October 2, 2023

Life is a beach

A different sunset each evening. And a different sunrise each morning too – if one is enthusiastic enough to wake up that early – after spending most of the night under a million stars. Make that a few million. Alright, maybe that is an exaggertaion. Blame it on the cool sands and the clear sky.

Four days on the road. My birthday on the third. A newish car. The mango season. MTDC hotels right on the sands. Home made amla juice and sol kadhi. And a surprise around every corner.

And all those road signs to keep away the boredom. And all those beaches to melt away the weariness.

There is a program on Discovery Travel and Living called Top Secret beaches – this is about some of my own. Discovered on the way to our almost holiday in Goa this April. Almost because Goa is where we set out for. And never reached. Because of these fabulous stops on the way.

First Harihareshwar. With the temple by the sea. The peaceful cove by the resort.

Harihareshwar - quiet coveHarihareshwar - sunrise

Then Ganpatiphule – the sand dunes of Ganpati. The tantalising and breath-taking glimpses of the sea in the distance even as you turn the curves on the hills just before hitting the town…

Ganpatiphule - seaview from the top

The kitschy colored mouse in front of the temple. And all the devotees looking sneakily and longingly at the inviting waters even while praying to the elephant god inside. The beach crowded just around the temple area but very quiet as you walk away to find your own space…

Ganpatiphule - sunset

And Ratnagiri on our way out the next morning – of delicious mangoes and the Burmese connection. The Thibaw palace. And spectacular views of the sea crashing against the rocks – from the ruined fort…

Finally Tarkarli. Maharashtra tourism’s proud discovery – Tarkarli is fine sand, clear waters, lazing on hammocks. And at night, on the cool sands. First one star, then another, and then a few thousand more… And lots of seafood for those so inclined…

Tarkarli - sunrays filtering through the trees

And boat rides on the backwaters – coconut trees, enough blues and greens to compete with god’s own colours… and the backwaters leading to more private beaches….

Sindhudurg on the way back to Bombay. Narrow lanes. Fishing nets. And more fresh mango juice. And Chhatrapati Shivaji (for once his own name this, not renamed in his honor) – the floating citadel in the waters just a five minute boat ride from the jetty.

The last sunset of the trip not on the sea but on far off meandering Vashishti river. From our room at the unimaginatively (but aptly) name RiverView resort at Chiplun. With a complimentary head and body massage. And an evening at the Parashuram temple – and lipsmacking kanda poha and sol kadhi at one of the small ‘cafes’ lining the narrow steps leading down to the temple. And enough papad purchases to last us a year.

Chiplun - sunset on Vashishti river

And then back to Bombay. OUCH.

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