Road Tripping : The Konkan

18th to 28th May 2005
Day One : 18th May 2005

#1 At the naka

We start the trip from the Naka. Gathered at Raju's house and repacked. Then the usual tea at Bishnu's, without which none of our trips from the Naka start.

home -> ruia [10 km]

Earlier that day I started from home with too much luggage to carry. After fighting it for a while, I called Rusty (who I was supposed to join at Bandra) to Kalina. We managed to make it to Naka with the load (a guitar too apart from the bags, mind you). After repacking, we fueled up (tanks full!!!) and were ready to go. Tea and photos with the usual "shreephal" (coconut) breaking for luck and we were off to bhau cha dhakka.

ruia -> bhao cha dhakka [11 km]

The first thing which hit's you when you reach bhau cha dhakka is the fishy smell. We were early and so had the pleasure of seeing hectic fisher folk activity. The ferry was leaving soon so we made the run for it, got tickits, and got the bikes loaded on board. The total cost of transporting a bike from bhau cha dhakka to Revas comes to around Rs.70. But it takes a few of them to load and unload the bike on the ferry. It is an activity worth watching.

bhau-cha-dhakka -> Revas [ferry 1:20 hrs]

On the ferry we settled on the deck to keep an eye on the bikes ... and to enjoy the view. An adventurous wada-pow walla made fresh hot wada-pav's on board in the first 20 minutes or so of the journey. We were only too happy to hog them. It was fun.

Revas is a jetty (dhakka). After the smogs of Mumbai City the freshness here becomes very evident. There is almost no permanent settlement there apart from a few shops and a restaurent next to the ferry booking office. This is a very low and marshy spot. On the east one can see the rolling mangrooves and then the distant hills. The mangrooves have channels in them for larger fishing boats to go to the interior fishing vissages. Once I got a jolt seeing a large fishing boat apparently travelling over the mangrooves. On the west one can see a few sandbanks with palm trees. It is a wonderfull site to see the sun go down behind those palms.

#2 bright flowers on the road to alibaug

At Revas we unloaded and headed for the only restaraunt there is. Where we always eat when we land here. Breakfast consisted of very sticky-oily missal-pav washed down by sweet tea. The real journey started now. We were heading to a place called Alibaug.

Revas -> Alibaug [23 km]

On the way to Alibaug the roat meanders through small villages and hamlets.

Arial View : Kulaba (Alibaug) Fort, Alibaug. [photo not by me]

alibaugh fort

#3 Alibaug Fort

In Alibaugh we headed straight for the fort. The fort is a little way off the coast. When the tide is out, it is possible to walk to it. But the space being very flat, it fills up alarmingly fast when the tide comes in. Many a lives are lost here regularly. They have installed a tide warning at the beach now. Me and mama walked up halfway and clicked may photos while Sujay and Raju waited by the bikes.

Alibaug -> Revdanda [20 km]

#4 on the road to murud

We left Alibaug deciding to eat later. In Revdanda we halted at a muslim joint call Kinara. We had some excellent chicken biryani. After which we rested and Raju played the guitar. It was a good time.

Revdanda -> Murud

This is a wonderful ride of a road meandering through old time villages, heghed in by old houses, twisting and turning...

Murud -> Rajapuri 5km

We reached Murud quite late and decide we will try to get to Janjeera by the last boat. So we headed straight for the small fishing village of Rajapuri. Janjera lies in the bay off this place.

Arial View : Janjira Fort, Rajapuri. [photo not by me]

Rajapuri -> Janjeera [boat]

#5 in boat for janjeera

We have to take a small sail boat to Janjeera. It is so slient that the only thing you hear is the wind rustling in the sail and the water lapping by the sides. We were so low in the water that I could reach down and wet my hand. The boat is small and moves up and down with the swell.

#6 janjeera enterance

Janjeera is a fort in good condition. Completely in the water. Tt was the capital of Siddhi Jowhar. It remained unconquered till the end. We spent some good time here photographing and exploring.

#7 canons at janjeera

#8 mama photographing

#9 large cannons

#10 janjeera

#11 leaving janjeera

#12 janjeera

the fall

At Murud, we had no idea where we would sleep. It was our first night of stay and our idea of sleeping on the veranda of some mandir had not worked. There were no large mandirs in Murud which we found. And the spaces where there was empty space was not allowed to be slept on. Generally all tourists found hotels for themselves. We talked to a local for space in his courtyard. He was very helpful till he asked for Rs.200 for the four of us - to sleep outside his house. He would also provide a bucket of water he said with grace. The beach front hotel where we were resting and eating charged Rs.450 for a room for the night. We did not want to start the trip with such expenditure, so me and Mama decided to check out the ST stand, to see if it was clean enough.

On Mama's bike, like two intrepid adventurers we travelled the darkened street's of Murud. The ST stand was nice and clean and empty. We were happy about our saved money and headed back. The narrow road was arrow straight, dark and empty. At the far end, on the left, a minor hotel threw light on a few stray dogs sitting in the middle of the road. We were travelling slowly, talking over our night plans as we neared the hotel. It came about that, as we were passing, one of the dogs took it in his head to suddenly get up and run straight into the engine of our motorcycle. What prompted him to do so is not very clear. But what was very clear from my sudden situation on the tar top, was the pain in my right knee. I had landed on it.