While on a tour of local villages we took a ferry across one of the several rivers that run into the sea near Panjim. These two ladies were intrigued by the small group of tourists who’d joined them for the crossing and gave me a shy smile when I asked if I could take their photo.
The ferry transports both vehicles and foot passengers, and the crossing was short and uneventful but gave us a different view of the Goan scenery and a glimpse of life on the rivers here. We saw quite a few barges, suggesting that the rivers are a significant communication route here, and certainly the ferries play an important role, in the absence of many bridges, for both locals and tourists alike. So I recommend a ride on one if you want to see a different aspect of life in Goa.
The SAM LINK is an 8 hour hydrofoil from Mumbai (Bombay) to Goa (Panaji).
It leaves from the Ferry Wharf (Mumbai) at 0900 on Tues, Thurs and Sat...
It goes from Goa to Mumbai on Wed, Friday and Sundays at 0900.
If you are riding a bicycle or a bike, it would be reasonable to avoid highways and stick to small roads running along the coast.
If you head take the coastal road to the south from Caelossim, very soon you will come to the River Sal. There is a regular ferry, which will take you to the other bank of the river free of charge, if you are riding a two-wheel vehicle! (this rule is valid starting from January 1, 2006, previously the price for two-wheelers was 4 rupees per crossing.
The last ferry in the evening is at 20:45, but if you come later, it will take you to the other bank for a small charge of 55 rupees (or so it was written on the board at the ferry station).
We didn't have time to experience a boat ride, but we are planning to do this next time we go to Goa. Boat rides are offered in many beaches. The rules are just as with taxis - agree about everything in advance.