Skål International Goa November’22 Board Meeting

Skål International Goa held its November meeting at Diwar Island on 9th November 2022.

The key aspects of ‘Sustainable Tourism’ was put into practise by the Executive Committee of Skål International Goa at their recently held meeting, by using environmentally friendly transportation, on a well preserved pristine island, while supporting the host communities in all touch points.

The Board Members assembled at the Old Goa Residency on 9th November 2022. They were given an option to ride the three different variations of e-bikes (the street, the all terrain and adventure bikes).

Each participant had to sign an indemnity declaration, which was followed by an operational briefing, safety norms, riding rules and the do’s and don’ts. Helmets, backpacks with a water bottle were also provided. Before embarking on the ride members were given a short understanding of the uniqueness of the island and the planned itinerary. We started at 10:30am and rode to the Old Goa ferry ramp to cross over to the Diwar Island via the famous Viceroy’s Arch, which was erected in 1599 by Viceroy Francisco Da Gama.

We crossed over to this island village stuck in time, a slice of heaven tucked away in dense woods amidst the beauty of nature, and is synonymous with natural beauty, serenity and tranquillity. Our first stop was at a fisherman’s house situated on the sluice gates where a brief on the origins of the island and its inhabitants were explained. After which it was a speedy run on a flat road to arrive at the Island Restaurant, which is a tiny local bar & restaurant, frequented primarily by the locals.

The bar owner makes 14 different flavours of Caju Feni (cinnamon, coriander, masala, pepper, just to name a few). After a short sampling session, we continued our adventure up the steep hill towards ‘Our Lady of Piety Church’ at Piedade, Diwar. This 16th century church stands atop the highest point of this island. From here we proceeded further into the village toward the ruins of the Saptakoteshwar Temple in Narve, Diwar. This Shiva temple was built during the Kadamba dynasty’s rule in the 16th century. The villagers still come here during Hindu festivals to pray to Lord Shiva.

From here we rode towards Cortas, our final stop for the day. Cortas is a locally run restaurant, located on the picturesque banks of the river Mandovi, where we commenced our Board Meeting followed by a scrumptious lunch of locally prepared delicacies. Around 4 pm, we started our ride towards the Diwar ferry point, to board our ferry back to Old Goa and return to the Old Goa Residency.