29th December, 2015
I was back at Shree’s homestay early in the morning. I removed by sweater as I got down from the bike. I was looking for the cute puppy but it was nowhere to be found. Puppy’s mother was barking at me ever since I had arrived. Making sure that she was tied with chain I made funny faces at her before walking away.
I met everyone in the balcony. We sat while rest of them got ready. Anusha had booked a cab for us to drive around the place. We all were hungry and desperate to have breakfast. I suggested to have a breakfast at MTDC, Tarkarli beach. I had been to the place before and knew that it served delicious food. MTDC resort on Tarkarli beach is a major tourist attraction and it’s very difficult to get a booking of the place in peak seasons. The resort is right on the beach and is very calm and relaxing place. A perfect holiday destination.
Our first stop was at MTDC. We got a table on a open place. We ordered spicy ‘Misal Paav’, a very spicy Maharashtrian breakfast. While the breakfast was getting ready Me, Shree and the kids took a walk on the Tarkarli beach. The beach is splendid. I remembered that just a year ago me and my friend Avinash had run four kilometers on the same beach after our KickBoxing workout session on the beach.
Everyone munched on the delicious breakfast at the accompanying beautiful view of the beach. From there we headed to Devbaug. Our plan was to catch a boat ride which starts in the backwaters then goes to the sea and beautiful, secluded beaches nearby and back. I told Shree and Anusha that they have to try the local delicacy of Devbaug, ‘Ukadiche Modak’. It’s a Maharashtrian delicacy made with coconut and jaggery wrapped in rice dough and steamed. We got the whole boat for ourselves. Shree tried his best to bargain but all in vain. The driver of our cab also accompanied us in the boat ride. The boat went past the ‘Tsunami Island’, it was a piece of land protruding out from the surrounding water. It is said that it was formed when tsunami waves had hit the coast. We had hills covered with tall trees on the left of us. On the right side we could see Devbaug beach and the sea was right in front of us. We could see the waves of the sea crashing into the calm backwaters.
There were already many boats anchored at the Tsunami Islands and many tourists were enjoying water sports. Some lazy ones were just sitting around munching on junk food. Our ride became bumpy as we entered the sea. The golden rocks looked magnificent in the late afternoon sun. Soon ahead we reached Nivati beach. I’ve taken many boat rides on the same spot but never got down at the Nivati beach. All boat rides just show a glimpse of the beach and head back from there. Shree insisted the boat owner to take us to the beach. There already was a boat anchored on the beach and few tourists were taking photographs and selfies. Our boat owner agreed. We got down on the beach. It was a separate world within a world. The beach was sandy and covered with tall hills from all sides as if it’s completely cut off from the other parts of the land. The beach was calm and serene. We spent more than half an hour there. I chased some colorful small fishes in the crystal clear water to get a closer view in my video but they swam away fast. We left the beach in our boat but came back again as Shree had forgotten his and his son’s caps on the beach. The boat owner, without any word turned back and brought us back on the beach. The caps were retrieved and we were heading back in our boat.
We got down on crowded tsunami island. Our driver took us near a shack made of bamboo, raised above the ground. The ground was underwater. During high-tide the entire island gets submerged in knee length water. We dragged our feet through the water to reach the shack and booked our tickets for para-sailing. Far in the distance I saw a red colored jet boat, a parachute tied to it was high above the sea level. The guy attached to parachute was screaming with joy.
We sat in a small motor boat that would take us to the jet boat. Everyone except Anusha and her friend had decided to go for para-sailing. All of us got aboard the jet boat and our adrenaline shot up as soon as the boat picked up speed. Boy, it was moving so damn fast. We were asked to wear our life jackets. The boat was full with other tourists as well. The guy in the boat was calling each of us one by one and tying the harness around our waist and then would hook us up to the parachute and then what followed was a magical experience. We had a choice of opting for a dip in the water for 200 rs more. The para-sailing itself cost us 1000 rs each. When my turn came, I opted for a dip. I was told that I would be dipped twice. One at the beginning and another at the end of the sailing. I tightened the grip on my selfie stick as I rose above the floor. I was shooting everything on my action cam. The boat slowed down a bit and I was submerged in water. The boat dragged me in the chopping sea water before picking up speed. I felt the jerk as the boat sped up. Within few seconds I was high in the sky.
I was screaming with joy just like the guy I had seen earlier. The coast and the blue water was looking splendid. Shree and kids were waiving at me from the boat. I was trying to capture expressions on my face with my camera as I was flying high. The flight ended soon with another dip. When everyone else had gone through their turn, I said I want to do it again. I asked the boat driver I want a full dip this time. I left my camera with Shree and got myself hooked up to the parachute. When I returned in the boat, my mouth was full of salt. I thought of asking the cook not to add salt in my food for today.
After the para-sailing adventure we returned to tsunami island. We spend some time there, kids had their fun in the water by the time our boatman came to pick us up. He took us back to the starting point in Devbaug. We had our lunch in a local restaurant and went to the ‘Devbaug Sangam’ point, where the river meets the sea. The kids had amazing fun gathering sea-shells on the beach. They even saw some starfishes lying on the beach. From there we came back to the home-stay. I stayed there till evening. Bid farewell to everyone as it was my last day in Malvan. The next day I had to continue with my road trip.
I could have easily reached Mumbai the next day. But I didn’t want to end my epic road-trip in a traffic jam in rush hours of Mumbai. Instead, I planned to reach Lonavala the next day and ride to Mumbai on the day next to it.
I had my dinner with Aai and Baba at their Katta residence. While we were having dinner I showed the photographs and videos of the day’s adventure. They told me that they haven’t visited the Tarkarli beach for years now.
As the trip was coming to an end I wished more that this trip last just little longer. This trip had given me more than I had expected when I started riding 18 days back.