A calm blue Arabian Sea, wet sand that just got rid of the high tide, buzzing shacks with hammocks to rest, Maggi (!) at your table and the gentle sunlight of the evening sun setting in the western horizon to call it a day. About 130kms from the hustle and bustle of the Maximum City, Kashid provides the kind of peace, one not just seeks but one also needs.
Another long weekend, another road trip. The memories – good and not so good – of the Diveagar bike trip were still alive in our minds when we decided to dedicate another long weekend to the Konkan coastline. Choosing Kashid over Mahableshwar (one of the chaar-dhaams of Gujjus), was ironically an easier decision due to the terrain and my amazing experience at Kashid about 1.5 years back.
So, finally the double date (us and another couple) – thanks Dhara for reminding the term! – trip to Kashid for Friday and Saturday was finalized with Sunday spared for resting before the “bloody khooni” Monday. With 5:45AM as the target to hit the road, we were a little off the target as getting up so early, that too on a holiday, is always a challenge. My friend and his wife were, assumingly more excited, as they were ready by 5:30 to leave but I had to tell them to hold on.
Setting off at 6:15, we picked our friends from their home and went to petrol station to refuel where we had an early hiccup. While getting the air pressure checked at the petrol station after refueling, it was discovered that one of the rear tyres gave up. Thankfully the tyre puncture shop was at the petrol station itself. As it was discovered there were three punctures which needed to fixed in that tyre itself. While that was fixed, as a precaution we got the spare wheel checked as well.
With things in place, finally, we were back on the road for an amazing 4 hour drive to come. A quick breakfast break at “Chai Nashta” after Panvel was quite necessary since that was the only known place with Jain food and taking a gamble to find anything else on the sea food obsessed route wasn’t such a good idea. We set off for the final 80kms after about a 30mins break.
However, it was not before the extremely bumpy ride between Alibaug and Revananda, especially around Nagaon where the road can practically puncture your tyre. I guess I failed to recall the horrible road (even today, I can’t) we must have been through last time. As we drove further, we realized the car could not exceed 15-20kmph on such a road. Finally, at around 12, we managed to reach Kashid.
The Guest House:
There is a slight difference when you are traveling during bachelorhood and once you are married. One of them being, the amount of time (sometimes money!) invested in ensuring a good stay increases exponentially (nothing to do with Pyaar Ka Punchnama).
I took a bit of gamble this time to book a stay in a guest house instead of any hotel or a resort. I would actually call it a calculated risk because the last time I came to Kashid with all the “boys party”, we stayed at this place called Shri Krupa Guest House and had an amazing experience. The rooms were good, location was about 100 meters from the beach and the food was absolutely delicious, even when it was vegetarian. It takes a special mention to say “vegetarian” in a coastal area known for sea food. However, that was about one and a half years back.
This time around, I booked it since the resorts and other hotels were charging exorbitantly and didn’t appear to be worth that much. Guest house was essentially empty when we reached as it was only us and one more family who were there. Being Gujjus, we didn’t hesitate at all in ordering tea at 1 in the noon. After relaxing for a while, we thought to have lunch before relaxing some more till the evening. Lunch was very homely and delicious with less spice, less oil and very simple items like chapatti, sabzi, dal and chawal. A brilliant tea and an amazing lunch was enough for us to become fans of this guest house.
The guest house was operated by a group of women who were very hard working and had maintained high level of cleanliness around. It was quite heartening to see these women working hard and making a living for their families. “This is real women empowerment” – we thought, compared to what Vogue has been trying to propagate.
Compared to Diveagar, the Kashid beach was much more commercialized and had more footfalls. We planned to explore the main beach, about 3kms from the guest house, instead of the one nearby. It was 6 in the evening and the beach was buzzing with cars and buses parked all around, shacks and hammocks pretty much occupied, jet skis were hardly at the shore and locals with horses and camel rides were trying to entice anyone and everyone.
In contrast to Diveagar beach, we didn’t find a single private vehicle on the beach. With sunset about 30mins away, we couldn’t have reached at a better time. We spent some time wetting our feet in the cool water while our friends had a Jet Ski ride. As the hunger games started, we started looking for the usual – MAGGI. We found one and after having an unusual combination of Maggi with Soda, we thought it would be the best time to take a stroll on the beach.
As it turned out, camera I had was not good enough to capture the beauty of the place. There is as much a mobile camera can do. Nonetheless, I tried my best before choosing to enjoy the moment instead of struggling with the impossible.
Respect the Beach:
The beach near our guest house was relatively secluded with visits only by the people staying around. After coming back from the main beach, we headed for the other beach. As we entered the beach, we saw an Innova stuck into the beach sand, making several failed attempts without realizing the tyres are getting further stuck into the deep sand. As the driver, presumably over confident for his vehicle and completely miscalculated the depth of beach sand, made several efforts it was in vain. After a failed effort by Tavera to pull it out, it was Nissan Terrano that rescued the fateful car.
For a moment, I thought that, sometimes, we fail to respect the nature in our sense of superiority but nature has its own ways to show us where we belong. But later on, I felt it was just plain stupidity of the driver more than sense of superiority. It is not so difficult to realize that there must be a reason why so many cars are lined up in the parking and not on the beach.
The beach was, otherwise, very calm and lightened up by the full moon in the east. For some time, it also gave a feeling of haunted. After chilling out for about an hour with multiple cups of hot tea in a relatively cooler weather, we called it a day to recharge ourselves for another exciting day at Murud Janjira.