was a pro at this. Ridges he jumped over in a moment, without thinking, were huge chasms for me and I had to sit down, hand my helmet over to him, ask him to catch me if I fell, and finally plunge myself into uncertainty - Thankfully, it ended, albeit on weird note - We reached the end of the rock, right next to the beach, but we were on a rock. And there was a huge drop from there into the water. We had come out on one side of the beach on top of a mountain - we were able see the beach, but there was no way for us to reach the damn place!
Finally, Paul came up with a solution, 'Why don't we climb the mountain from here, and try to get down from the other side. There should be a way down there from up there'
I was exhausted and breathless by this point, and this sounded like a better idea than returning where we came from. So we started climbing on the rock, and finally ended up at an opening. There was a small walkway here - probably the villagers were using this too. We kept walking till the top, and then started descending towards the beach. And this was when the final hardship of this Odyssey presented itself.
You guys remember The Mummy? The movie. Remember the million red ants that came out of that dead body? That happened. I bumped my helmet in a bush and these ants stormed it and started crawling up over my hand. This is when I panicked and dropped the helmet and started rubbing my hand. Thankfully, it was just a scare and these animals were not man eaters. Few remained in the padding of my helmet for a few weeks, but overall, we were fine
And we walked all the way down to Butterfly beach!
And now, the glorious moment you all have been waiting for. So, Paul asks me, "Is it okay if I take my clothes off before taking a dive into the water?", I mumbled,"Yeah, no Problems"
And it was at this moment that I started thinking, "All those Hollywood movies about American culture showing people skinny dipping, and here I have a chance today to do this right here in my country. Should I seize this moment and make the most outta it?" And I did! The moments between me taking all of my clothes off, and walking towards the water were probably the best, most liberating moments of my life!
I have been to Butterfly quite a few times since this one, but it has changed drastically now. The bush covered walkway is now cleared off with a clear path taking with signboards giving directions to people. Once a pristine, uncharted beach quietly nestled away from the hustle of Goa, this is now full of tourists who throw their plastic garbage everywhere they go! The beach itself, is full of plastic waste with no one to tend to it. It has basically lost its charm now. I feel awful for the current state of butterfly beach!
As for Paul, we had a few beers after we reached back to Goa towards the night, and I left for Udupi the next morning. We haven't been in touch since then, but I'll always owe this one to him!