Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Travelogue: Of beaches,a beautiful resort and some temples–Part 2

Post the glorious sunset, a sumptuous dinner and a very restful sleep, day two dawned quite early for us. We were up by 5:30 AM and sat in the cottage veranda with steaming mugs of tea. It was still dark outside and the only sounds we could hear were that of the early birds and the resounding ocean roar.  It was a blissful experience to sit under the early morning moonlight with just the sounds of nature for company.

With that soulful start to the day, we set out to watch the sunrise. The sunrise point was a short  trek away and the path that lead to it was a breathtakingly beautiful one. The road lead uphill with a mountain on one side while the other side just dropped to show the ever beautiful ocean, forming a sort of cliff.

View from the cliff
We reached the sunrise point at about 6:10 AM and the sun was still playing hide and seek even after nourishing the world with daylight. The view from the sunrise point was stunning. At one glance, we could see a huge panorama of the expansive ocean and the backwaters beneath us.

The sea overflows to form the backwaters

The Placid backwaters - a complete contrast to its ever tumultous parent
And finally, at about 6:30 AM, the orange fire ball slowly peeped out from beneath a mountain far away and gradually came out. What a beautiful sight it was! I felt a surge of pleasure within myself as I watched this phenomenon. Here are the pictures:

We then climbed down and headed back to get ready for a ride well into the sea in a motorboat. We were told that we could swim in 40 feet deep water and the excitement was palpable. After decking ourselves with life jackets, we were taken and loaded into the boat and zoooooommmm!!! Water, water everywhere shining like diamonds. Watching the expanse around us with the salty air hitting our faces felt simply great. The lifeguards then stopped the boat at a point and the husband was the first brave soul to just jump in without second thought. After taking a few pictures, I followed. With the life jacket on, you could just lie down on your back and relax floating in the water. However I spent very little time in the water for I had a weird fear that some sea animal might come and bite my legs :(


After all of us got on to the boat, we were taken to another spot where dolphins were expected to show up. But they decided not to! So we headed back to the shore after a short wait. The view as we neared the shore was very beautiful with a thicket of coconut trees for a backdrop.

View of the shore as we moved towards it

The rest of the morning and noon went by in shifting to a different cottage(which was as beautiful and unique as the first one with a stunning view of the sea), lunch, tea and chit chat. For the evening we tried riding an ATV(all terrain vehicle) on a rocky road that lead uphill. I barely managed to drive a kilometer for the vehicle required quite a bit of muscle power to manoeuvre. Our guide cycled faster than me and stopped every now and then waiting for me. Unable to bear the slow motion, he wisely suggested that I turn back and hand it over to the husband who took a ride twice up and down. We spent what remained of the evening by the seashore and post dinner, we called it a day.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Travelogue: Of beaches,a beautiful resort and some temples–Part 1

In keeping with our resolve to travel regularly for a change of atmosphere, to explore new places and for the sheer excitement that it offers, the husband and I set out on our voyage along the beaches of the Konkan coast. He took up the roles of trip planner and executor, was at it tirelessly through the trip and I must say did a brilliant job. For my part, I did what was a truly mammoth task by my standards. I cooked dinner and breakfast for our train journey. Considering the fact that I am a complete amateur at cooking, making aloo parathas, idlis and tomato chutney in a span of three hours was an accomplishment I couldn't stop raving about for days thereafter :) Now over to the trip.

We had planned to stay at a beach resort named ‘Sai Vishram’ located in a small coastal village called Byndur. The resort is completely vegetarian and non-alcholic. This makes it an ideal place for family holidays. Proximity to a chain of famous temples (Mookambika, Udupi and Murudeshwar) is another advantage. We were able to cover these places en route our return journey.

As we entered the reception area of the resort, the beautiful interiors done with wood in an ancient looking style immediately caught our attention and impressed us.We were then escorted to our cottage. Each of the cottages has been built in a unique style and is a combination of artistic interiors and cozy comfort. They also have a couple of very well made tents closer to the sea shore.  There is a beautiful Shiridi Sai temple within the resort premises and this gave a very peaceful and secure air to the place. The lawns and flower gardens are not completely tended with some parts left to nature. Nevertheless, they added to the overall ambiance. 

Snapshots of the resort
After a short noon siesta and lunch, we set out to explore the beach. We smiled with pleasure at the sight that welcomed us. With the dancing sea water sparkling in the sun as far as the eyes can see, the exemplary clean shore sand that pulled our legs in as we walked and comfortable chairs with overhead umbrellas, the scene was set for complete leisure! You could just sit there and watch the sea for hours ..

After basking for sometime in that heavenly setup, we refreshed ourselves with coffee and snacks and then set out for the most awaited part – the beach activities! We started off with kayaking. This was my first go at this sport and it was such an exhilarating experience. Sitting in a small boat and rowing in the big ocean, heading towards the sunset with the sea rocking the boat –  We enjoyed every bit of it.

Kayaking in the sea - a silhouette

After kayaking, we looked up the options and settled for boogie boarding. Sai Vishram has a bunch of very well trained life guards. They took great effort teaching each one of us to balance the body over the boogie board, launch ourselves with an oncoming wave at the right moment and glide to the shore along with it. The husband was quick to learn and had a whale of a time doing it. And I .... Lost balance during the very first try and fell headlong into the sea water gobbling a good amount of it, sat coughing by the shore like a wet duck and chose to stay there as a spectator for the rest of the evening L But even that was good fun. I sat down with legs stretched out and allowed the waves to hit me completely from head to toe observing the sun light gradually dimming around us.

Post that, we settled on the shore and watched the sun set. The golden orange light that it cast over the sea was so mesmerizing. I leave you with a some pictures of this most beautiful feat of nature.

The sun's golden hue over the deep blue sea

A lone boat heads back to the shore as the sun prepares to set