Drive to Malwan

April 13, 2011

April-May is the time of the year Durga and Deepak spend few days with me and a trip to some near by place gets planned. Our first and second such visits were Om beach and Ulavi. For Deepak, holiday means spending time on a beach. And I had heard about Sindhudurg, the island fort in Arabian sea. We booked accommodation with a home-stay in a village about 3km from Malwan. Sindhudurg sits about a kilometer in the sea and is visible clearly from Malwan fishing jetty.

We left Dharwad by 11AM, hit Belgaum by 12, the drive on NH4 was a breeze. At Belgaum we turned off NH4 towards Amboli. The narrow urban road got twistier and wavier as we drove closer to Maharatsra. Our first stop was at Nangatarasakari Waterfall. Peak of summer, the falls let out a hiss while it roars during monsoon.

This place is packed with tourists during monsoon. That's Durga and mom.

Lunch was at Vittal Kamat close to Amboli. We went past Amboli Dab Daba, barely any water. Turns in the shaded ghat road got tighter as we drove downhill. As Savantwadi got closer the weather got warmer. About 25km before Kudal we joined the Goa-Mumbai highway, traffic was heavy. Soon we were at Kudal, the busy little town. We turned off the busy highway towards Malwan. The road winded through green hills. We took a short break to stretch our legs and to take a closer look at an interesting flower.

Durga got a bunch of them.

A type of flower which retains its beauty even when its dry.

At Malwan, we took the road towards Tarkarli, 3km down the road we found Kiran Sarmalkar's home-stay place. The place has a rural feel. The house is surrounded by huge trees with plenty of birds flying around. Durga did not like the place, she was expecting a seaside resort or a proper hotel :( Beach was 5 minute walk from this place and I was excited to go. We freshened up, had tea and our host Kiran led us to the beach.

That's Sindhudurg, our destination for the morrow.

This beach is not the type where you enjoy playing in the sea. Its a fishing folks' beach, nets & other fishing gear, fishermen sorting fish, some relaxing after day's work, dogs, cats... a busy place. Unfortunately this isn't a clean one either, crabs, snakes and a variety of other dead sea creatures litter the sands. Worst of all, this is one open toilet for the fishing folk. One filthy beach! However, we managed to find a slightly clean stretch and spent time watching the Sun and enjoying fresh sea breeze.

Durga found a violet shell with white stripes. First time I'm seeing this pattern.

As we walked around a bit, we happened to notice few more. Looks like its a commonly found shell here.

A Crab hole. Wonder why a crab hole doesn't get filled in easily when it gets run over by waves. But if you or me dig a hole, it just vanishes with one wave. Crabs are born marine engineers.

A lifeless crab.

Another lifeless crab with a tail like appendage.

Lifeless eye wide open.

A black backed heron?

A young dog posed to charge at something.

One last catch for the day.

Sun being masked by mist and clouds. Kiran told that sunsets are beautiful here but this day the sun would go out of sight much earlier then usual.

We walked back to our home-stay. Freshened up again, drove to Malwan for dinner. I was asked to check out Chaitanya Restaurant which is supposed to serve real good sea food and vegetarian Maratha Thali. We did enjoy food here but felt the prices bit high. Back at home-stay, Durga and mom hit the bed early. Deepak and I made a deal with one of the boat operators to ferry us to Sindhudurg and back. All set for next day.

That's the board Kiran has put up to catch tourists' attention. There are many such places between Malwan and Tarkarli. Many people choose prefer home-stays to the expensive seaside resorts.

Back in the room, sleep did not come easily. It was warm and mosquitoes attacked from all directions. Wish I had a mosquito net. I barely slept through the night.

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