Goa and the Art of Self-Discovery

I have has been to Goa a few number of times, thinking of each visit is like deep diving into memories of various phases in my life.


Of caves, impregnable forts and the poor man's Taj..


Of foggy woods, gurgling waterfalls and rains that painted the hill green..


Of ferry rides, seagulls and (almost) private beaches...

Andamans (Part 1)

Of Island hopping, underwater adventures and different shades of the sea...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kihim: Of ferry rides, seagulls and (almost) private beaches...

Beaches have always been one of my favorite things. The place I grew up in, Trivandrum has a couple of beaches. From an over enthusiastic kid with dad holding my hand carefully to hanging out with college friends till dark… I have all sorts of memories associated with beaches. Growing up in a city with beaches has done nothing to dampen my fascination with them. I’m as much in love with them as I always have been.
Kihim beach, near Alibaug is one of the very easy weekend getaways from Bombay.

We had come to hear of it from a friend who had been there and loved it. So the next weekend, yearning for some relaxation, we decided to go to Kihim.

One can take a ferry from the Gateway (Rs.65/person) straight to the Mandwa jetty and the ride itself is quite delightful. Best thing would be to leave in the early mornings, the refreshing morning breeze and if you are lucky enough you might be able to catch the seagulls playfully trying to catch the food crumbs being thrown at them and also because most of the hotels check-in times are 10 in the morning.
But we could only leave in the evening and it was past sunset once we reached the Mandwa jetty. From there one can hire a Rik (Rs.150) to go till Kihim and look around for a place to stay. As it is still very much a non-commercialized beach destination, there is less of hotels and more of cottages with a very warm homely appeal.

We finally got a cottage by the night and settled in. It was right next to the beach, with a tiny little shack right in front, in case we wanted to sit back and let the sea wave over our minds. After a while, we fell asleep with the sound of waves whispering sweet nothings from far.
The morning called for exploring the beach. The single most best thing about Kihim beach is that there is hardly anybody around, so it is almost like having a private beach all to yourself.

We did not go deep into the sea as we were warned that there were rocks throughout. The beach in itself is a pretty good sight and we walked for some distance, resting on some rocks every now and then. The Bombay building coastline/skyline can be seen vaguely, making you feel like you are almost there and here at the same time.

The place we stayed at had very good home-made food (at a very reasonable rate as well) and we had our lunch, sitting on the benches in the shack while watching the sea.
By evening, there is very low tide and sea recedes in a lot. The sand is soggy as if with the memories of the waves and when you walk over it at times makes a squishy noise with water spurting out. There are rocks everywhere and all are covered in moss which looks good in pictures but I personally did not like it because it made the rocks all slippery and slimy and not tough like the way a ‘rock’ should be.

The view of sunset is beautiful, but what I found even more beautiful are the amazing patterns seaweeds (I think) left on the sand that were uncovered by the low tide. Could very well be the scribblings of a mermaid who had to go back along with the tides.

There was parasailing happening nearby, but it was neither on the land nor on water (Hiranyakashipu anyone?) and was not going as high as I would have liked either. So we decided to give that a skip and just walk on the beach watching the sunset.

Soon it was time for us to leave or we would miss the ferry from Mandwa taking us back to the Gateway of India. The same Rik came, picked us up and we were on our way back to Bombay.
Mandwa beach looked inviting, but we sadly did not have time and took a rain check. There were some small boats (yachts?) docked on the jetty and a photo of them against the sunset makes a pretty good vacation picture.

Even though it is not the best getaway from Bombay, there is the advantage of having lots of other beaches near-by and the possibility of beach-hopping.

As for me, I will always remember this trip. As they say, it's all in the company :)