Posted by Mrityunjay on September 25, 2014
4th day:- I guess today was the least eventful day. Why? Goa, no? Self-explanatory. Rent a bike. Roam around. Just that, sun was at its most arrogant today. So a church, beach and a bit of jazz was all that was possible. Also, I realized I am more of a mountain person than a beach guy…Rest ‘Usual Goa’ stuff.. So there!
5th Day- Off to Belgaum. Left early morning. 150 kms from Panjim. Kadamba bus (Goa state transport). I was halfway through when I just didn’t like going further. I just felt I was rushing through things. Perhaps I was not. But I just felt like stopping there. In hindsight, I think I should not have accepted free flat/bike accommodation in Goa. Somehow that triggered comfort n laziness which in turn broke the momentum and rhythm. So I am on hold. Will go back to Mumbai, I guess.
Reflections so far! And notes to Myself:-
- Yesterday I talked about total Expenses being 2100 or so. Yes, the idea was to have a budget trip and to be frugal. See..Point is, once you loosen your purse string, the world is at your feet. It’s only a matter of swiping your debit/credit card once and You can have best of resort and private cab and all. Money simple brings the business and the end consumer in direct contact removing all the intermediary factors. That works really fine in every other sector but for travel. While you travel, it’s these intermediary factors that provide you with real thrill, fun and experience. How else could I have met these folks like Bunty, Rakesh, Salim, Fishermen, those two ladies et al who actually enriched me with so many wonderful memories? Money facilitates not completes.
- People- None I repeat none of the people that I asked for help, direction and other stuff refused me. It was incredible. Honest, grounded and traditional folks. Though I own minuscule element of cynicism and sarcasm floats through my veins, this entire trip makes me love Neanderthal even more. Homo sapiens, did you say? Oh puhleez, Let’s not flatter ourselves. At the same time, Best memories are those that you do not capture on camera. None of the people who I befriended had any pics clicked with me, nor any sort of phone number, Facebook thing exchanged. Sometimes it’s better this way. In any case over familiarity breeds contempt. Just memories and feel good factor.
- My insomnia was not cured. But it doesn’t matter any more. I guess my mind and body is just not tired enough though mind seems to be in perpetual motion. As Dheeraj Rai had once suggested, “subah-subah 10 km daud ja or 100 km cycle chala le..apne aap bed pe gir jayega”! How wonderful of him! ‘Keep it simple stupid’ funda. Additionally, on Belgaum highway, a dhaabe wala told me “yaha ki coffee piyo..neend bhaag jayegi”. I said that’s the problem na. Neend ko laana hai.. his reply was- “insomnia is a disease of rich people!”..lol..I am not rich but his response made my day. .and dil ko behlaane ke liye ye khyal bura nahi hai…
- Had a chance to interact with a group of different nationalities @Calangute/Baga till 2-3 in night. A Dutch/French/Argentine. Conversation ranged from Louis van Gaal, Robben, Van Persie, Total football, French Riviera, Marseilles, Bordeaux Wine fermentation/tasting process, Jean Reno, Carla Bruni to Argentine stagflation, Currency Devaluation, Messi, Di Maria, Erstwhile Dictatorship, Che Guevara and impact of Jorge Luis Borges etc and plenty more which I can’t really remember. There is only that much you can recollect when you are under the influence of strange liquids. It helped that both French n Argentine were as fluent in English as I was. ;).. . point is- Reading, GK, Literature and world cinema really helps. Personally for me, such conversations are just so rare and so fulfilling…
What Else? I guess, I have so much to talk and say..but all this looks like Gyan..no point preaching or sounding so..I admit, certain things mentioned here are not possible for people with wifey/kids in tow..but any ways..thank you to all of you for allowing me to take you all to this..journey/adventure/experience/escape whatever you call it..Really Really appreciate it..Cheers.. Winding up..
P.S- I think, I am having ‘Travel Withdrawal Symptoms’ since coming back because my heart is feeling trance, tandava and tranquility all at the same time but then Didn’t Kurt Vonnegut say, “Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God”? Adios!
Posted in Travelogue | Tagged: Goa, Goa Beaches, Solo travel, travel experience | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Mrityunjay on September 24, 2014
You travel far and wide and you meet yourself. At last I can say, if not completely, I did manage to meet a part of myself. And it’s a wonderful part, I must say. Well, So much for humility!
Left Tarkarli early morning. Back to Malvan. Tried Sindhudurg fort but it was out of bound. High tides. Saw how fishermen were bringing one boat after another loaded with varieties of fishes. Pretty unique the subsequent bidding war. 5 huges mori (small sharks) and bidding started with 100 bucks which finally culminated @15000 Rs./ when only one bidder was standing. My earlier experience of bidding was restricted to Bollywood potboilers.
Wandering for a while. Then a bus to kudal. Then another to Sawantwadi. Lost for a while. Then to Amboli. Great spectacle of flora and fauna. Beauty. Everywhere.
Finding fanny? I am rather smelling fenny! What is this place? Just saw water being more expensive than some other sort of liquids! What the hell? This signboard- Tuborg @30!! “Ya khuda, ye Kaise khwaab dikha raha hai! Aise khoobsurat mazak mat karo..mat karo!” Then I see Gateway to heaven- Panjim. Voila! Goa! How? Well..
Just when I was about to embark further in Amboli, got a call from this amazing soul Dheeraj Rai (A dear friend)- “wanna have a cup of tea?” Oh yes! Where? Madgaon! WTF! He saying “it’s just 100-150 km. Big Deal”. Yeah, right! For Someone cycling for 200 kms before his breakfast every Sunday, definitely 150 km is nothing. But you actually mean tea in Goa!? Never mind! What then! Thought for a second. Back to Sawantwadi. A lift to Baanda. Another bus to Panjim. Then another to Madgaon. Reached at 4. The dude comes to have a cup of cutting. 5 min. Then he says, I have got a flight to catch! Oh man! I felt betrayed..but It was one hell of tea session.
But before leaving, he gifted me his wonderful Junior! Oh you dirty mind! It’s a MALE offering me his flat to stay. Should I? Why not. It’s one night may be! He also offered his bike not expecting me to touch it and just enjoy his refrigerator filled with some dark coloured obscene liquids. But it wouldn’t be fun, no? 7 in the evening. Let me roam. its been ages in this magic land. Raining heavily. Got the bike ferried in a ferry! Some ferry-tales that’s happening with me. .err..fairy tales I meant!
It’s called Calangute beach! And I am so wet. Figuratively speaking! Some light issues. Only candles. Befriending/conversating with guys from Nagaland. Then some Jaats. Now it’s guys from Netherlands..hick! Those girls. . They. .awes..hick! *poof*
P.S- 64 hours since I left Mumbai. Almost 1000 kms covered. Total Expenses incurred until reaching Calungute- 2200/- (Don’t raise your eyebrows please..I am also surprised! ) but UNTIL NOW! And Now..it’s Goa..well..
Posted in Travelogue | Tagged: Amboli, Calangute beach, Devbaugh, Goa travel, Indian beaches, Madgaon, Panjim, Tarkarli | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Mrityunjay on September 23, 2014
Let me Finish Day One first.
Kudal then! 8 o’ clock. Train was in sync with my mood. Pretty late. Rejoicing every nondescript station of konkan. Sleepy town. Hardly anything after 8. Kudal to kasaal.ST bus.Wait. Then to Malvan. Wait again. ST bus again. Has to be a frugal trip. 2 local females. Interacting with me in Konkani/Marathi/Malvani mix. Basically sign language. Aghast at my unknown schedule. “Aise Koi karta hai! Na koi dost hai tera na hotel booking. Ab tu raat mein kaha jayega! Umm… Chal mere ghar! Tu sharif dikhta hai. .main mere husband se baat karegi”! Felt humbled but no.. really..I will manage. They relented. Wished me and warned me from doing it again. 10 P.M. Where in Malwan? Not a soul in sight. Shops closed. Street dogs not showing any fondness for me. Another stranger on pulsar and ruptured sound of silencer. Nice. Chit-chat. “Chal mere saath”. – I hopped on. Not knowing, not imagining anything. -“Eat here. Good food within budget. Be Right Back”. After 20 mins. “Food done? Ok. Have talked to someone. Nearby home stay. Sleep there for the night. Call Me in case of any problem”. Basic room. No frills. Just like my one BHK. Except, it had a double bed for a single soul. 3rd floor. Coconut trees swaying to the rhythm of whistling wind in pitch dark night. Delight of strangers. Beauty of not hiring any service. Thank you Bunty.
A Lovely Morning. House owner-“stay more. Use my bike. Go wherever you want.” Umm.. Nah. I will just leave and find my way. “Ok. As you wish but please visit nearby Ganesh temple. My request. It will be good for you.” Touched again. Done deal. Temple. Done. Rock garden. Done. Chivala beach. Clean. Isolated. Done. Next?
Tarkarli. ST ticket- 9 Rs. Sleepy village. Pristine water. Coconuts. Cashewnut. Narrow pathways. Virginal feel. Roaming on beach. Off season. No crowd. Complete solitude. Tanned. Humble souls. Knock-knock! House stay? Welcome. Lunch. Want Fresh fish? Oh yes. Come then. A River close by. Hunting and teaching me how to fish. What joy man! One hour konkan style preparation. Can’t forget this taste ever.. Siesta.
Devbag. another Gaon, Surrounded by River on one side and sea on the other. And the confluence of River & sea at tipping point. Magical. Conversations with several locals. Beach cricket with fishermen and kids. Can still feel my youth. Nice. Tried few selfies but Man, I am so damn bad at it. Invited by a fisherman to visit his hut for a cup of tea. Unbearable stench but..but for man’s sincere desire to host me! He explained business of fishing, seasonality, equipment, ROI etc. Good to know. By the way, lovely tea. Adios Sir.
Beautiful sunset. And several delicacies of veg items. Gastronomical orgasm. Feeling like a traveller. Not a tourist. Happy. Tomorrow? Let it come first. Today is magnificent.
P.S- Pics of Tarkarli beach and the place where I stayed.
Posted in Travelogue | Tagged: Devbaug beach, Konkan homestay, Konkan travel, Malvan, Tarkarli, travel pleasures | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Mrityunjay on September 21, 2014
Morning 5 A.M. Divorced from sleep. And a sudden urge to travel. How about Konkan? Never been to famed konkan railway. A quick online check. Plenty of seats. No rush. Sleeper? Been a decade. AC won’t be fun. A quick bag pack. But go where? Never mind dude. First get in the train.
Man, never seen so much greenery. It’s green, Green and blinding Green. Eyes started seeing better. Wearing soul getting rid of inertia. Coach footsteps felt like plush cushion of La Meridian. Add to that constant drizzling. .showering my being with strangest of pleasures. And then this aged crazy Goan-Portuguese couple. As normally happens, Husband confiding in me the glorious pages of his youth & inevitable failed love affair. Wife staring at me with suspicious eyes. Me Not knowing how to react. But I have been an integral listening part to several love stories of folks. One more to the list. He pestering me about my destination. Not satisfied with my answer he accusing me of going to meet my secret mistress. What a lovely crime to be accused of. Loved it.
Bunch of Goa bound beautiful girls from Delhi. Oh Delhi! Oh girls! Dhak-dhak! Sigh! Loud singing. Me joining the chorus- come to Goa na with us. Too tempting but..Nah, this is supposed to be a solo journey.
Then tunnel after tunnel. Beautiful reflection of life. Sunshine, rain, nature and darkness. But where should I get down? Sindhudurg? Umm..looks too crowded. Adavali? Can’t see a single soul. Kudal? May be! It has a nice ring to it. Now? Figuring out.
With that, am gone. *poof*
P.S- I first posted this on Facebook (that’s why this minimal writing method. Feels like Codes written during WW2) though I had this nagging feeling that this deserves a proper blog post. But blame it on my eternal procrastination habits. However, I felt nudged by Kedar, Anand and then Manish (Twitter). Could have been more elaborate but let it be..for the time being..;)
Posted in Travelogue | Tagged: konkan, Kudal, train journey, travel, travelogue | Leave a Comment »