D for Dapoli, Dolphins, Disastrous roads, Delicious food, Divine sunsets and Desire for yet another Konkan trip. This time, we were very clear that we shall have the ultimate chill trip. All rest and no play makes the Thapars lazy as can be.
This time again 2 cars set off, the Ecosport and our uncle’s brand new Volkswagon Polo (that I promptly wrecked). And I understood the difference that an SUV-type vehicle makes to the comfort (and speed) of a road trip, especially when a large part of the journey is not on a road, but on an apology of a road.
Needless to say, the drive, though scenic, couldn’t lend itself to too many photographs. Over narrow single-carriageway, broken roads we drove, over some ghats, but always surrounded by lots of greenery.
6 hours after starting, we reached our hotel Comfort Inn Emerald, a new and posh hotel in the center of the town, 12 km from the beach. This well-done up hotel was chosen partly for its poshness, and partly because it had a “pool”, which turned out to be exactly 10 feet long. The hubby promptly christened it the gutter; the kids promptly hopped into it and played ball, as swimming was not possible.
That very evening, we set off on a loooooong drive to the local Murud beach, and happily stepped into clear waters with soft black sand. The kids had a blast getting wet and dirty, and the hubby, making them so.
We enjoyed the sunset, with piping-hot bhuttas and bhelpuri on the beach.
Since the aim of the trip was to chill to the maximum, our days followed a simple routine of rising late, hogging on breakfast, seeing TV, swimming in the gutter, lazy lunch, TV, evening at the beach, more TV, dinner, still more TV. Wow! We must have seen hours of TV on this trip. No wonder the kids were happy!
One evening, we drove a long drive to Anjarle beach to see the “kadya varche Ganpati”. The aim of the drive was not religious at all, but to enjoy the beautiful drive over some hills and see the lookout over the fishing village at sunset.
Yes, these are the views that drives are made of! As we came down this hill, we could see a small river, meandering through the green countryside.
Crossing over the river, we found ourselves crossing a bridge, with a lot of cows for company. Small fishing boats lay anchored in the waters. It was idyllic village charm at its best.
We continued on a very narrow convoluted road to the temple (for the religious seniors with us) to reach a tiny but beautiful temple.
Back from the temple, we sped along to catch the sunset from the viewpoint over the fishing village that my brother-in-law had waxed eloquently about.
D for dolphins, D for disappointment:
The next morning, for me, was the center point of the trip, the reason for choosing Dapoli as the place for this holiday, the dolphin-watching. Though the hubby had warned me that it could be a let down (and I really hate it when he’s right), the eternally optimistic me had the hopes sky-high about seeing scores of dolphins frolicking besides us.
So, we woke early and headed off to the closest beach, wore the life-jackets (much to my niece’s and my relief), and got into a small fishing boat and headed off in to the sea. A more pleasant boat ride could not be had for sure, the wind was blowing gently, the sun was just coming up, it was cool and pleasant, gulls flew all around us, and the sea breeze filled our carbon ridden lungs.
But when one is constantly craning one’s neck to spot her favorite sea animal, then the enjoyment of the situation is certainly dampened. And after almost wrecking one’s cervical spine, if this is all that can be seen, with the 200mm lens, then the sadness feels heavier.
Well, I did manage to see 2 dolphins stick their pretty little noses out of the water (though I couldn’t capture it on camera), and should be satisfied with that, but I know that seeing the dolphins in the wild is something I shall have to come back for.
However, no one can stay disappointed for long, for the beach shores had more fun in store for us. There were a large variety of water sports, and the 4 of us had a blast, riding the waves and braving the salty spray.
For me, the highlight was the parasailing deep in the sea, where they lowered me into the water and I felt literally as though I were a sea-gull, flying just over the water.
After yet another delicious meal at our hotel, and a long afternoon siesta, we set off to see another beach and a statue of Lord Parshuram. The drive was again over small roads, lush greenery all around, and fields of rice and coconut trees.
Soon, we climbed higher and higher to reach the Bhagwaan Parshuram bhoomi, the supposed birthplace of Lord Parshuram, the 6th avatar of Vishnu, where a 21-foot-tall statue was constructed on a semicircular model of the earth.
The structure, composed of fiberglass, had a single door to enter and worship a smaller idol. However, much more exciting (especially to the kids) was the acoustics in the “globe”. It was such a perfectly echoing place that even the camera shutter noise echoed.
We drove down towards the red-earthed Ladghar beach, when the hubby suddenly stopped the car and hopped out to capture this view. Normally, its me who’s jumping out of cars and clicking away; I was pleasantly surprised this time to see the hubby pull a “Beejal”.
At the beach, the kids merrily played football, while I mobilised much-needed chai and vada pao.
Once again, we hogged while enjoying yet another phenomenal sunset.
As the sun set, and the clouds changed colors, and I stood wishing for a longer holiday, the kid came up to me and echoed the same thoughts. So I told her what my dad always told me, “You come back from one holiday and look forward to the next one”.
Goodbye beautiful Dapoli. We’ll be back for the dolphins one day.